Before we get to Friday's appointment, let's talk about Thursday.
In the morning, Norah either wakes me up or I feel her move within about 15-30 minutes, but Thursday morning it took and hour and ten minutes before I felt anything.
It was an hour and ten minutes that started with a curiosity that quickly turned to absolute fear, an hour and ten minutes of trying every trick in the book to get her to move, an hour and ten minutes of begging God for the life of our daughter.
Finally, Norah decided to give me a strong kick.
And then another.
Slowly, she kept moving as I got ready and made breakfast.
The standard recommendation is to feel 10 movements in two hours, but it normally only takes Norah 10-15 minutes. I had counted 8 in about an hour and 45 minutes, and because of that, was on my way to the hospital.
By the time I made it to Abbott, she had given me the full 10 in two hours, but I called the nurse line anyways. I was on the verge of tears as I explained my reason for calling as 'decreased movement'.
"This is what we're here for and this is exactly what we want you to call in about. Come in and we'll see what she's doing."
Good thing I was already parked in the ramp.
I went straight to the MAC, and they hooked me up to all the familiar monitors.
There it was — the most beautiful sound: a healthy, steady heartbeat, pumping away at a normal rate.
The same machines that usually give me so much anxiety in that moment gave me life.
Norah quickly started punching and kicking at the monitors and was her normal wiggle-monster self. I could've thrown a party for every little movement I felt.
Norah's readings were perfect — everything was fine.
"Our favorite part of our job in the MAC is to tell mamas their babies are doing great. Never be afraid to come in. We are happy to give you reassurance."
Thank God for medical professionals.
Friday morning Norah kicked me as soon as I woke up.
Lane's first question when his alarm went off for the first time was, "Is she moving?"
"Yes. Yes she is."
"Thank God. "
Friday's appointment was the standard testing — NST & BPP — no OB check.
We started out with the BPP. Norah was a total wiggle monster and even kicked the sonogrpaher right in the wand — a welcome sight after Thursday. She is sitting very low in my pelvis which is a good sign; she knows what she needs to do. Norah did great, minus the practice breathing. She showed a few 'breaths' — enough to prove she knows how, but not enough to receive the full score.
Onto the NST.
"Oh, daddy's with, so that means no shenanigans today, right little one?" We had Nurse G again; she's been at every appointment at the clinic since the very first scary NST.
You guys, we just love Nurse G so much. The way she so sincerely cares about us is incredible; she has held our hands through the scariest moments of our lives but also celebrated with us during the good. I was so nervous about turning into a number when we were referred to MPP from the birth center, but the level of honest, personal care we have received has made this whole experience more manageable. Nurses really are angels.
The NST was great. Norah did really, really well. Because of my blood pressure, they did some more bloodwork to verify that I hadn't developed preeclampsia. (The test results were good — no preeclampsia).
The most exciting part of the NST, though, was that I had my first significant contraction! The uterine monitor at this clinic usually shows a reading in the single digits, going up to the 20s during irritation/contraction.
This contraction brought it to 65+.
"Did you feel that one?!" Nurse G came in excitedly after watching the monitors from the nurses station.
Absolutely! It took my breath away.
It's such a strange but awesome sensation, your body taking over and doing what it needs to do without any conscious effort.
I'm so glad that God designed my body to know exactly how to be pregnant and give birth, because I have no idea what I'm doing.
Nurse G walked us through the signs of labor again, and made sure to hug us before we left – knowing that we will likely not see her again before Norah arrives. Let me just reiterate – Nurse G is an angel.
These contractions can happen for days before labor truly starts, so no, I'm not going into labor immediately. I could, but it's not likely.
We will be celebrating Norah's birthday soon though!