Each Wednesday for the past few weeks I have had to trek to the hospital for a non stress test. Basically, it gives me a chance to listen to the baby's heartbeat and hear how the heartbeat changes as the baby moves. I have the luxury because, as it was with Hunter, my blood pressure has been getting higher as the pregnancy progresses. I don't think it is really all that high, just high for me. I'm usually border-line dead blood pressure-wise but when I'm pregnant my blood pressure seems to sky rocket. Every week there is the possibility of induction - if the baby's heartbeat drops too low after a movement or if my blood pressure stays too high while I'm being monitored. Last week we thought this was a real possibility and ran around the house washing things, trying to get ready, and no doubt artificially elevating my blood pressure. At the hospital my blood pressure was normal, half an hour later it was through the roof at the Doctor's office (as it had been in the morning when I did my first check of the day). We were sent back to the hospital for three hours of monitoring where again it was normal. Needless to say, I have lost any confidence in the equipment the hospital has given me for home monitoring. On the bright side, I'm not worried about induction today.
As the impending birth of this baby draws nearer, I have been thinking about Hunter's birth. It's amazing what you block out - usually when I think about it I just think about how I barely made it to the hospital and had him while my Mum was still registering me. How the day before Hunter was born Regina had been the coldest place on earth and thank God he waited an extra day. How I had been doing kick counts at home at 10pm and had Hunter by 10:30 at the hospital. How he scored a 9 on the apgar. How wonderful and indescribable it was seeing him and holding him for the first time. How Jason had tears in his eyes. Lately, though, with all the seemingly needless testing I've had to do to ensure this baby is alright - I've started remembering a few other things that I had pretty much forgotten... how Hunter had the cord wrapped around his neck when he was born, how it didn't matter because the placenta was so detiorated that the cord fell apart when the Doctor touched it, how he hadn't really grown for the last couple of weeks, how his skin looked like that of an overdue baby even though he was a little bit early. He was still beautiful, and healthy, and perfect, but what I didn't realize until recently was how lucky we were that he was, how lucky we were that he came when he did (I suspect that's just how smart he is, he knew he had to be born). Part of why I haven't worried too much about how well this baby is doing despite all the testing is because everything tells me that it is healthier than Hunter was - it moves more and weighs more and maybe I have a little more faith that things will turn out okay than I did when I was pregnant with Hunter. With Hunter I often credit how wonderful a baby he was to the fact that I spent nine months worrying about him before he came - he didn't want to add any additional stress after he was born, and that's just the type of personality he has.