0804141109 I was wondering if (perhaps more likely when) anxiety would send me on a trip to the ER at some point during this pregnancy, and sure enough, with just over 4 days left of my vacation home, I spent the morning at the hospital. I was a little apprehensive about using the picture of me Chris snapped because I look so, I don’t know, disgusted? In the spirit of full disclosure, I decided to go ahead with it because it is a picture that captures something about this experience for me (I don’t know yet quite what). It began early this morning when I didn’t feel our li’l Bub moving at his usual time. He has been pretty regular about waking me up around 8 am or so. However, this morning, it was nearly 10 and I had yet to feel anything from him; come to think of it, I hadn’t felt him much during the night either. I tried the usual poking and prodding for several minutes to rouse him. Nothing. The tears came immediately. As my mom says, mornings aren’t the best for me emotionally when it comes to pregnancy, as that is when I discovered I had lost Rowan. I went downstairs to join Mom, Dad, and Chris for some breakfast. With tears still streaming down my face, I took some fresh fruit from the fridge. I began eating it hoping the natural sugar would prompt some movement. In my mind, I imagined the worst. I ate a bowl of cereal. Still, nothing. And that’s when I really lost it. I was convinced of the worst. I voiced my fear, and Chris sprung into action. He shuffled me upstairs where I got dressed and brushed my teeth; we were out the door on our way to the ER within 10 minutes.

I have read accounts from other loss mommas who made frequent trips to their doctor or the ER during a subsequent pregnancy when they felt something was off which gave me the confidence that I was doing the right thing. Chris helped me regulate my breathing during the 15 minute car ride, and before I realized it, we had arrived and were checking in. I was moved from the front desk up to the Labor and Delivery floor very quickly. While the young lady at check in was pretty scatterbrained, the woman pushing my wheelchair was incredibly comforting. She kept rubbing my shoulder lightly and speaking in a soothing voice; it was very calming for me. Next, I was put into a triage room, directed to change into a gown, and was hooked up to monitors by an amazing nurse, Amy. At this point, I had still not felt any movement from Bub.

Getting ultrasounds during this pregnancy have been the most frightening thing for me. I hold my breath. I pray. And I pray some more. She felt for Bub with her hand before connecting a monitor which I really appreciated because it makes the gel and wand search less menacing. Once she located him with her hand, she placed the wand on my belly and found his heartbeat rather quickly. She said he was really snug down inside me, and that’s probably why I had been unable to rouse him (or feel him). She assured me that at this stage, it is still a little difficult to feel the baby at times. Perhaps he had snuggled with his back to my back making movements harder to detect. In any event, I was relieved. Amy was very comforting; she provided clear information on my heartbeat and his as I watched the machine track us both over a period of more than 30 minutes. Sometime during these 30 minutes, Chris took this picture. I was still feeling a little anxious because the monitor revealed skips and what looked to me like random plunges and spikes. I hadn’t gotten completely out of my own head when it was taken.

Eventually, I was visited by a young resident DO, and the attending OB/GYN after that. She also gave me words of encouragement and reassurance. All the while, my husband kept me distracted with his upbeat stories and interactions. Lord, I love that man!

As we wrapped up, Amy went over some tips with me, and reiterated that I should see my doctor or head straight to the ER at ANYTIME if I feel something isn’t right. She was very supportive of my concerns and fears. A sense of relief washed over me, finally, as we were leaving. I knew that I would not hold back should I need comfort and reassurance in the form of monitoring in the future. As loss mommas, we have to do everything we can to protect our precious cargo, and our own fragile selves.

Amidst all the hopefulness during our rainbow pregnancies, I’m sure we are well aware of the possible fears and emotions that may get the better of us at times. Have you had any anxious moments when you thought something wasn’t quite right during your rainbow pregnancy? How did you deal with those feelings, and what was the outcome? Sharing this story gives me the opportunity to hear from others who have struggled as well, making us all feel less alone when encountering scary moments during our PAL.

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