Sunday, August 15, 2010

Measuring Mountains in Centimeters

Twice a week I have to go in for an NST, non-stress test. They wrap a bunch of cords around my belly, sit me in a broken and uncomfortable recliner, and agitate Abe until his heart rate goes up enough times in 20 minutes that they consider him "reactive". Abe hates this. I hate this. It's uncomfortable and long and frankly, worthless. I have figured out that if I eat an apple in the waiting room and chug ice cold water as soon as they hook me up to the machine, Abe is "reactive". Kinda fishy that I'm able to manipulate the test so easily? Rotten salmon fishy if you ask me. But whatever. I oblige twice a week.
This pic is upside down, so flip your screen over for a minute.

So there I sat in the chair Friday, all wrapped up in cords, waiting for Abe to make enough mountains on the paper print out to prove that he is still fine.

When the nurse came in, she was very please at all the mountains Abe made on her printout. But more than that, she was kind of surprised by another mountain range. "Is he kicking you a lot?" she asked.
The lefthand mountain range is Abe's, the righthand mountain range is mine.
"Well, yeah. I mean, he's definitely moving around in there, why?" I asked. She sat and watched the printout for a minute or so.
Finally, she said, "It looks like you're having contractions. Are you feeling them?"
"Me?" I asked. Admittedly, this was a dumb question.
"It looks right here like you had a contraction." She pointed to a mountain. "You're not feeling them?"
"No, I'm not feeling them." Kind of awesome if I am having contractions, I thought. Labor is EASY.
I met her in an exam room and she measured my belly. Thirty-six weeks, dead on. She pushed around and asked about pain, blah blah. She sat down and opened my chart. Then came the words any perfectionist kills to hear. "You know, Erin, no other patient in the last 15 years I've worked here has ever kept their sugars so consistently logged and level as you have." Some women like it when men compliment their bodies. Others love to hear that they're kind, selfless people. I swoon over being commended on my rule-following ability.
"It's probably a good idea for us to check you and make sure you're not dilated." I laid back. No modesty with the "checking", I can assure you.
"Oh," she said.
"What?" I asked.
"I'm not going to check all the way so I don't encourage dilation, but I think you're already about a centimeter. And you're definitely thinning." Translation? Labor has begun! Now, labor can begin weeks before you actually pop the kid out, but still. My body, with a million doctors telling it that it could never handle this on its own, had started doing EXACTLY what it was meant to do. I almost cried on the table. I was so unbelievably happy. I also cried earlier that day when I realized my husband bought me two tubs of cottage cheese, not just one. Nonetheless, it was a poignant moment.
At 36 weeks, the docs aren't quite ready for me to give in and just let Abe fly out. So I'm ordered to modified bed rest for the next week. Basically, I have to lay down whenever possible, but if I need to make a sandwich or go to the store, I still can. They should rename modified bedrest "Dream Come True."


  1. MAZEL TOV, ERIN!!! Sounds like you followed the rules to such perfection that your body realized it needed to get in line! HURRAY for you, Abe, and poo-poo on the doctors! Your labor is going to be wonderful... especially with doula shmoula by your side! Good luck and get ready for the crazy newborn excitement to begin :)!

  2. Erin, I just love your blog! Got so excited reading this last one. We're all cheering for you! xox