Well, we had a little bit of a scare this morning.
At the suggestion of my doctor and our prenatal class leader, I have started counting kicks each day. Basically, you record how long it takes for 10 kicks, once a day. It should never take more than 2 hours and generally be about the same each time. For the past week and a half that I have been recording this, the baby has taken anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes to get to 10 kicks. He kicks way more than that throughout a whole day, but this is just at one time. The idea is to be aware of the movement because a change in movement could signal that there is something wrong.
Thursday night before I went to bed the baby was extra active. My belly was jumping all around, he must've been dancing in there. All day yesterday and this morning I hadn't felt any fetal movement at all. At 10:30 this morning I decided to call my doctor to let him know, and he immediately told me that I needed to go to the hospital. So off to the maternal ward we went. I started to get a bit anxious, but didn't really think there could be anything wrong and the little guy was pooped from moving around so much the other night.
They admitted me there, and the nurse pulled out the fetal heart rate monitor to find the heartbeat. After 15 or 20 minutes, she wasn't able to locate the baby's heart beat. I started to panic. I could see the look on Zach's face and he looked really worried also. He was starting at my belly like willing the baby's heart beat to make an appearance on the monitor. It broke my heart to see the concern on his face. She left the room to find another nurse to give it a go, and I started crying. They tried a different type of device and thank God we heard the little guy's heart going. His heart was going about 150 bpm and he started to react and kick at the straps wrapped around my belly. It was definitely a huge relief. I went from being a little concerned, to panic and then relief all in about 30 minutes. Let me tell you, that was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I think the worst thing was watching the nurse trying every spot on my belly and hearing nothing but my own heart beat (which was going so fast that they were monitoring my heart rate as well to be able to decipher it from what could possibly be the baby's). After ten or so minutes tracking the heart beat, we had an ultrasound. Everything was perfectly normal, so we left there happy campers.
I sort of felt like this was all unnecessary, but the ladies there assured me that a change in fetal movement like that is not something that you want to ignore and that they didn't blame me for calling the doctor. It could be nothing (like it was in our case!) but it is the number one way to detect a problem and prevent a still birth.
So... I think it's time for a nap now after that scary experience. I am going to continue tracking kicks every day like I have been and hope that the little guy doesn't give us a scare like this again. He's not even here yet so I can only imagine what kind of worries we will go through when he is here!
Here are a couple of pictures from the ultrasound. They are print outs that I took a picture of with my cell phone so they aren't that great. They look much better in person, but these will do!
This is the baby's face with his fist and forearm in front of it. You can see his little nose, eyes and part of his lips.
Here are his little feet. His legs are crossed at the ankles. Look how cute his little toes are!