I am greatly in need of reassurance, because I’ve entered into a new world of terror. For six months all I’ve thought about is my babies dying. (Okay, that’s not ALL I thought about, but it’s been my overarching fear.) Then, for the last few weeks, what with the constant kicking and every week bringing me closer to viability, that fear has eased.
Now I have a new fear: my babies coming out damaged in some way. And the little monsters apparently are in on it, because they’ve (almost) completely stopped kicking. Maybe that’s an exaggeration—I can’t really tell, because I wasn’t timing or counting the movements before. They’re definitely still alive in there—each one checks in occasionally. But both babies’ movements seem have become less frequent and much fainter.
Here’s what happened (in my paranoid cause-and-effect way of thinking): I think (but am not sure) that everything was normal (i.e. lots of strong movement, mostly twisting type stuff) as of last Wednesday. Then, on Thursday night, I had a really really bad night. I had an incredibly stressful day at work, and my day-long pounding on my keyboard triggered some sort of muscle spasm behind my left shoulder. That night, I discovered for the first time that I couldn’t lie on my back for even a minute or two (before this I tried not to lie on my back, but I kept waking up in that position so I knew it was happening anyway) without the dizzy/heart-racing/nausea feeling that lets you know that the babies are, in fact, crushing the vena cava. And though I never believed that this also could happen sleeping on the right side, it seemed that I was getting that sensation sleeping on that side as well (or maybe I was having a panic attack). And my left side had this throbbing shoulder and sleeping on that was killing me as well.
Sometime in the middle of the night I got up to pee, eat, and see if I could do something about my shoulder. When this shoulder problem used to happen, I could spend 15 minutes lying on my back with one of my “miracle balls” (used for physical therapy) between my shoulder blades. Despite my concerns about lying on my back, I tried this. And despite the fact that I was feeling panicky and dizzy, I stayed there for a few minutes. (Not sure how long—definitely under 5 minutes.) Baby A was kicking when I started this, then his kicks faded away.
A few minutes later I got up and tried to ice my shoulder while lying on my recliner. But the dizzy/panicky feeling remained. At this point I don’t know if it was the pain, a panic attack, or an actual circulation problem. Baby B gave some feeble kicks, and I think I got some movement from Baby A, so I knew they were both still alive after my admittedly foolish move.
And then I started to worry (and yes, this really does sound crazy to me). What if I cut off their blood supply enough to damage them, but not kill them? What if I have brain-damaged babies in there now? What if I’ve ruined their lives, and our lives in the bargain?
The thing is, these thoughts probably would have eased by now but my babies have chosen this moment to go into partial hibernation! Every day they kick—I know they’re alive. But it’s NOTHING like what I was feeling in the past few weeks, or even earlier this week. (Actually, I think Baby B is about where she was before with movement. But Baby A—my baby that NEVER stops moving—seems to kick only rarely now and weakly.)
My rational explanation: earlier this week, for both babies, the kicking was surpassed by a lot of strange twisty motions. (Very hard to describe, but I imagine some of you know what I mean.) My rational guess is that the babies have changed position—or at least Baby A has changed position—and now his kicks aren’t in a place that I feel as much. I also wonder if they’ve gotten bigger and don’t have the leverage to kick like they used to. Or maybe there was just a growth spurt and he’s tired out.
But my rational explanation isn’t doing much for my mounting paranoia/terror. I’ve already decided that if this doesn’t change by Monday I’ll probably call my doctor and see what they think. But for now, please tell me, is this normal?