Thursday, February 3, 2011

Err on the Side of Caution

Several years ago, a cousin of mine who was five months pregnant went to the doctor because she felt no fetal movement. Sadly, she waited days before saying anything and lost her baby. She then went through a nightmare of induced labor for 24 hours combined with an allergic reaction to the inducing medicine that caused her to vomit the entire time.

About a year ago, a co-worker was nine months pregnant, felt no movement but wouldn't call the doctor because she had an appointment in a couple of days, anyway. She lost her baby, all of her organs shut down and she was pronounced dead before she came back to life and was in ICU for many days just barely living.
Recently, she and her husband had a healthy baby girl but I'll never forget the look of devastation on her face when she finally returned to work after what happened.

Well, we all have our pregnancy horror stories, whether ours personally or someone else's, that we can call upon at any time. I was thinking of these lately because over the past couple of days I'd noticed reduced fetal activity. Logically I knew that at this late stage a fetus is not going to have the same strong kicks or as much room to move around but I was still concerned, and was keeping a close watch on any movement.
Then this morning I went about five hours with no movement at all. Even after eating breakfast, which always meant heavy fetal activity, there was nothing. I felt very uneasy and called the doctor. They told me to come to the hospital right away and take a non-stress test and amniotic fluid intake test. They didn't have to tell me twice!
It felt strange, like I'd lost this vital connection I believe I have with my baby, and that was scary.
I was seen right away and as soon as the nurse put the monitors on my stomach, Jessie began moving and kicking and her heart rate was strong. The AFI showed good results, too. And this afternoon there's been a lot of movement again.

The thought crossed my mind I may be overreacting but I didn't let that stop me. I feel it's always best to err on the side of caution, and this was repeated to me by the nurse who told me to never hesitate no matter what the time because that's what they are there for.

So I left the hospital relieved but drained, even managed a bit of grocery shopping and I was happy to return home to a quiet and peaceful house.
It's been a rough week. I've been sick with a cold that's turned into a sinus infection and something is wrong with my knee. The pain is excruciating and I can barely walk. I've had to spend more than one night asleep in a recliner due to the congestion and I think that may have caused this latest flare up. Since I've been on bed rest the knee problems occur on occasion.

My father passed away nearly eight years ago, but I still feel a connection to him. When I first found out I was pregnant, I clearly heard my father say to me, "You will have a healthy baby but it will be very hard." This wasn't the first time he's come through to me letting me know I would have a baby but I've held on to these particular words all these months.
I've reminded myself of them every time there's been an emergency, and there have been many. Sometimes I feel strong in that truth, other times, it's a struggle and then I feel bad for doubting it. But at the same time I would never ignore what I see as my responsibilities in caring for this pregnancy because of these words.

I find there is so much about pregnancy that can make a woman doubt herself. Or is it just me that thinks this? Whatever the case, this time is great practice for believing and trusting in myself and my strength.


  1. So glad all is well Tree. As a nurse, I've come to appreciate a patient's own intuitions and have seen lives saved because someone spoke up and another was willing to listen. Warm wishes!

  2. Pregnancy surely does strange things to the mind and body.

    I am glad you listened to yourself and your baby - I've seen too many mommas lose their babies...I am always very paranoid about fetal movement!

    Take care of yourself and get all the rest you can get before your little princess arrives.

    Any word on whether or not she has flipped?

  3. Thanks Wendilea and Steph.
    No flip yet! As soon as my knee is better I will start exercises.