Oh. Wait. I am the mama. Well, crap.
I know I’m “only” 37+ weeks, but holy shit am I all done being pregnant.
I feel bad about it. I want to relish the time I have left. I know I won’t get to do it again. And, despite its discomforts and inconveniences, I have not hated this pregnancy. Parts of it have been really cool, and even most of the less-cool parts have been quite tolerable.
But I’m done.
These once-a-week ultrasounds and non-stress tests? Despite the fact that they’ve largely all pointed to “just fine,” they are not making me feel better. They are not keeping me calm. Tuesday all but pushed me over the edge.
Arrived at the OB’s office on Tuesday morning for the non-stress test. Thankfully, my mom was in town for a visit, so she could hang out at home and play with the kids while I was at the office. Sat in the waiting room an unusually long time, and the first thing the medical assistant told me when she called me back was, “we still haven’t heard from the maternal-fetal medicine office about an ultrasound for you.” I was a little confused. I already had an ultrasound scheduled for 3PM that same afternoon, but at one of the normal ultrasound offices. “Oh no,” she said, “you’re supposed to go to MFM.” At which point the other medical assistant chimed in with, “oh, she may not know about that yet.”
OK, so it turns out that my last ultrasound showed a slight increase in fluid volume (which I knew), and because of that, they wanted me to have my next ultrasound at the MFM (high-risk) office. I didn’t know because this was only decided late Friday afternoon, Monday was a holiday, and here it was, Tuesday morning. OK. Fine. Whatever. I’m well-acquainted with that office, that’s where all of my billions of ultrasounds were during my last pregnancy. Fine.
Non-stress test went well. Apparently a decaf latte from Starbucks is the key to a ridiculously reactive baby. I actually had to sit there a bit longer just to wait for her to chill out and do a nice, even baseline heart rate. But ultimately, test went great. Yay. Nurse practitioner comes in (because why would I ever see my own OB?), I’m measuring a whopping 7 weeks ahead. Honestly, I think that’s what I measured when my twins were born. No wonder none of my shirts fit. She mentions the ultrasound with MFM (which they managed to schedule for the same afternoon, thankfully), and says we’ll just have to see if he recommends any… change of plans.
I’ll just go home and make sure my hospital bag is packed, thankyouverymuch.
Headed to the hospital with my mom and my kids in tow, since (assuming all is well) we have to take my mom straight to the airport post-appointment. The receptionist and ultrasound techs remembered me, couldn’t believe how old my kids are, and despite not seeing him in over three years, remarked how much my son looks like my husband. Nice to be back.
Ultrasound went well, all parts where they should be and seem to be doing their jobs. For the third time in recent weeks, the ultrasound tech remarked that the baby seems to have a lot of hair, very unlike my older kids. Fluid volume, while a very subjective measurement on ultrasound, does not appear quite as alarmingly high as previous measurements. And then… the baby decided it was a good time for a nap. One bit of criteria for passing these biophysical profile ultrasounds is seeing movement. This kid? Totally asleep. We poked, we jiggled, I ate a snack. Totally still except for a perfectly nice heartbeat and some lovely breathing motions. Sound asleep. Great. She sleeps like her father and brother. I’ll appreciate that later, but not now.
High-risk doc came in, said everything looks totally fine. No need to change plans and move up delivery, it’s just one of those things. Except…. do I usually feel the baby move? Well, sure. She moves just fine, I think. Well, I think we’ll just send you down to Labor & Delivery for a non-stress test. No. No. No. Had one this morning, it was great. Please, not another hour on the monitor with my mom and my kids to deal with. He put the ultrasound wand back on my belly, she finally waved her arms around, and I was free to go.
I’m back to being completely freaked out and paranoid about movement. All day, every day. Half the time, I’ll have a snack or dinner, lie down, and she’ll throw a little party and make me realize how foolish I am. The other half of the time, I get distracted by life and kids. I’m not paying attention. I can’t remember when she last moved, or moved much. I panic. She naps. I lie in the dark, still as I can, while the seconds tick by slower than ever. Eventually, of course, she moves. But I’m wound up. I can’t sleep, I’m in a near-constant state of panic. If I get busy doing something else for a few hours, I panic all the more when I realize how long it’s been since I last panicked.
Lack of sleep, crazy hormones, and a serious case of anxiety over the one-in-a-million terrible what-ifs is making me a total basketcase. (Having the kids home from school for February vacation and bored is not helping, sadly.) I’m bursting into tears over everything and nothing. I’m fried. I’ve got nothing left in the tank.
I am so freaking done with this part. I’m so sick of the worry and the blind wonder. I want to be able to look at her and see with my own eyes that she’s breathing. Yeah, I know that if my doctor was really all that worried, I’d be seen a lot more often than once a week. But that week between appointments kills me. Some days it’s easier. I notice more movement, I feel less pain. But so many days aren’t. I’m busy, I forget to “listen” to my belly. I do three kick counts a day, I eat extra snacks to wake her up. She always does what she’s supposed to, ultimately, and it never quite gets to the point of calling the hospital and going in for a check. But it never calms me down for long.
I’m not an especially anxious person by nature, but is there anything that gets us more worked up than worrying about our own kids, whether they’ve been born yet or not?
Two weeks. Maybe less. I know I’ll soon be looking back on this with detached amusement. I’ve almost made it.
I just hope I’ll have a little bit of sanity left when I get there.