I have a new favorite sound-- the sound of the heart beat monitor. In general, but more so the one on the maternity floor. It's the sound of respite, of assurance, of someone else being responsible.
Responsibility feeds my fear. Not to sound overly dramatic, but I think I am about to. I feel like there are three hearts on a string around my neck-- mine, JD's, and Monkey's. It's Monkey's heart that I am most afraid of breaking, again, though it may be JD's that is the most fragile. Neither of them would blame me, of course, if. Neither of them would even want me to feel responsible. Well, I am sure JD doesn't, and am pretty sure Monkey wouldn't, if I could explain this to her and ask for her opinion. Which I am not going to. But their desires have very little to do with the reality I inhibit, and that is that I am the only one who can tell, in the middle of the night, whether we still have a chance at a take-home baby this time.
The panic I wrote about in the last post is not a sledgehammer. It does not come down all at once and full force. It creeps. I imagine that is what the approach of Dementors must feel like. And it occurs to me that what I am trying to do to keep it at bay is something akin to the Patronus charm-- conjuring up that kick, willing it to come before the Dementor gets close enough for me to lose all reason, for the images to gain hue and depth, to turn from what I know to be no more than sketches to what I perceive to be a cruel preview of This Is Your Life, Redux.
In the hospital the monitors in the room are connected to the monitors at the nurse's station, and if the heartbeat trace is lost, the ones at the station beep. Loudly, I presume. The nurse then comes in and talking about how at this gestational age they are still small enough to be able to get away from the monitor once in a while, readjusts the sensor to where the sound is heard again, the numbers jump, and the trace in uninterrupted. What keeps me serene through these little games of hide and seek (well, other than the kick that usually precedes him being able to get out of range) is the knowledge that there are two ORs just down the hall, and two teams of OBs on the floor at all times, a high risk MFM team and a regular old OB team. And that Dementors are not allowed on that floor.
In as many times as I have gone to the hospital this pregnancy, I have not gone in, yet, simply to use my favorite sound to sooth the racing mind. But the days between appointments, they drag. And we are at the shore this week. A short drive back, but longer than from home, and far more at the whim of traffic gods. Tuesday I drove to the NST, ran errands, and then came back again. It really is a reasonable drive, and there is a smaller affiliated hospital along the way that can transport me to mine if things get dodgy. But man, it was hard to leave that safety radius of the 20 minute commute.
I failed the NST on Tuesday, and was rewarded with a BPP, which I passed, but not spectacularly. I am worried. I may be worried enough that I am coming up with new things to worry about. I have a big ultrasound tomorrow. Not just a BPP, but a growth scan and everything else we can throw into the pot. I am planning to ask whether the baby could be getting overwhelmed by all the contractions, whether having to be reactive to them is taking its toll, whether putting me into the hospital to be monitored for 24 hours or so wouldn't be a good idea. I came up with this new worry yesterday, during the day of many a somewhat painful contraction. But since last night they have been no more than intermittent, and now I am not so sure-- is that even a real concern, or am I just making shit up for that day pass out of Worryville?