The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Last week I had to go for what they call a fetal non-stress test, or NST.
Baby Girl had been really active over the weekend. We were painting the nursery and running errands, and she was kicking away like normal. Monday we went to see the doctor (another doctor this time; I think we may have seen all of the midwives by now) and everything was measuring on track, and her heartbeat was in the 130s. But the appointment was first thing in the morning, and the whole rest of the day, I hardly felt her move at all. By that night I was getting concerned. We listened to her heartbeat on the Doppler, but it was harder to find than usual. I thought maybe she was turned around backwards and I just couldn't feel her like I had been, but I was still concerned. I told Craig that if she wasn't back to normal by Tuesday, I would call the doctors' office.
Tuesday was a busy work day in the morning, but I tried to get her moving like usual with a nice, cold, sweet, chocolatey Carnation Instant Breakfast. She wasn't having it. Barely a kick or two. So I called the doctor's office and one of the nurses called me back. She asked a bunch of questions about what I had tried, and offered that as the baby gets bigger I may not feel her move as much because she has less room to do so. But she said what they could do is have me come down and hook me up to the monitors and see how it goes, so that's what I did.
It was easy enough to do. They sat me in a big recliner (like the one in the lab they sit you in if you're going to pass out!) and hooked up a fetal heart rate monitor and a contraction monitor. She had a hard time placing the heart rate monitor because someone didn't like the belt it was attached to, and squirmed away more than once. Then the nurse gave me a button to push every time I felt the baby move. And we waited, and watched the machine slowly churn out a roll of paper with squiggly lines on it.
At one point Baby Girl was being kind of sluggish so the nurse said we could try the buzzer. She showed me what the buzzer felt like on my leg before she put it on my stomach, and sure enough it produced a small BZZZT and a vibration. When she activated it on my stomach, Baby Girl JUMPED. I think we may have startled her! Poor little muffin, just trying to get a nap in there, with us bugging her, hee hee.
After the test was over the nurse told me everything looked fine, but they were going to have me see the doctor anyway. Coincidentally, the doctor I ended up seeing is the same one we're going to go see next week. He was really nice, and told me again that everything seemed fine, and he measured me. He said that he is all for someone coming down and doing an NST if there is a concern because it's so easy and non-invasive to do, and it also lets everyone be reassured. So he was glad I called and decided to come down if I was worried, and told me to feel free to do so at any time.
So yes, Baby Girl was just fine, she was just having a couple of lazy days. She's been pretty active since. This week (31 weeks!) I've noticed that I feel her pretty much all the time in some way. It's a lot of rolling or small movements, but I have a feeling that with much less space to move around in, she's pushing against me more and doing less floating.
It makes me happy and excited every time she moves. Even last night when she had her foot square up in my ribs. It's totally worth it to know she's okay in there, and that she'll be on the outside with us soon!
(Also, for the record, I forgot to mention that the results of my glucose tolerance test were just fine, and I do NOT have gestational diabetes! Yay!)