I seriously need to stop stressing when I go to a prenatal appointment. I thought for sure that the perspective of using a doppler this time instead of performing an actual ultrasound would make it easier for me to deal with. But nope. My anxiety was through the roof, and as a result: my pulse was about 120 BPM. Crazy! I’m usually somewhere around 80; nice and slow. I told the nurse I was stressed and she said not to worry … Like that’s going to help. But then, what else could she say, right? My blood pressure was fine. My weight gain was a little surprising (one kilo in one week *ouch*). And then when we finally proceeded with the doppler, I recognized Baby’s heartbeat right away. I could recognize that sound anytime anywhere, including the loud kicks and sudden movements. What a relief it was! The doctor seemed happy about Baby’s heart rate. She said it was varying a lot between 145 and 160, which is apparently excellent. I’m still confused about the whole variation, but she assured me that was a good thing. I remember them telling me the same with Sam … I guess I’ll just have to trust it. She also checked my pulse after we’d heard our baby’s heart, and it immediately dropped back to my usual 80 BPM. Crazy, right?
I guess the reason why I was so stressed out this time is because I made a bad movement on Monday evening. I was sitting on the couch and suddenly tried to lean forward to grab something, when I felt the most horrible pain in my belly (right where the baby is). Good God, it felt like I had ripped something from the inside! It was really quite horrible. I still felt sore the next day. And what worried me even more at that point was that I no longer felt what I had assumed was fetal movement in the past couple of weeks. I thought “okay, the baby’s dead. I killed it.” Seriously.
So, Tuesday is when I finally grabbed myself together and pulled out the home doppler we purchased in December. I decided to give it a shot and see if I could find a heartbeat. I have to say, even at 16 weeks, it took some searching. But I did find it. It sounded exactly like it did at the doctor’s office a while ago, and the only thing that worried me was that the heart rate number that showed on the screen was suspiciously low. It kept varying between 120 and 130. While so far, this baby’s always been around 160 BPM. So that didn’t seem right. At that point I thought to myself “I guess my baby is dying a slow death inside of me and there’s nothing I can do, and neither can any doctor in the world as I’m barely 16 weeks.” As I realized I’m still powerless during this second trimester, I strangely managed to calm myself down and then spent a nice relaxing evening. Oh the extreme brain and thought process of a stillbirth mother … It’s hardcore.
After this whole scare, I actually read that home dopplers try to calculate the baby’s heart rate by interpreting the sound of the beat, and since I kept losing it while baby was moving, and that the heart rate itself was actually varying (which I know now after this morning’s appointment), the doppler basically had a hard time calculating an accurate number. Conclusion: I will from now on give more credit to the actual sound than the number on the screen. It’s not too hard to tell whether it’s similar to what we hear at the doctor’s office. So that’s good enough for me.
I clinged to the hope that Baby was still fine. We did some shopping the next day (Wednesday). Mainly because we were initially looking for speakers to connect to my doppler. The first time I used it, I connected headphones to it. But the sound can be quite loud and sudden, and basically scare the shit out of me, no matter how I set the volume. So, I need speakers for future use!
I love anything kitsch and ridiculous, so when we saw these brown teddy bear speakers, I was like “Alright! I found it!” Now, come to think of it, this will be adorable in the nursery when I want to play music from my iPod. The quality is surprisingly GOOD! Wow. Definitely didn’t expect something so silly to sound so good.
Then we got a little carried away and bought a stuffed Yoda, because that’s what cool babies chew and drool on. As well as some socks and clothes. We tried to be as gender neutral as possible. But I guess you can tell we’re assuming this one will be a boy …
Then after my appointment this morning, I decided to release some pressure by heading to a maternity store. I didn’t even really know what I was going to end up buying, as I honestly didn’t really need anything in particular. But I ended up buying some 2 piece swimwear, as well as the most comfortable maternity pyjama pants ever:
The reason why I purchased swimwear in January is because the doctor explained what I felt in my belly on Monday. She said most likely it was round ligament pain; basically muscles getting moved and stretched in an awkward position. My body’s still trying to adjust to the growing belly, and I guess it’s doing a poor job at times, like on Monday. I asked her if a support band for my belly might help, and she advised against it. She said it would take over my muscles’ job, and she wants my muscles to stay active and remain fit. So, she said it might be a good idea for me to start swimming more during this pregnancy. Apparently it’s the best type of gentle exercise.
– Swimming pool, here I come!