Over the last few weeks, Baby has established a fairly consistent pattern of movement:
- Start kicking me in the crotch 15 minutes before my alarm goes off.
- Go back to sleep once I’m up making my morning smoothie and coffee.
- Get royally pissed off when I have my morning cup of coffee and browse the internet because my iPad is resting on its butt. Kick wildly at iPad until I move it.
- Go back to sleep for shower and commute time.
- Wake up and happy dance when we eat our yogurt and berries at the office.
- Go back to sleep.
- Wake up and happy dance when we eat our mid-morning snack. Lose shit if the mid-morning snack is cherries.
- Repeat cycle of sleeping and post-eating dancing for rest of day.
- Sleep during after-dinner couch time.
- Wake up and perform at least three tap dance routines once I crawl in bed for the night.
Monday night the baby was fairly quiet. No ruckus at bedtime. Yesterday morning nothing. Nada. I poked at the little foot that has resided under my belly button for a couple of weeks now. Squished my belly. Ate an entire desk drawer’s worth of snacks. Chugged an icy Dr. Pepper. Laid on my side. Baby hadn’t moved or made a peep for the eight hours I had been awake.
When a pound and a half of cherries failed to garner any reaction, I really started to worry. Part of me felt like I was just being crazy, but I couldn’t shake that nagging “what-if” feeling in the back of my mind.
I called my doctor, and she was similarly concerned about the sudden lack of movement. She recommended that I come in for a “non-stress test,” which is quite possibly the most ironic name ever for a test designed to see if your baby is in distress.
Once in the exam room, I propped myself up on one elbow so they could hook me up to the fetal monitor. As soon as I did, my stomach shook wildly, a little limb protruded, and this kid began to turn somersaults visible from the outside.
The nurse just started laughing. She was so sweet and assured me that this happened all the time, and that she would rather see me come in once a week and have it be nothing than to blow it off and have it be something serious.
I spent the next 20 minutes with the monitor belt around my waist (let’s use the term “waist” incredibly loosely, ok?) while my child, who for the last nine hours had been completely unresponsive, showed off for the nurse. As I watched its heart rate rapidly accelerate and then decrease (a good thing), I felt embarrassed, really neurotic, kind of silly and overwhelmingly relieved. All is well. I’m sure this won’t be the last time we embarrass each other in public.
This kid owes me twenty bucks for parking.