Friday, May 20, 2011

Just Relax

I absolutely *hated* this phrase when we were struggling with infertility. It is blaming, condescending, demoralizing, not to mention not factually based and no help at all!

But now I am telling myself these 2 words because in this instance they will actually do me some good.

I am taking a deep breath and trusting my baby to grow as she should, and trusting my body to help her do that.

I woke up this morning and listened to Katelyn's heartbeat. In true Carter-fashion, her heart was beating perfectly, just in time for our doctor's appointment. The little stinker. ;) It was a relief to hear it sounding so nice, but now I wondered how this appointment would go.

Of course, a couple hours later, it continued to beat beautifully as the Nurse G took a listen.

Just in case, Nurse G also took a peak with the ultrasound machine. She was surprised as Katelyn’s heart instantly came into view, a perfectly clear picture of all four chambers. Nurse G remarked that she hardly ever saw the four chambers of the heart so clearly on their ratty old machine. But there they were, beating and pumping away with a textbook rhythmic motion.

I asked Nurse G to listen to a recording of what Katelyn’s heart sounded like on Tuesday, with the missing beats. She did, but told me she couldn’t diagnose or give me much feedback on it. She said Katelyn must have been moving and that’s why I was losing heartbeats. I remain highly skeptical because I have heard the difference between losing heartbeats from movement and what I was hearing this time... but, I digress.

The next step in this process would be a fetal echo cardiogram. This would be done at Children’s Hospital. She asked if I wanted to take this next step. I told her not at this time. Instead, I’m going to “just relax”. And here’s why:
  • If a problem was discovered, they would not do anything while in utero. They would wait until Katelyn was born and then assess the issues at that time, if there were any. In other words, “There is nothing they can do for her now".

  • I will have several more check-ups and ultrasounds prior to delivery. As Katelyn grows, we could see any potential issues much more clearly. There isn’t any reason to think an irregular heartbeat will hurt her growth or delay her in any way at this point.

  • In another month or so, she will be too big to flip around in my uterus as much as she is now. Thus, if the heartbeat is still skipping, it could no longer be dismissed as “losing the heartbeat due to movement”.

  • In her ultrasound today, she was punching both hands and kicking both feet. Nurse G said that indicates she has good circulation to all her extremities and the blood is flowing well. If one side was limp, it would hint at a problem.

  • From what I’ve read on the internet (which we all know is the best place to get factual information – haha), most all of these cases resolve themselves on their own, with no explanation for the irregularity. There is no reason to think this will be any different.

  • Katelyn is an incredibly active baby. According to Nurse G, that is the number one indicator that the baby is healthy and thriving. It would be more productive to count kicks and monitor activity daily than to listen to the rate of her heartbeat.

  • The biggest reason I’ve decided to “just relax”? On Tuesday night, my husband gave me a priesthood blessing that has brought me a lot of comfort and peace. I am ready to try and let it go.
As I have said from the beginning, I am not closed off to the idea that it could be machine error or Katelyn’s movement causing her heart to sound differently. I may have my own gut feelings, but I am the first to admit I have a lot of fear and anxiety, just like any new mom, especially because of the long road we've traveled to get here.

So for now, I am concentrating on those beautiful little baby kicks, and I am putting the doppler away. I am so blessed in so many ways… and I am thankful for an active baby who will nudge her mama periodically and tell her to “just relax”.


A said...

i am glad that the u/s showed that katelynn is healthy!! i like your strategy of just relax :)

Savannah said...

I'm glad she is such an active baby, hopefully all this stress and worry will be for nothing. But you have every right to be worried, just don't worry too much. I'm glad you got a priesthood blessing and that it helped.

LT aka Laura aka Lil La said...

Sooo glad to hear everything appears to be perfect:). Relaxing is definitely the best medicine for you and baby Katelyn...only it's easier when YOU come to that conclusion, not someone else telling you to JUST RELAX;). You are a good mama.