Tuesday was the beginning of my weekly doctor appointments through the end of my pregnancy. I have two doctors monitoring me and the baby, my OB who will actually deliver Baby C and my perinatologist who has been monitoring my blood pressure and the baby's growth more specifically than my OB has. Welcome to my high risk pregnancy world... It hasn't been all awful though, outside of the first few appointments at the perinatologist office where they told me repeatedly that I could die or the baby could die or we could both die. That kind of talk doesn't mix well with a newly pregnant mama but that's a book to be written later.
My weekly visits to the perinatologist will consist of a non-stress test and a quick ultrasound. I get a monitor strapped to my belly and I sit in a big comfy recliner and press a little button every time I feel the baby move. There's a print out of the baby's heart rate and little tics for the movements I record and although they weren't very specific, I understand they're looking for a correlation and a certain number of movements. The ultrasound is to check the level of amniotic fluid, to see that the baby is practicing breathing motions, and then to see some movement from the baby as well. I think the whole thing is supposed to take an hour. Ki and I were there for almost three on Tuesday.
Baby C definitely already has a personality. I know there's a whole argument over nature versus nurture and I do think there are ways to nurture a personality, but after my experiences with my nieces and nephew, I think babies are definitely born with building blocks of a personality. I didn't know before I was pregnant that I would catch a glimpse of that personality before the baby was even born though!
Part of my baby's personality is the unwillingness to share information that is specifically being sought freely. The ultrasound tech tried at three different appointments to get a clear picture of Baby C's face and finally just printed out the two that are partially blocked by arms and hands because it was obvious it wasn't going to happen any other way. They are looking to measure specific things and my baby never fully cooperates right away. The baby won't move over the way they need to get a clear picture of what's going on. S/he is very wiggly but not always in the most cooperative way for these appointments. I see some of myself in this because I am willing to share information but I really prefer it to be on my own terms. I don't always have to be in complete control of things but I won't necessarily share EVERYTHING with EVERYONE. I used to get so mad at my mom because I'd tell her things and she'd tell my aunt and grandmother before I was ready for them to know. I think I'm going to have to watch that with this kid.
So they found a spot where the baby's heart beat could be picked up well and strapped me in and gave me the clicker. After awhile though, the baby actually flipped over and became super active. I clicked away, but the heart rate wasn't being recorded because the baby had moved so drastically. We had to stay extra long to try to find a spot where the heart rate would be picked up AND get the baby to wiggle some more. I think they only kind of got what they needed but were satisfied that the baby is obviously very active. Then during the ultrasound, the amniotic fluid level was great and the baby was making strong breathing motions. All that the ultrasound tech needed was a nice big wiggle to be able to say she saw it happen.
My husband's default mode is pretty laid back. He gets worked up about stuff and moves quickly in specific situations but default is easy going. I often wake him up and help him get going and I know there are times when I shrug his shoulders or kiss him several times that he is actually awake even though he hasn't opened his eyes yet. Apparently this is also how our child is.
The ultrasound tech used the doppler (the wand thing) to jostle my belly pretty thoroughly. Then she paused to see the baby move. S/he did not at all. So she picked a different spot and did the same jostling thing. All three of us watched the baby get shaken around a bit and so it was kind of especially funny that time when after she paused, the baby really didn't react. I wanted to laugh so hard but I was afraid the tech was going to get annoyed with me so I stifled it. She did it a third time with the same result. Nothing. There was a slight foot wiggle but that was about it. She continued to scan and the baby's heart was beating just fine and the breathing motions were still happening so I wasn't alarmed at all. Just severely amused. Finally and suddenly, the arms and legs all moved around at the same time and the ultrasound tech sighed with relief and clicked off the machine.
I'm just so excited to get to hold this little one in my arms and kiss those cheeks and see if I'm right about it not phasing him or her even a tiny bit. I hope that he or she will run to my arms when someone is jostling them around but I kind of think this kid will be able to handle it just fine at a pretty early age. I could be completely wrong but I'm just as eager to find that out.
Officially 8 weeks to go!