Today’s did you know?
Kick counts – at least as far as my OB is concerned (I cannot speak for all) – are considered sufficient as long as you feel the baby move 10 times over the course of 2 hours once in any given day. That’s it. Ten times in 2 hours.
Baby girl (should we call her Baby Girl Larsen or BGL?) has been kicking more than enough since I started paying attention.
Over the last two days, my calendar has been filling with appointments.
- I have now scheduled my gestational diabetes education class for this Friday from 10 am to noon.
- I have now scheduled three acupuncture appointments between now and the end of March.
- I have now scheduled 12 ultrasounds between now and the end of May. I think I’m doubled up somewhere so that might drop to 11.
- Finally, I have now scheduled 10 OB visits (which will include NSTs) between now and the end of May. I am certain I will be adding OB visits to my calendar after my visit this coming Monday.
Feels like a lot. At the same time, I hope I make it to all appointments (or that the doctors decide I don’t need them) because it will mean BGL is looking good to keep baking.
I need to make a list of questions to ask my OB. For example, you have said that I have a 99% chance of delivering early. Can you also tell me what you predict my chances are of delivering vaginally? And as we watch and hope and pray, will you mind if I ask you to update your predictions?
Okay, that’s the only question I’ve thought of at this moment. I’m sure there are other questions.
As I’ve told people – mostly co-workers who want to know when I’ll be in DC again – about my new status as a weekly visitor to multiple doctors, I am most often asked how BGL’s heartbeat is. Fine, I say. Great, I say. That seems to satisfy them that everything is peachy keen.
At triage on Monday night, nurse Daria said the heartbeat looked good and she took that as a good sign. Of course, she watched the heartbeat for well over an hour.
But the heartbeat has always been good. Every time the OB has listened, every time MFM was looked. And on Monday that wasn’t good enough.
I say all this to say that a good strong heartbeat is clearly important. But it doesn’t signal that all is well in the world. Unfortunately.
Which brings me to the next thing I want to say.
I have distrusted doctors most of my life. My parents are probably to blame if we’re looking for someone to blame. But even if it started with them, I find that it is extremely difficult to find a doctor who is good at talking to a patient and bridging the knowledge gap that exists between all the training and experience that doctor has and all the training and experience the patient doesn’t have. So I end up not trusting them because I feel like they’re not telling me everything I need to know, and I don’t know enough to know what questions I should be asking to bridge the gap myself if the doctor can’t do it.
Maybe a doctor is short on details about why he or she is recommending (or urging) this or that to avoid lawsuits. Or maybe it’s driven by trying to run up your medical bills. It all depends on how cynical we feel like being. But I think that by and large it’s an inability to bridge the knowledge gap or a lack of recognition that the gap is there.
So the distrust thing. I guess my first reaction to doctors who make a big deal out of things is cynical. And then I sit back and think and say that no, I think these people are good people trying to do good things. And they are saying we have to see you every week. We need to monitor and evaluate and watch. Every week. They must have a reason. A good reason. They must know statistics and have seen thousands of situations that tell them they better start watching.
That’s what I was saying yesterday about it settling on me that this is kind of a serious situation. I started backing away from the distrust and moving toward the these-are-good-people version of the world.
Blah blah blah.
My challenge is to find a balance. Just because my doctors are “freaking out” doesn’t mean I have to. At the same time, I need to take this all very seriously. As I think through that balancing act, I conclude that it will not be easy to take things seriously and avoid freaking out. Not easy at all.
Wish me luck.
Also know that I’m sure I will be getting educated about a lot of stuff over the next several weeks. (I have promised my husband that I will not descend into a bunch of rabbit holes on the internet, though, so the education will be limited to what information I can glean from all these doctors I’ll be seeing.) So expect an education from me.