Disclaimer: This will be a little bit longer of a post, sorry.
To go along with my theme of paranoia, I feel that I must get something off my chest. I had a major freakout last week. You may recall that I went out on a boat last weekend. Well, beforehand, the seed had been planted in my mind by the worriers that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to go boating while pregnant. Well, as you know, I said pshaw to that, and went out. What I didn’t say was that after the first time we hit a wake while I was up front I had a little shadow of doubt about how good of an idea it was for me to be out there. Of course, after the first bump, I moved back to where it wasn’t nearly as jostly. (Yes, I made up that word.) While we were on the boat, I felt a little baby kick, but after the boat ride, and the entire next day, I felt nothing.
I didn’t really worry about it until about 4pm when I stood up after a long and boring meeting at work. I had to pee so badly that I bolted straight out of the room, dropped the laptop at my desk, and did the pee-pee dance down the hall. Well, the second I stood up, not only did I have to pee, but I felt a pretty nasty cramping sensation that didn’t disappear after I went to the bathroom. So I started freaking out and imagining the worst.
Taking matters into my own hands, I left a voicemail for my OB’s nurse, and then stopped by Occupational Health so that they could listen to my tummy with a stethoscope, knowing full well that it wouldn’t be strong enough for a heartbeat but hoping for the best. After 10 minutes of being listened to and hearing nothing but “I just hear bowel sounds; at least something’s working!” I decided to give up on our equivalent of the school nurse.
On the way home I stopped by the place where I had gotten my ultrasound so that I could beg them to just listen for a heartbeat and calm my nerves, but, alas, their doors were locked and the lights turned off. So I went home to wait and wait and wait for a little something. I knew I was probably being paranoid about absolutely nothing, but I still felt all nervous and worried. Thank goodness, not long after I got home, Nurse Sherri called me back. She asked a few questions and said “hmm” a couple of times. She didn’t say not to worry. Instead, she said, “drink some caffeine and eat some sugar and then lie down on your side. If you don’t feel anything after 20 minutes, call the on-call doctor.”
So I hung up and went to the fridge. The only thing I could find in our house that had sugar was a jar of grape jelly, and I wasn’t about to eat jelly for dinner. What’s the best option in this type of emergency when all you have in your house is health food? McDonalds, of course!
Baby needs sugar and caffeine…what better excuse for junk food can a girl get? I hopped in the car and drove to Mickey D’s where I ordered a quarterpounderwithcheese meal. I managed to consume roughly 1100 calories, 45 grams fat (69% daily value), 1475 milligrams sodium, 146 carbs, 8 grams fiber, 33 grams protein, 45.6 mg of caffeine …. Very impressive. In case you don’t believe me, McDonald’s posts their nutritional information here. It took about 35 minutes for me to feel anything but bloated. But instead of feeling the baby kick, I felt my own heart start pounding heavier. It must have been the sugar and caffeine hitting MY bloodstream. But I felt nothing from the baby as I had expected.
Ronny called me from San Diego and as soon as I started voicing my concerns, the tears started flowing. I can’t help it; when I get scared (or angry), I cry. Plus, I hear that pregnancy makes a girl hormonal. He told me not to worry and to go upstairs and listen to our little heart monitor that my dad, the ever-enduring treasure hunter, had bought for 5 bucks at a garage sale.
The thingamagig, called Bebe Sounds, is a little battery operated gadget with two sets of headphones that you push against your belly. It basically acts like a super-strong stethoscope, so you can hear all kinds of gross and magical things going on.Well, as I lay there in my bed, I heard nothing but the churning of the quarter pounder and my own sugar- and caffeine-addled heartbeat. For 10 minutes I just lay there, moving the monitor to spot after spot on my belly, without any sign of a live baby in there.
Then, suddenly, from the left side of my belly, just above the knob of my pelvis bone, felt a little shuffle, heard a little “sluurrrph,” and then sensed the faintest little “puh-puh-puh-puh-puh-puh-puh” sound, super-quiet and fast. I froze, alert, like a dog on point, and heard the most beautiful song in the world, our little baby’s heartbeat. I immediately looked at my clock and waited for the minute to change, then vigilantly counted out 158 (I think) little heartbeats in one big minute. I listened for a couple more minutes and then “sluurrrph,” then silence. The baby must have rolled over because the heartbeat went mute.
But I didn’t care. I heard all that I needed to hear. It was enough to actually make me say a little prayer of gratitude, which, if you know me, you know is completely out of character for me.
So, the baby went quiet, as did my panic, so I went downstairs to watch the rest of the Broncos game on Monday Night Football. I’m thinking we must have a little male football fan in there because from the second I lay down in front of the boob tube, that baby wouldn’t stop kicking. It’s the best feeling in the world!