I enjoyed a nice little period where I didn’t have crippling anxiety – primarily between 24 and 30 weeks. I miss that.
It started at my last appointment where we discussed kick counts. I’m supposed to lie on my left side at the same time every night and count how long it takes the baby to make 10 distinct movements. If it takes more than 45 minutes, I’m to call the nurse line. Ditto if I notice a drastic decrease in movement.
I’m far too literal of a person to be able to handle this. What’s a “distinct” movement? The form says “kicking, stretching, etc, not hiccups”. I periodically feel very large, drastic movements, and I almost constantly feel little fluttery movements.
So the first time I did the kick counts, he moved 10 times in 6 minutes. But I feel that perhaps I’m doing them wrong – counting things I shouldn’t be counting.
Regardless, lying there quietly, just waiting for him to kick, makes my anxiety spin out of control. “What if he doesn’t kick? What if I lie here for an hour and I don’t feel any movement? What would I do, would I go to the ER? Was that a kick, or did I imagine it because I want him to kick so badly?”
It’s not fun.
Then, I found out my fundal height is measuring small. At 30w6d, I was measuring at 28 weeks (my uterus was 28 centimeters tall). My doctor said “You’re measuring small, but not alarmingly small.”
At this point, when I am soooo close to my take home baby, anything that’s not totally perfect is “alarming” to me.
Although I see the baby every two weeks during my cervical length checks, it’s just to see his position. He hasn’t been measured since 20w2d, when I believe he was measuring 19w6d (something like that). Similarly, at 10w1d, he was measuring 9w5d (ish).
So he’s always been measuring a bit small. Similarly, the past two times I’ve had my fundal height measured, the doctor has exclaimed that I’m so long torsoed and that my bump looks smaller than it is because I’m carrying so low.
I’m trying to remember these things. I’m trying to remember that my baby is probably fine and healthy. Maybe just little.
And it doesn’t help that well-meaning people love to tell me how small I look. “You aren’t very big” – thanks, you’re right – I certainly hope that doesn’t mean my baby is dying.
I know the anxiety doesn’t stop when they’re born, but I’m ready for him to be out here in the world with me. Maybe then I’ll believe he’s okay?