We are 31 weeks along with B2K. The further we get into the pregnancy, the more nervous and scared I become. I didn’t realize it would be this way—I just imagined the whole experience would be scary. As time moves on, the stakes feel higher. All of the expectations that I try to keep at bay seem to find their way into my heart and mind. Every time we have an ultrasound of the baby I feel excited—nervous and frightened—but excited for what the future may bring. It’s difficult to stop from daydreaming about parenthood. All of those feelings that I had for my Rylan are resurfacing, and stronger. One thing I’ve learned is that remaining detached and having no expectations for my family’s future is impossible. Even if I could consciously block out those thoughts, I know that any loss with this pregnancy would be horrible. It wouldn’t be any less devastating than losing my Rylan.
I started kick counting within the past few weeks which I’ve found elevates my fear. I try to manage it, but it’s not easy. Kick counting helps to ensure that you are feeling enough movements throughout a day, but it also helps you to see a pattern of when those movements occur. I tend to freak out a little when those movements don’t happen at the same time of day or as frequent around those times. In the first week I found myself having one of those days. I was at work and started to panic. I decided to take a moment to step into one of the empty offices to lay down on my left side and concentrate. I talked to the baby. I prayed for movement. Luckily, I felt enough to ease my mind and get me back to the job. I received two different handouts explaining kick counting-one from my OB and one from the specialist we’re seeing. They both discussed the importance of feeling your baby’s movements but also explained how to do it a bit differently. One sheet instructs me to ensure that I feel 10 movements in 1 day, and to track how many hours it takes to hit that golden number. It includes a tracking chart on the back. The other sheet recommends that you should feel 10 movements in about 2 hours. So, what I’ve decided to do is a compromise between both. I xeroxed the sheet to have three. One for morning, one for afternoon, and one for evening. I ensure that I feel 10 movements within 2-3 hours. It can be intense but it helps me to focus on movements all day, especially staying on track on my busiest days. So far, so good. I believe kick counting is so important-not just for people who have lost a child but all pregnant women. Anything that seems irregular should initiate an immediate conversation with your doctor’s office.
After losing Ry I noticed how many people recommended (and swore by) counting your baby’s movements during pregnancy—I could not believe that my last OB office never even mentioned it to us the first time around. Looking back I can remember how they made me feel like our situation was so rare. That in their practice they maybe had 2-3 patients over the years who had lost babies to stillbirth. It made me feel so singled out and abnormal. They weren’t intentionally mean, but I definitely walked out of there feeling even more alone, like I did something wrong. Now, after all that we’ve been through—after all that I’ve read online about other parents who’ve lost their babies to stillbirth—I just see them as uneducated and overconfident. I can’t even tell you how happy I am to have found my new OB/GYN office. They have been so nice and accommodating throughout our second pregnancy. They are so sensitive to what we’ve gone through (and continue to go through) and are so reassuring and hopeful for our future. Some days I think I might return to the old office just to tell them how they can improve on their communication and patient relations following a tragedy—although they’d probably just dismiss me and consider me mad.
I’m proud to say that I’ve taken some steps forward—despite fears over another potential loss and the confusion over how to prepare for B2K and make this baby special without losing Rylan (or feel like I’m dismissing him) in the process. We revisited the nursery by changing just a few things. We exchanged the darker curtains that had been left hanging for a brighter, white and green pair. I traded out the “baby’s things” baskets that were overflowing with books and a half-empty toy box for a bookshelf that I assembled last weekend. It felt good to arrange the books and toys, consolidating some of the clutter and brightening up the room. I’m also adding a mobile to the room, which I am creating myself. It’s going to include 3 clouds made of felt, with hanging raindrops made out of small crystals. I will definitely post a photo of it later, assuming that my attempt at this art project is a success. So far I made the first cloud yesterday. 🙂
Well, I have to run. Well, maybe waddle is a better way to describe how I’m moving around these days. I promise to keep you posted as we get closer to B2K and thank you for being a part of our journey.