Well what a crazy few weeks it has been! I think a years worth of struggling and heartache just happened all at once and trapped me in a little bubble oblivious to the rest of the world.
I had my first midwife check at 27wks at my local GP’s and they took blood, urine, bump measurements and a blood pressure reading. My midwife asked if I’d been feeling ok and I told her we’d not long gone to the hospital, as I’d not seen any antenatal staff for such a long time but all was fine. And then she asked if I’d felt the baby move and if he was still nice and active and I mentioned that he hadn’t been moving as much as normal but that I thought it was because he was getting bigger and had less space. She shocked me a little when she stressed how important it is to go straight to hospital if the baby’s movements change but I put it to the back of my head for the best part of the week. It wasn’t until several days later when we were visiting family and Luca’s mum asked if she could feel the baby kick when I realised I hadn’t felt him, for almost a week! Usually he would be kicking all day and I’d bore Luca a little by constantly chasing him in the evening to find his hand and rest it on my bump to feel every little kick several times every hour or so. But the more I thought about it soon I realised he had gradually quietened off and it had been at the midwife check that I first noticed but did nothing about it.
So I telephoned the out of hours surgery and they advised me to drink milk, but no movement. Then I tried a warm bath whilst drinking cold water and still nothing. I massaged oil into my bump, which normally has him kicking… nothing but silence. And finally I lay on my left side and waited but he just wouldn’t move. It was the strangest feeling as if he had left and I had no sensation of him ever being there, I look forward to his little wiggles and kicks everyday because it’s such an indescribable feeling having a baby move, but to notice the absence of movement is heartbreaking. So after all attempts we were ordered to the hospital and the staff put us on the heart monitor with two stretchy bands over my bump and monitors which dug in and made Gabriele very angry! But there he was, kicking and fussing about somewhat annoyed that he was being put under such inspection.
It took the machine a short while to find the minimum criteria for movement and heartbeat, but the nurse who saw us was a little concerned that she couldn’t feel the baby move when the monitor was showing movement and increased heartbeat. And even when I said how relieved I was when I felt the smallest pang inside she was still unable to detect anything. So she sent us home to see if his movements would pick up overnight. But by the second morning it was just the same so we were ordered back in.
They put us on the machine again but this time it took a lot longer for the machine to pick up movement and the nurse prepared us for a possible overnight stay for monitoring. We had a window of five more minutes on the machine before a specialist would have to be called in to take over my care and it was a terrible tense time. Even though his little heartbeat was there it was so slow and low and he wasn’t moving half as much as he should despite the monitoring bands digging into my stomach he didn’t even put up a fuss. But fortunately one minute before the deadline he did an almighty kick and the machine beeped as criteria met. So again they let us go, but booked us for a scan and monitoring the next morning as they needed to be sure they had done all they could.
So day three we returned and were back on the monitor first thing in the morning again. I felt a lot calmer and reassured to hear his little heartbeat and to know that each day he was still with us, just silently. The nurse left us on the machine for a lot longer than before to the point where I was desperate to run to the loo but couldn’t get away because of the machines. But then another nurse came in to study the heartbeat as she said the other lady had found it a bit confusing. And again my heart fell into my stomach as she showed me the wavy lines going up and down just like how Millie draws pictures of the seaside; the only problem being that she couldn’t find a baseline to the heartbeat because it kept rising and falling so quickly there was no steady resting pulse. By that time my hands were a little clammy and our scan couldn’t have come quicker!
When we got into the scan room I felt just as nervous as our 12wk check to make sure our little one was infact there and ok. The sonographer was very friendly and very quick, and he clicked away on the computer as he checked all different angles and measurements before showing us the screen. He ran through check on the heart, bloodflow, fluid and growth and as far as he could see all was fine and he was moving around as expected for his age and size. So we were completely baffled, it was a relief to know that he was fine but we still had no cause for what had happened. They told us he now weighs 2.8lbs and is head down, which has had us beaming from ear to ear just to know the smallest things about our little boy.
So the hospital sent us home and asked us to come back the following day if his movements hadn’t picked up. And when we got home I sat talking to him, asking him to be ok and to move for us, I drank milk and massaged my bump, took another bath and laid on my left side waiting and waiting, and then he moved! And I was so happy and sad and overwhelmed all at once it was the smallest yet greatest feeling in the world. Overnight and by the next day he gradually started to move a little more bit by bit until now when he is back to normal. We don’t know why he fell silent for so long, and the monitoring was so varied from day to day the nurses were baffled to find a cause as to why he had dropped so low. But now the worry is over and Luca can’t wait for me to tell him everytime that Gabriele kicks
The nurses parting advice is to keep check on his movements and if anything changes to come straight back, but they are confident that this could have been an isolated incident and he could continue completely normally from now on. But if it was to happen again then we’ll be staying in hospital for however long they deem necessary. So fingers crossed that it’s all over and our little one is bouncing back happily.
On another note, our little Millie has made us extremely proud by presenting and doing the voiceovers for our children’s educational videos, nursery rhymes and stories and in just one month she has reached 40,000 hits on youtube at only 4yrs old! So thinking it would be nice to put a little “well done” snippet for her in the celebration pages of our local newspaper I called in to surprise her, and we were delighted to hear that the paper was sending a photographer over to take pictures to feature the story. So Millie had her hair done all pretty and wore a new dress she had chosen and Millie, Luca and I had our picture taken with one of her videos on display! We’ve been told it will come out next week so it’s a lovely thing to look forward to and the family are all ready to go and get a copy!
I had my 29wk check at the Drs yesterday and again he took bloods and measurements and all is well again. Little Gabriele is growing well and kicking about like a little footballer and Millie is doing fantastic at school from her report that we had back today. We’re looking forward to our little family being in the paper and the final 10wks + 6days until we meet our little angel. We are so blessed to have such wonderful children. x x x x x x