Can’t hear a heart beat —- panic

My way of dealing with a problem is to google it to death, and then to throw money at it.  After the several thousand rand I have spent on psychiatrists and psychologists trying to get them to understand me and explain me to me – I have realized that at the end of the day, when the lights are off and everyone is asleep, I know me best.  Just to clarify, I know me best, but I still don’t know why I do half the cr&p I do, and think the thoughts I do.

I started to get stressed during my third pregnancy and realized there really was no logical way to reason with me.  Kennith had tried several times, and had now chosen to lie there and continue flicking through channels and he ignored me. He realized that logical arguments supported by pie charts may not be the thing that was going to break through to me when I was this far gone down the river of illogical.

I had read the baby books to the point where I could quote them, and I am not sure if they were helping or adding to my general apprehension. I am not sure exactly what I was stressed about other than everything.  I was just worried that somehow my walking, breathing, eating and existing was somehow going to damage this child.

I decided that I was going to get a heart rate monitor and listen to my baby’s heart beat.  Sure the fact that he/she had a heart beat may not tell me she had 10 fingers and 10 toes, and whether the bean would qualify for MENSA, but a regular heart beat was a good place to start.

I also realized that if I popped in to my OBGYN every time I had a panic – my medical aid and I would soon part company under very strained circumstances.  I gave it some thought and gave it a google – as you do – and realized one can obtain hand-held dopplers through which you can hear your baby’s heart beat in the comfort of your own home.

Now I did not really need to be sold up on this one.  I did a bit of reading to see what the general consensus was in terms of the possibility that they would cause damage to the fetus, and it all seemed to be rather non-consequential.

Further looking brought me right back to the lovely ladies at www.fertilitree.com and heavens-still-my-anxiety but they had a Doppler one could rent. I ordered it via the web and tah-dah it arrived.  Of course I tried to use it as soon as I picked it up at the post office.  I pulled up my shirt and stuck it on my tummy.  There was nothing – you should have seen me panic then!!

But it seems, like many things, it works best with a generous slap of KY jelly – to act as a conductor or what ever.  So there I was at home, on my bed, with about a litre of KY spread across my belly and trying to find a heart beat.

The relief when you hear the duff-duff-duff-duff is indescribable.  I decided to do it every second day for a no more than a minute – and it made me feel so much better.  Kennith just grumbled that it was really noisy, did not seem to work and there was only so long that he could sit on the bed next to me and coo about how great it was.

I spoke to the OBGYN as I did not want my baby over-exposed to anything, and he assured me that it was fine, I could listen for as long as I liked when ever I liked.  If it made me feel better, then great.

That’s the kind of advise I was looking for.   Pregnancy is really stressful, there is so much to worry about both real and more imaginary. I realize there is very little you can do to change anything.  So what is going to happen is going to happen irrelevant to what you do or don’t do – but for me, if I felt I was doing something – at least it would ease some of the stress.

Hearing my baby’s heart beat each day when I got home from work, was definitely a stress ease for me, if only for a little.

Congratulations …… it’s an Enema

My first pregnancy was pretty uneventful.

At the time you worry about whether you are standing too close to the microwave or have you eaten too many carrots and poisoned your child with excesses of vitamin A.

The things that your mind can worry about are pretty endless.  They tend to be the kind where your little eyes pop open from a peaceful sleep to worry and fret, while your husband/partner/sperm donor snores on peacefully.

Sidebar:  I’ve suffered from IBS in varying degrees for years.  This particular year it seemed to have increased in intensity. I had weeks of swelling and unbelievable cramping.  Eventually I made an appointment at a gastroenterologist.  I was not quite sure what one did – I had to look it up in the Yellow Pages and they had a helpful diagram which pointed to the body part and told me which specialist I would need – very clever marketing.  I was beyond caring and just wanted him to take the pain go away.

While examining me I had to lie on the bed in a fetal position as there was no way I could lie flat with that amount of cramping. He sent me along for the standard (and non-conclusive) blood work and then decided that a barium enema was just the thing to cheer a young girl like me up.

I happily took enough laxatives , ate my body weight in Buscopan and limped along to the x-ray to leave whatever was left of my flagging dignity while a doctor and a nurse shoved what was the equivalent of a garden hose up my bottom – all while trying to make small talk with me.  Me trying to hide my face and just weep quietly into the hospital issue pillow.

After a few more days of lying on the couch in what really was an inert position and moaning or whimpering, Kennith bravely suggested a pregnancy test, and as history can reveal it was positive.

I could not have been more surprised and had been so sick that trying to track my menstrual cycle did not really seem very important at the time.

Generally X-rays and Buscopan are not recommended as part of a diet during the early days of conception, so we had every reason  to be a tad worried.  We had a wonderfully knowledgeable OBGYN who he sent us a long for a few extra fetal assessment scans to put us all at ease.

We saw our little bean bobbing around in the amniotic fluid.  We were so full of smiles and good times that none of us noticed the cataclysmic H-bomb that that little bean had in his back pocket.

I fondly recall hours of lying on the bed on a Saturday afternoon reading my book and dozing off whilst a trail of saliva pooled on the pillow to wake me from my afternoon slumber.

It was all so pleasant, so idyllic, little did I know that there was a shocking awakening approaching …..