Reduced Movement cont.

Today I am sitting feeling Jackson kicking up a storm, back to his usual over-lively self. Unfortunately, however, his severe reduced movements since Saturday prompted me to make a trip up to the hospital last night.

Since Saturday I have noticed I could sit for long periods of time and not feel him kicking at all, very unusual as normally as soon as I sit down he starts kicking up a storm, all the consultants and midwives have commented on his kicking, and lots of strong kicks all the time is what I was used to. As soon as I realised he wasn’t being as active as usual I took really careful note on when he was moving and found he was still quite active for periods of time, but then he went for big gaps with nothing. It was almost unheard of for me to be able to sit down lift up my top and my stomach to remain motionless, but that was what was happening. I debated calling my midwife then, but figured he was clearly still ok because of the periods of intense movement I was feeling.
He wasn’t overly active Monday night, but I decided to wait until Tuesday morning and call a midwife if he wasn’t active then, but in typical fashion he had a really active couple of hours Tuesday morning which completely put my mind at rest, that he had been having a lazy bank holiday weekend like everyone had told me. I had a busy day Tuesday and didn’t spend any time seeing if he was moving, by the time I sat down Tuesday evening and began watching TV it was already quite late. I automatically put my hand to my stomach and didn’t feel anything. I rolled on my left side, nothing. Throughout the evening I had hot and cold drinks, sat in different positions and through it all only felt a couple of really faint kicks which were so faint I couldn’t even be sure that they were him. At this point I panicked. Should I have called someone sooner? Was it already too late? I checked his heart with my home doppler and thankfully there was still a heartbeat which the display said was about 140 which was normal for him. I decided at this point to call the midwife as his lack of movement in the evening was unheard of. I don’t think I’ve gone an evening not feeling him since I started feeling him at about 17/18 weeks!
By this time it was about 22.20 so I called the 24hour Medicom number and she told me to ring straight through to delivery suite with reduced movements so I could talk to a midwife and they’d decide where to go from there. Panicking now I rang and they asked what I had done to try and get him to move. She agreed with everything I’d tried, and her final suggestion was that I have a bath and lie on my left side and feel for any kicks. I did this remaining in the bath for around 20 minutes and in that time only felt around 6 faint kicks. I rang them straight back and they told me to come in, however warning me there could be a 3 hour wait. At this point I felt like I was being told not to bother, but I insisted I would like to get checked and went in.

On the drive there I felt a few kicks to my bladder, reassuring me he was still with us, but again nothing like as strong as his normal movements. We were told to wait in the waiting room with two other pregnant ladies, both a lot more pregnant than me, and that they would try and see us as soon as possible. After over an hour wait I had only felt another couple of faint kicks, but I was reassured that if things were going wrong that we were in the right place.
We were called through and she asked me to do her a urine sample which she checked and came back fine. She then asked me to lay on the bed and she tried to listen to his heartbeat with one of the ear cones, and as soon as she layed it on my belly he kicked her in the ear. Not a feeble little kick like I’d been feeling but a massive tummy shaking kick. After that she strapped me up to a monitor to check for any contractions and listen to baby’s heart. She couldn’t find his heartbeat for ages, but we weren’t worried as by this point he had really woken up and was kicking a lot. Eventually she found it, but as soon as she started monitoring it he moved again. He continued this dance for about 20 minutes! She gave me a clicker to press wherever I felt him moving, which turned out to be quite a lot. At one point she had the heart monitor on him and he appeared to have the hiccups as I felt tiny little movements and the monitor fuzzed very rhythmically and close together. Eventually she decided she had enough readings and that he was absolutely fine. His heart rate went up with movement and remained well within the normal range, with his resting pulse being about 135-140, and the monitor had picked up no contractions.
I must admit I felt a total idiot! He had been quiet for days and then as soon as I ask for him to be checked he has a party, but it was totally worth being checked. As stupid as I felt the relief that washed over me after days of constant worry and being on the verge of panic plastered a smile over my face that won’t go away!

The reasons people gave me for him being quieter ranged from he’s running out of space so he will move less, to he’s being quiet because he’s growing, and the full range in between (he’s just lazy, you’re missing the movements) but only I know his normal pattern and that he wasn’t being normal, and after my experience last time it is worth getting anything out of the norm checked out. Now he is back to normal again I can relax.

This all got me wondering, however, because when I had my miscarriage last time I KNEW categorically that something was wrong, call it maternal instinct, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t shake the feeling off, but this time I wasn’t sure. The feeling wasn’t so strong. I wasn’t sure if that was because it was just me panicking and not maternal instinct at all, or whether it was maternal instinct that my brain was dulling down by telling me I was probably just panicking.

I am so glad I went to get checked, the midwife was really friendly and didn’t seem bothered that we were in essence wasting her time after he started having a party, but as she told me, they’d rather see me in there once a week and for everything to be ok than to not see me at full term because I ignored a sign and lost him.

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