This is the week that kick counting started in earnest.
It’s nerve wracking a little, isn’t it? I mean, I have an anterior placenta, so I don’t feel movements quite as strongly as I have in other pregnancies yet. Sometimes it seems like my little guy is facing my back, so while I feel more subtle rolls and movements, I don’t really get the strong kicks like I do when he faces the front. I will drink some ice water or orange juice, lie down on the couch sometimes, and decide it’s time to start counting. Only my little man has decided it’s the perfect time for a nap. Then, later, when I’m busy running around with the kids and not really focusing or counting, he starts moving all around.
But is it enough? Was it ten movements? Was that an hour? Sometimes it is hard to tell.
I recently read an article that said that just counting kicks is not enough. That if you only count ten kicks and your baby usually moves more than that, something might be wrong. Or another might say that if baby seems extra active, there may be something wrong, too. If baby seems a little sleepy one day, you might want to use the doppler and take a listen to see if everything is going okay in there. Only wait! There will be another article that says the doppler is not a good indicator of baby’s health. Have you seen articles like this? Keep an eye out for similar stories about waking up on your back, eating a turkey sandwich, and having that second cup of coffee.
For we mothers who have experienced loss already, these kinds of things can increase our anxiety and leave us panicked about whether we are doing something wrong.
And let me assure you, those articles are only just beginning with pregnancy. After baby is born, there are MORE! Just wait until you need to decide whether to circumcise or breastfeed or vaccinate or use disposable diapers. Do we swaddle or not swaddle? Then there’s going back to work and schooling and being engaged and living in the moment enough. There’s letting kids use technology and feeding them whole foods and on and on and on. It can be very difficult to navigate the sea of conflicting information that is thrust upon us. While I’m thankful for the technology of the internet, there are times when we can experience information overload.
The fact is that parenting is a learn-as-you-go thing. And that each individual parent-child combination is unlike any other. So what works for one person might not work for someone else. For the most part, we’re all just doing our best.
While I know that stillbirth has been a reality for many of us, and I am not discounting the fact that it is important to take note of whether or not we are feeling our child move enough, it is also possible for us to be so concerned about the numbers that it can make us panic. The reality is that we get to know our babies and what is “normal” for them.
So if you, like me, are counting kicks and wondering if your babe is meeting the standard, moving too much or moving too little, certainly talk to your doctor if you’re concerned that something is not right, but also trust your instincts. That will be true all throughout their childhood. You will find yourself wondering over and over if you’re doing things right as a parent, but the likelihood is, if you care enough to wonder, then you probably are!
Wishing you just the right number of kicks to keep you reassured this week,