The beat goes on

There’s a lot of time to think — nay, obsess — about the state of your baby when your ultrasound is at 7 weeks, your next OB appointment is at 10 weeks, and you’re spotting the entire time. At the outset of this pregnancy, I worried that I might not be as attentive with this baby as I was with Maddi when she was a little embryo. That was not to be the case.

Busy though I may be, I’ve spent the past three weeks wondering how my wee friend is doing in there. With Maddi, I always had that reassuring constant nausea and crippling fatigue. With this baby, I’ve had some heartburn and indigestion, and I’m feeling a little tired, but nothing that can’t also be chalked up to stress. I’ve neither gained nor lost weight, and all of my pants — even the skinny ones — still fit. This was definitely not the case when I was pregnant with Maddi, and all but three pairs of pants instantly stopped fitting. It’s hard to believe I’m pregnant sometime when I’ve come to associate pregnancy with pure hormonal misery and bloating.

With the near-lack of symptoms making it impossible for me to know, at any given time, whether I am pregnant or not, it’s made for some panicky times. For instance, I stopped spotting last week, and you would think that’d be reassuring. But no, after seeing pink blood for five weeks, it had become a reassurance knowing that there was still something in my uterus TO bleed. Once the spotting stopped, I began to worry that I had spotted out an entire baby and not realized it. Silly, I know, but these apparently are the thoughts that go through a person’s head between appointments in a high-risk pregnancy.

I also worried, of course, about the paucity of my symptoms. Where, I asked myself, was the life-ruining nausea? Where was the urge to sleep away 18 hours out of the day? Even the frequent need to pee seemed to have resolved itself.

Then, last night, Chris posted the 10-week belly shots. I compared them with the nine-week pictures and was horrified to discover that my tummy was significantly flatter this week. Of course, I had had a large meal before last week’s shots and probably wasn’t standing straight, but my tummy did look mysteriously svelte. Could it be that I had indeed lost the baby?

After a restless sleep and nervous morning, we went to Dr. G’s for the long-awaited 10-week appointment. My heart sank as Dr. Goncalves moved the Doppler around, listening for something, anything but the gurgling of my bowels. After what seemed like an eternity but was probably closer to 15 seconds, we heard an unmistakeable chugging noise. Not only was our baby’s heart still beating, but it was pumping at 182 beats per minute, right within the normal range for a 10-week embryo.

Not only is the baby alive and well, but I’m finally off reduced activity and pelvic rest. Tomorrow I’ll be back at the gym, where Dr. G said I can resume my normal workout regimen. With any luck, baby and I can continue to work out until the very day he or she enters the world. (The bonus is that not only will labor be shorter and less painful, but I will be getting unhurried daily showers!)

Needless to say, I’ve been walking on air since hearing the little one’s reassuring heartbeat. For today, at least, I can stop obsessing and worrying and simply enjoy my comfortable, non-showing pregnancy.

And here they are, those 10-week pictures that had me so worried!

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