At 38 weeks this past Friday, we had a scare that had us believing we may be meeting our baby that day.
At my weekly appointment at my maternity group, the doctor listened to the baby’s heart rate, as usual. A few extra moments passed and then he said, “I don’t want to scare you, but…” Baby’s heart rate was low. Out came the ultrasound machine, and then back to listening to the heart. Now he was concerned about low amniotic fluid as well. His next words were calm but stern, telling me to go directly to the hospital…don’t speed, but go straight there, he was worried. Have my husband meet me there. And he mentioned a possible induction or c-section.
After a shaky phone call to Shane, I drove to the hospital all the while praying out loud that God would sustain this little life inside of me.
Once hooked up and monitored in the maternity ward triage, it was a beautiful relief to hear baby’s heart beat loud and clear and healthy. For a good hour or so it was monitored. Shane and I sat there, attended to by one of my doctors and a nurse who both put us at ease, and went from being fearful to joyful. Baby was healthy. Things moved to a new level of reality, knowing that baby’s arrival was imminent – whether by induction that day, we still didn’t know, or by natural birth in the coming weeks. We were excited and so grateful. I learned how easily everything else falls away – the unfinished to do list, the need for everything to be in order, even the need for a packed hospital bag – when your baby is on its way or (especially when) its health is called into question.
An ultrasound revealed that the fluid level was good and so we were sent home, told to be extra aware of baby’s movements. Baby possibly had rolled onto its cord, which would have dropped the heart rate.
We went out for dinner that night, one more (last?) date night before baby’s arrival and enjoyed the relief, heightened anticipation and gratitude for answered prayers. And over the weekend, our condo filled up with the stroller, bassinet, car seat and packed hospital bags.