Ain’t that a Kick in the Head
As I mentioned in the last post, I discovered the babies kicking and contractions for the first time during my week in the hospital. It is truly amazing how much their personalities continue to develop (granted, this may just be occurring in my stressed out, hormonal world – but I have some proof!)
One of the popular activities in the hospital maternity ward is measuring baby heartbeats. This is not as stylish as the IV accessory, but very close in number to the blood test relay. However, I openly admit – the heartbeat measurement is my favorite activity.
In a normal expectant mother (please disregard my claim that “I am normal” from a previous post; it has been disproved), nurses use a fetal heart rate monitor to trace the child’s pulse. This involves a hockey puck-like disc that is strapped to the mom’s belly with a pink or blue giant stretchy thing.
Since our boys are still rather young, the hockey pucks aren’t always the most successful in finding their heartbeats. Many of the nurses used a small hand held dop-tone machine instead. Hearing their pounding hearts never ceases to make me smile. I even think some of the nurses may have checked on the babes just to help prevent a pending stir-crazy meltdown.
Approximately mid-week, a rather adventurous nurse decided that she was either a) bored or b) seeking a challenge and decided she was going to get a trace of our twins – using the hockey pucks. Using high-tech innovative notation developments, she wrapped a rubber band around one of the discs so we’d know who was A and who was B. (Get it? B is for Band.) And the search began.
Baby A wasn’t terribly difficult to find. It just took a few minutes of coaxing to get him to cooperate. Once we had his location pinned down, the puck was secured and I can only assume A returned to sucking his thumb. Baby B had other ideas.
Earlier in the week, Jon had suggested he get some games to keep us all occupied. Baby B apparently took this to heart. Based on his circumstances, Hide-n-Seek was the game of choice. The nurse and I could hear his heartbeat faintly in the background. The nurse continued to move the puck around on my stomach trying to track Baby B down. But B is very good at Hide-n-Seek. He was winning even though the nurse had the sound wave monitoring machine advantage.
Finally the determined nurse muttered at my tummy, “I know you’re there and there’s not that many places you can hide!” About a minute later I heard a strong heartbeat followed by a loud scratching noise.
“That’s him moving,” the nurse explained as she relocated the heartbeat and started securing the puck for the trace. (All the while, Baby A’s heartbeat contentedly beat away on the non-banded puck.) I suddenly felt a huge WHAM from inside my stomach. Baby B had adopted a new strategy at making his monitoring feelings known. That was the end of the trace.
Baby heartbeats are monitored a minimum of twice a day when you’re in the hospital. Seven days in the hospital, no fewer than 20 heartbeat measurements and Baby B was never once in the same spot. Twice a nurse was able to find him on the first try. Twice the dop-tone machine was immediately met with a swift kick.
Every time, both boys had strong heartbeats. And Baby B seems to be intent on battling any pregnancy complications for the duration. Well, that or he is just really bothered by the monitors. But I will say this. I CAN wait to meet them.