I first want to thank everyone for all of your comments on Thursday’s post about all my crazy fears. Hearing all of your stories about your babies’ regular hiccups and nighttime frolics really did help set my mind at ease. Sometimes I just need to be reminded that even though my fears are totally justified given what happened to Hudson, they are also extremely unlikely ever to be realized.
Friday’s OB appointment also did wonders for me in this department. I went in for my regular appointment (now seeing the OB every two weeks) and met one of the doctors in the practice for the first time. I’m always concerned when meeting a new doctor because I know that I will have to share my story about Hudson, but I never know how each doctor will respond.
This time, I needn’t have worried. Before I launched into all my paranoid fears about Jackson’s movements, I explained what had happened to Hudson in order to help him understand why I am such a nut. With the exception of the perinatologist, from whom we continue to receive such excellent bedside manner, he was the most sympathetic and understanding doctor I’ve met so far in this pregnancy. He was immediately and obviously moved when I told him about Hudson’s death, told me how sorry he was, and proceeded to say that he completely understood why I was so afraid. He reassured me that hiccups are totally normal, just practice breathing, and that increased nighttime activity is also very normal.
Even better, he started to explain that we’d begin doing the weekly biophysical profiles (BPPs) at 36 weeks, and when I told him that the perinatologist had already agreed that we could start at 35 weeks just for my own reassurance, he said, “Well, we can start next week if it would make you feel better. Let’s do whatever we can to help reassure you.” I almost cried out of sheer gratitude (and relief). He said one of the perinatologists even recommends weekly BPPs starting at 32 weeks for all women over 35. He also said that I should feel totally comfortable coming straight into labor and delivery any time I get the slightest bit anxious—he said that’s what they are there for and they have no problem at all checking me out whenever I feel like I need it. And when I asked whether we should be concerned about the fairly precipitous drop in amniotic fluid between 28 and 32 weeks, he said, “Well, why don’t we just take a look?” He turned on the sonogram machine right then and there, took a look at Jackson, and said there was still plenty of amniotic fluid and that there was nothing to be concerned about. I began to understand why he was almost an hour late for my appointment—and it was totally worth it for the time and care he took with me. Not coincidentally, I slept better Friday and Saturday nights than I have in a long time.
The one thing that I found a little disappointing was his answer to my question about a hard and fast rule regarding when to be concerned about Jackson’s movements. He said that if I hadn’t felt any movement at all for two to three hours, then I should come in. This seemed rather long to me, but whatever. I’m doing a kick count every two hours, so with the exception of nighttime, when I can’t really know what’s going on, I feel pretty confident that I will know if something is off.
So I start the weekly BPPs on Tuesday, when I’ll be 33 weeks (what?). The BPP combines a non-stress test with an ultrasound. They’ll look at his heart rate, breathing, movements, muscle tone, and amniotic fluid, and will keep doing that once a week until he’s born. It may be overkill, but I don’t care. It makes me feel better just to know that he’s going to be so closely monitored. And at this stage of the game, that makes all the difference in the world.
Thank you all again for your reassurance, too—I can’t tell you how much it’s helped. Here’s to more good nights of sleep.