Our most recent doctor visit was the week of Halloween. Maybe B.K. thought she would be funny and pull a trick, or maybe it was just bad timing. Either way, we were thrown for a curve ball when the doctor listened to her heart.
He looked concerned and asked if she’d been moving much. The heartbeat was a tad slow. Not absent, just not up to full speed.
We were assured it was nothing to worry about, that it’s common for their hearts to slow a bit as they grow. Nevertheless, a machine was brought into the room to track her heartbeat for 20 minutes.
A nurse fired it up and left Kayla and I alone in the room, watching the number of beats per minute flash on a screen. One high, then one low, then back up again like a high stakes game of roulette.
It was not a quick 20 minutes, and my own heart may have paused a few times when the number on the monitor got low. I’m not sure if Kayla saw those concerning beat per minute figures, likely out of fear to look.
In the end our doctor reappeared with a smile and strip of paper charting B.K.’s heart rate, again explaining that fluctuations at this point are normal and it was all just a precaution.
Still, it makes you think. And freak out.
What my mind keeps racing back to is how lucky we are. I mean, this wasn’t even a “scare” and we were both rattled.
We all know people who have miscarried or had serious complications, and there Kayla and I were, shitting bricks over a precaution. What would happen if we had an actual problem? I pray we never find out. I also keep thinking about those who have lost a child and how difficult it would be. How do you even recover from that?
Now home from the appointment, I’m facing a small dilemma following a four-word question Kayla asked.
The appointment was over, we were each walking to our respective Mazdas since we both came straight from work. Of course we were talking about the appointment and just before we parted ways, there it was.
“Will you Google that?”
She was talking about unborn children having a heart rate that slows down or fluctuates like B.K.’s had done.
I understand why she would want to look it up and have plenty of questions of my own, but think it’s best to let this one go.
Our doctor, the man who went to medical school and we’ve decided to trust, said it was normal and nothing to worry about.
Meanwhile the internet is full of bad advice from strangers and horror stories from one in a million cases.
What happens after reading those stories? We rush back to the clinic and tell our doctor what we read on the internet?
All digging deeper would likely accomplish is make us both worry more, and we already have plenty of that for the normal reasons.
After all, the countdown is about to hit two weeks.
We have made some strides toward being ready. We took birthing and feeding classes.
I test fit a car seat in our vehicles. We have four vehicles, and it turns out they’re all small and require a bit of scrunching and maybe some bruised knees for the up-front passenger. First world problems.
There’s also been some classic nesting and getting the house ready. I came home one day to find the entire guest bathroom redecorated. On impulse yesterday I reorganized the pantry. I may also have a mild obsession with a new hand vac we bought for cleaning up after a child, but am finding excuses to use left and right, stopping just shy of using it to clean my beard.
B.K.’s room is pretty much ready to go. There’s at least a crib and a changing table, so basically everything you really need for a newborn, right?
I guess we’ll find out in two weeks.