Up until this point in pregnancy I've considered myself blessed to have a very active and reactive baby. It is rare that I go long between feeling movements. And if I do, usually a little poke or a position change will get a reaction out of this baby. Basically, this one doesn't like to be bothered and will let me know about it.
Over two days the baby had really slowed down in amount of movements. I know that around 32 weeks most babies do slow down because they are running out of room and have been watching and waiting for that. On Monday, the second quiet day, I woke up from a nap and wasn't getting any reaction from the baby. Usually just rolling over in bed and certainly getting up and using the bathroom gets a good set of wiggles out of this baby. But this time, nothing. I poked and pushed and didn't get a reaction. I tried changing positions and getting into positions that usually cause a reaction. I did what the books say: I drank a large glass of orange juice and laid down on my left side. Still no movement.
Slowly, I began to panic. You know how your mind can quickly jump to the worst-case scenario. I'm fabulous at doing that. And since I've been at the worst-case scenario in pregnancy I went there quickly. All I could think about was that I could not lose another baby and I could not break Makenna's little heart again. It rushed through my head that something was wrong with the baby and it was my fault because I'd foolishly bought a coming-home outfit. Finally, I got some reaction from the baby. I kept prodding and poking and then the baby got the hiccups. It was beyond a relief to feel that rhythmic pulsing of the hiccups.
Even though the baby was hiccupping there still wasn't a lot of movement which isn't normal during a hiccup session. I called Errol and we decided to call the doctor and go in for a quick check. Once at the doctor's the nurse did a quick listen with the Doppler and there was the heartbeat: strong and steady. She was ready to send me home but I asked if I could be put on the monitor. She didn't really want to bother (and I was so surprised about that!) but at my insistence asked the on-call doctor. Immediately the on-call doctor came in with my regular OB right behind her and they told me that they'd certainly monitor me and it was good that I came in.
I spent about 20 minutes with the fetal heart monitor and contraction monitor on. The heartbeat was steady and the baby was reactive. The OB decided to also do an ultrasound for a complete biophysical profile. All of baby's movements and tone were reacting just fine. She was concerned about the levels of the amniotic fluid. Her measurements found them in the low range of normal. So, I'm to drink much more water and rest more. Then the levels will be re-checked by ultrasound at the end of the week. I happened to have an ultrasound already scheduled to check for growth and they'll be able to check the amniotic fluid levels at the same time.
Apparently, the fluid levels can affect the ease of movement for the baby and this may or may not explain why I'm not feeling as much action as I was. I hope this change in amount of movement is not a permanent one because I've really grown accustomed to the baby's pattern and this new one scares me. It is going to be a long 6 weeks while I wait for this baby to be born.