This morning the little oyster and I had our 36 week checkup. Our normal ob is on hospital rounds this week so we saw someone else.
When I say the little oyster, I’m talking about the same little joker who refused to face the right way for her ultrasound pictures, who used to stop moving when her dad would try to feel her kicks, and who often waits until I have just managed to get comfortable in bed before flipping herself over and pushing with all her might–and her fingernails–against the unsupported side of my belly. Oyster’s got jokes.
And she pulled one today on the substitute ob. When our normal ob listens to the oyster’s heart rate, she listens long enough to get the average beats per minute and then waits a few seconds longer to see if her heart rate increases temporarily, the sign of a happy, responsive little fetus. Normally it takes longer to get the jelly stuff squirted out of the bottle than it takes to hear what we’re listening for.
Oh ho, but not today. The substitute ob started listening on one side of my belly. And then the other side. And then she held the wand there…and held it…and held it…and held it…and held it…while we listened to the little oyster’s heart beat gallop along at a mile a minute.
Substitute ob: Did you drink a lot of coffee today?
Me: No, none.
Substitute ob: Your baby sounds like she has somewhere to be.
And so to make sure that the elevated heart rate was either a) a fluke or b) temporary, the substitute ob checked me for other signs of labor (none, although the little oyster is head down and preparing for launch!) and then sent me to the fetal monitoring room to be monitored for half an hour.
In that room I sat in a puffy chair with my feet up, some monitors on my belly, a stack of parenting magazines, and a cup of cold water, which I sipped mostly because I was thirsty and partly because the cold water made the baby move and she’s not the only one who can play games.
I can always feel her move and I can often see her move, but to be able to listen to her move on top of that was very cool. At the end of our sensory adventure, the print out of her heart rate showed a perfectly normal, happy, responsive little oyster tucked in there and I went to work.
On Wednesday we see our normal ob for the second of our weekly-until-she-is-born visits. After that appointment, which the husband will come to, we’ll go to meet with the pediatrician we think we want her to see and decide if we really do. And then we’ll go home and twiddle our thumbs until she makes her grand appearance which, we decided today, we’re going to try the old fashioned way.
But with her in the go position–the bullet’s in the chamber but the safety is on, as the husband puts it–tonight we made buying and washing baby sheets our priority. This weekend the car seat will go in and Dietrich’s overnight bag will get packed. Next week we’ll order the little baby bath tub I want to use for her and then we’ll sit and wait.