Reduced fetal movement is worrying, and I was definitely a bunch of nerves when my baby’s movement slowed down. I was just under 30 weeks when I noticed my baby wasn’t moving as usual, but the last thing I wanted to do was to go to the hospital again.
It had been a few days and I tried hard not to be anxious about it. I pushed my concerns to the back of my mind … it was easier than voicing my concern. I’ve had so many medical appointments with this pregnancy; much more than I could have imagined I’ll need.
I was filled with doubt about how sure I was that my baby’s movement felt different. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel my baby at all, but something felt different; my baby’s movement wasn’t quite like before.
You see, I’m terrible with ‘knowing’ the pattern of my baby’s movement; it was the same the first time round.
“Could it be all the other things that are getting me down? Perhaps that’s why I hadn’t noticed the movement so much … maybe my baby isn’t really moving any less”, I wondered.
My head was all over the place.
My husband noticed my subdued mood and kept asking me how I was. I mentioned my concern a few times but made light of it … not wanting to worry him or scare myself. However, I said it enough for him to suggest going to the hospital to put my mind at rest.
But I didn’t want my toddler going to the hospital yet again … I didn’t want to waste the NHS’ time and money; they’ve been so generous to me as it is.
Even then, I couldn’t shake off the fact that the midwife told me about the importance of my baby’s movements at my booking appointment; she highlighted the number to call in the green folder she gave me if I was ever concerned.
I can’t quite capture the thought battles I went through in words.
After about 2 to 3 days, I couldn’t take it anymore – my doubts about my concerns and worries about wasting everyone’s time couldn’t contain my increasing distress. I was clearly more worried than I was letting on, and definitely more concerned than I realised – not the best ingredients for a good mental health.
Kicks Count and Mama Academy‘s campaigns about the importance of baby’s movement subconsciously nagged me; I’m so glad I came across them after I had my first child. I tell you, knowledge truly is power at times like this.
So finally, I told my husband I was going to call Triage, and I asked him to get ready to take me to the hospital. And yes, my toddler had to come, but I don’t think he minded.
The midwife that we saw was kind and gently … unassuming and reassuring. I laid on the bed in a small private room, and she checked my baby’s heartbeat. She then put the monitoring device around my bump and covered my legs to keep them warm and maintain my dignity.
I listened to the machine, heard my baby’s heart, felt my baby move, and watched my husband read to my toddler. The baby seemed to move more, or perhaps I noticed it more because I was particularly focusing on it; I’m not sure.
It was all over in about 20 to 30 mins. The nurse was satisfied all was well, and she told me to call again if I was concerned … even if it was tomorrow.
I can’t explain the delight I felt hearing my baby’s heartbeat and feeling my baby’s kicks.
Yes, nothing was wrong, thank God. I perhaps could have gone on worrying about the reduction I felt in my baby’s movement, but we were all better off for going to the hospital to check it out.
As the midwife told me, I didn’t waste her time, distract her from her duties, or hinder her from attending to other cases. In fact, she had no patient when we got there, and none waiting when we left.
I left the hospital with a reassurance that money can’t buy … and one I’m so grateful to have had. I’m the better for it … my baby, husband, and toddler are better for it … and the NHS is definitely not worse off because of it.
So, what did I do when my baby didn’t move as usual?
I worried, doubted, questioned, internalized, and made my mental health worse … then I allowed common sense to prevail, listened to my mother’s instinct, heeded vital baby movement messages, involved my family, shared my burden, called Triage, went to the hospital, underwent reassuring monitoring, improved my mental health and my family’s well-being.
Have you ever worried about your baby’s movement?