August 5, 2011 we had another check up with the high risk doctors. I was 28 weeks at this point. Everything still seemed to be looking good. I still left in tears, although I can't remember why this time.
Up to this point, I have only referred to the appointments where we had an ultrasound. There were many other appointments where we would go in to hear the heart beat or when I had to do the glucose test.
On September 2, 2011 at 32 weeks, we went back to the high risk doctor and it seemed as though our nightmare was starting over. We were told that our little girl was measuring too small. There were a variety of reasons that could be causing this. I was told to increase my protein in take and they would take new measurements in two weeks.
Jeremy and I left the appointment with me sobbing. I could only imagine the worst. I had let my guard down and convinced myself that we were in the home stretch and everything was going to be fine. Now with 8 weeks to go the doctors said my little miracle was measuring too small. Jeremy was the voice of reason (as always). He reminded me that the doctors didn't seem to be alarmed yet so we shouldn't either. We would get new measurements in 14 days and everything could be perfect by then.
I did my best to calm down and have positive thoughts. Pregnancy hormones tend to make you a little crazy so I was having to work extra hard to stay calm. Fourteen days isn't a very long time but when you are worried about your baby, fourteen days is an eternity.
One week later, on September 9, 2011 it was time to check back in with Dr. Adams. That man is truly awesome. He calmed my fears (at least temporarily) and dried my eyes. He reminded us that we were almost there and everything had gone wonderfully up to this point.
It seemed as though we spent the entire month of September at the doctors office and the month was only half over at this point. September 16, 2011 was the two week point. Jeremy and I were both very much ready to get this appointment over with. We prayed our little girl had put on some weight and everything would be okay.
She was still measuring too little. We were told it could be due to numerous factors. The one we held on to was 'she may just be small'. As a precaution, we needed to start seeing the high risk doctors and Dr. Adams once a week. That meant two doctors appointments every week. Jeremy and I would have done anything they told us at that point.
At each high risk appointment, they would do an ultrasound to check on her. Dr. Adams would send me to the hospital for a non fetal stress test (NST). We already had plans to go out of town the following weekend so we would only go to the doctor once. This calmed our nerves greatly because it couldn't be too bad if they were going to let us miss an appointment and go out of town. Right?
I went for my first NST on September 19, 2011. I first reported to Dr. Adams office where he explained the process to me. The test involves attaching one belt to the mother’s abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to measure contractions. Movement, heart rate and “reactivity” of heart rate to movement is measured for 20-30 minutes. If the baby does not move, it does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem; the baby could just be asleep. A nurse may use a small “buzzer” to wake the baby for the remainder of the test. (American Pregnancy)
We had to go to the hospital for the NST. We were quickly escorted into a room where I was hooked up to a monitor. The primary goal of the test is to measure the heart rate of the fetus in response to its own movements. Healthy babies will respond with an increased heart rate during times of movement, and the heart rate will decrease at rest. The concept behind a non-stress test is that adequate oxygen is required for fetal activity and heart rate to be within normal ranges. When oxygen levels are low, the fetus may not respond normally. Low oxygen levels can often be caused by problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. (American Pregnancy)
After about 45 minutes we were told everything looked great. What a relief!! Jeremy and I felt much better about our last out of town Baby Moon. Not much of a Baby Moon when your mom is going and your husband will be in meetings all day. None the less, we just wanted away for a few days.
It was back to the high risk doctors for an ultrasound on September 26, 2011 and back to Dr. Adams for another NST on September 30, 2011 during my 35th week of pregnancy. We were told at both of these appointments that everything looks good. The doctors were starting to lean towards our little girl just being small but they still wanted us to come twice a week just to be sure.
Jeremy scheduled our next high risk appointment for 7:30 am on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. I was less than trilled about being there so early but I knew Jeremy had missed a lot of work due to doctors appointments in the last month.
We checked in and went right on back for our ultrasound. Appointments tend to move super fast at 7:30 in the morning. The ultrasound tech started looking at our little miracle and began printing pictures off. She didn't tell us much of anything but left to give them to the doctor. I immediately told Jeremy something had to be wrong. That was the first time the ultrasound tech had printed pictures to show the doctor.
Jeremy tried to calm me down telling me everything was okay. About that time the doctor came in with the pictures. He went straight the the ultrasound machine and began looking for himself. He told us that everything still looked okay but....I held my breath for what seemed like forever as I waited for him to explain.