Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Win an Impromptu Trip to the Hospital

I had a regularly scheduled OB appointment today. I didn't even mention it in my last post because typically these days, the OB appointments last all of 5 minutes. If I have nothing to report and the baby's heartbeat is fine, it's an in-and-out kind of visit.

Today was different.

Today I told the doctor that the baby has been super active the past 2 weeks, like nearly non-stop wiggles, rolls, kicks, etc, but yesterday and today I've noticed much less frequent movement. One kick and then nothing for several hours.

She turned to me and said, "That just earned you a trip to the hospital." I was a bit stunned. She was very kind and reassuring and said it's probably nothing, but when there is a noticeable change, they like to double check things to be sure.

Well, whatever is best for the baby is what I will do. So, okay.

She was not concerned about my shortness of breath (normal), occasional belly-gripping sensations that occur once or twice a day and which stop me in my tracks for a few seconds (likely a contraction, but the irregularity makes them non-worrisome) or the tender spot on one side of my belly.

She measured my uterus and said it was measuring a bit small for the baby's gestational age, so while I was at the hospital, I would also get an ultrasound to measure the baby. She remarked that my uterus and blood vessels are 43 years old, regardless of how old the egg donor was (bravo to this doctor, who is the only one to have looked at my chart, realizing that this was a donor embryo before I had to speak up and tell them). Anyway, "old" blood vessels and uterus may be somewhat compromised in delivering blood and nutrients to the baby - so it was worth having a look.

Hey, you don't have to hard sell me on getting an ultrasound or any testing to be sure the baby is fine.

She was very patient and kind and took her time with me, which I appreciated. She told me to go straight to the hospital and she would call them to let them know I was coming. Of course I called my DH so he could meet me there.

I wasn't panicked, but, you know, there was that familiar twinge of worry rising in my throat.

At the hospital they hooked me up to two belly monitors - one to measure contractions and one to measure the baby's movements and heart beat.

Well that little tyke! He's apparently a show off, and must have been insulted that I tattled on him for not moving so much yesterday and today. Once on the monitors, he began his gymnastics routine with a double back handspring! He went on to wiggle and kick nearly the whole time.

Once I was hooked up and the nurse took my medical history, she pulled the curtain and left the room. Laying there, I realized I had my camera in my purse! Hey, what the heck, it's a record of my pregnancy journey.

I was monitored for 20 or 30 minutes, and just as my DH arrived, the nurse was ready to take me off the monitors and send me for the ultrasound. DH of course came in quite worried. But so far, the news was all good.

I did not get to see the monitor during most of the ultrasound. But what I could see on the screen was the little window where the measurement numbers popped up. So as the tech measured the head circumference, belly circumference, femur length, etc, I could at least see the translation of those measurements into gestational age.

She measured everything twice.

Then she gave us a little report. She said, "Huh. Well, I don't know why they think he's measuring small, because each of his measurements - which I did twice - are actually ahead of your 32 weeks by about 2 weeks." She said that there is a 2-week margin of error, but that means that at worst, the baby is right on target.

The amniotic fluid measurement was 13.8 (they want to see 10 or higher) and she estimated his weight at 5 pounds, 8 ounces (with a 13 ounce margin of error)! Wow!

The only thing that surprised me (and that I did not like so much) is that the baby is breach. Head up, butt down. What? I could have sworn he was head down the past few weeks. I mentioned that to the nurse and she said that it's possible the baby turned in the past few days from head down to head up, and perhaps that's why I have noticed less movement. Not that you wouldn't feel movement with the baby head up, but just that it's a change for me, and perhaps the new orientation of his body causes less sensation when he moves. Hm.

I had to be put back on the belly monitors for 10 minutes more or so, but no contractions registered and his heart beat was great.

With that, they let us go home.

Whew! hank goodness everything turned out to be okay. Good baby. Good, good baby!

Although, if he'd like to do another somersault and return to the head-down position sometime in the next couple of weeks, that would be great.


Elizabeth said...

Hi -- wow, that's something. I remember being sent to the hospital at just about the same point in my pregnancy for something similar. . . scary. I’m so glad it turned out okay! Anyway, the real point of this comment is, my baby was breech too. I felt sure he was breech and I kept telling everyone, but no one believed me. The docs would feel my tummy and say, oh no, he's head down, until 5 days before my due date when I said, some version of, “come on, the baby’s head is right here under my right rib where it has been all along” and they did a quick ultrasound and low and behold, breech baby. By then it was too late to do anything to help him turn on his own. But, there are things they can do. I can't remember your feelings about Chinese medicine (I had acupuncture to help my IVF work so I’m pretty comfortable with it). There is a needless acupressure approach that has to do with, no kidding, your little toe, that my acupuncturist (and my regular OB) swear by to help babies turn, it was just too late to try for me. I ended up with a c-section which was not my first choice but ended up being not at all bad. If you end up going that direction and want to talk about it feel free to email. Best to you,

Lorraine said...

Hmmm - maybe old vessels is part of my problem, too? I never really thought about that angle.

In any case, I'm glad it all worked out - it's nice to get some extra reassurance that all is well. Plus, I am envious of your copious fluid. And your five pound baby! Sounds manly!

Good luck with the turning-around. My little guy has been head down for a while now, and I'm just hoping he doesn't figure out how to flip now. Sending all flipping vibes your way!

Michele said...

So glad all is well!!

cindyhoo2 said...

Yay! All so reassuring and I love that the doc was so proctive.

embieadoptmom said...

I LOVE TEST!! Just what a mommy needs to feel comforted, safe and know her baby is okay! LOVE THE PIC-I do the SAME THING-camera EVERYWHERE :) HUGS!

Christina said...

So glad that everything is ok!

Anonymous said...

What a relief! So glad it all came out well - I understand babies can flip around quite a bit until the last month, so you still have a few weeks? Of course, my expertise is all gleaned from ... who knows where?!

You look amazing and I'm very annoyed that I look more pregnant than you do. Hopefully that will be a self-fulfilling prophecy!

IVF 40+ said...

Yeah, I echo all the others - thank goodness everything came out all OK!

Lara (NoodleGirl) said...

Wow scary!! But thank goodness everything came out OK and you got some sneak peeks at the little tyke! How does it work these days with a breach? I'm sure he'll get into position soon, but if he didn't, would they default to a c-section? Here's to hoping that he goes topsy-turvy again!

stillhopeful said...

So glad all worked out well. I was sent to L&D, too, when they thought I might be leaking fluid, which I wasn't. I was a little nervous at first, but then actually enjoyed it - seeing contractions, heartbeat, and an extra u/s. Which also showed the baby breech for me, too. But Aysia flipped by next OB appt (not that it mattered, I went with the C anyway!). If you definitely want the vaginal birth, though, just be sure to talk to your OB about doing version, and the timing for that, so you don't miss the window.

K said...

Well that's one way to get a quick ultrasound. But seriously, so happy everything is ok. And, I'd say you've made it to the safety zone - as in home free. ;) Everything will be fine!

Serendipity said...

Glad to hear everything is well, I know that trip to the hospital and the wait to get the monitors on is really stressful.

It's crazy that the measurements hae such a wide margin of error, looks like you could be having a big bubba though!

twondra said...

I found your blog through another blog. I have recently adopted embryos and will be undergoing a FET the end of Feb. I'm anxious to find others going through the same thing as us!

I'm soooo glad everything is okay!!

I hope it's okay I continue to follow you. (((HUGS)))


just me, dawn said...

Oh so glad that all is well....and hoping the little bugger flips back around just as easily as he did this time!

Fran said...

What a day! You were great at not being too worried, and sure it must have been lovely to get just double checked! you are nearly there, but there is definitely time for the little boy to turn around and get ready for birth! Love, Fran

tireegal68 said...

wow -that's some serious drama! So glad everything worked out well - though I am sorry to hear that the little guy is not cooperating position wise.
Sorry I have been MIA - I have been reading but no time to comment.
the post about your husband finally getting the whole birth thing and that we are not in the 1950s made me laugh out loud and I had to tell my DW about it.
I think it's really smart to have this information come from someone other than you - that way the guy is much more likely to believe it and not just dismiss it as nagging or complaining. So glad he is finally getting it!!!!!