I lay there with the ultrasound wand across my belly watching my daughter wiggle around on the screen when suddenly the words slipped out of my mouth. “I’m so sorry for wasting your time…”
Nobody wants to be an imposition or seen a hypochondriac. I’d noticed our baby’s movements weren’t feeling as normal, they seemed to have changed. But as they were checking her heart rate on the special CTG machine and using the hospital ultrasound, there she was, wriggling away. And so, there I was; relieved, but apologising for being a bother and wasting time.
It was hospital procedure to follow up with a full growth scan the next day to be sure, and get a full picture when an expectant mum presents with decreased foetal movements. As it turns out, I wasn’t wasting anyone’s time. Things weren’t as normal on the full growth scan, and the tests together gave the doctor a much fuller picture of why I’d noticed a change in my baby’s pattern of movements.
Please, don’t ever think you are wasting a medical professional’s time.
“Thank goodness we went in.”
My smooth-sailing pregnancy had hit a speed bump just a few weeks earlier. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes at 29 weeks threw a curveball in our plan to deliver at the birth centre, catching me off guard. I’m fit and healthy and certainly hadn’t expected what would happen next.
Quickly my pregnancy care was transferred from the birth centre to the antenatal team at the local hospital. At 31 weeks an initial growth scan showed our baby girl was smaller than she should be. There was concern she might not be getting enough nutrients. Later, our doctor ordered another follow-up scan at 35 weeks to see how she was progressing.
So it would be three long weeks until the next scan. Wait. Wait. Wait.
And while we waited for the next scan, I was to monitor our baby girls’ pattern of movement each day. I knew her little rhythms and when she was at her most active period of the day. Every night after dinner, and again before I got up in the morning, was when she liked to tap dance on my insides.
Baby movements, I was quickly learning, are essential to be aware of. Even before you become pregnant everyone knows about reducing your child’s risk of SIDS through safe baby sleeping, or what foods can be harmful in pregnancy. But the importance of baby movements to keeping your child safe? It’s not mentioned until halfway through your pregnancy, and sometimes just in passing.
|NIGHT OR DAY, DON’T DELAY| Be reassured you’re never wasting the time of a healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your baby’s health, even in the middle of the night. #nightordaydontdelay #movementsmatter pic.twitter.com/LcbmaLjgGv
— Movements Matter (@MovesMatter) November 19, 2018