The Pregnant Life: Antenatal Testing Is So Not Like a Bikini Wax

Amy Keyishian

Antenatal monitors
Hear me!
Ah, welcome to the world of the second pregnancy that's sort of like a first pregnancy! I'm firmly in my 32nd week, and this was my first experience with antenatal testing. It was some cool shizzy!

I arrived at my doctor's office and was greeted by Kathy, yet another nurse (there's, like, a flock of them) who has a friendly demeanor and a kind of groovy, Laura Ingalls Wilder vibe. She led me back to a mysterious new room, where three curtained-off compartments awaited -- just like at the spa! "Am I also getting a bikini wax?" I wisecracked. Because I really don't know how to behave, let's just face it.

I settled in on one of those groovy tilting tables and was fitted with two monitors, one to measure Birdie's movements and heartbeat and one to check contractions. I had just had one long mother-effer of a Braxton Hicks in the waiting room, so I was interested to see if it'd repeat itself when I was being observed. (This is a rare occurrence -- the last one was on Sunday, so I'm not worried about preterm labor -- and in fact, I didn't have any more.)

Antenatal Montior Printout
Kicks on the left, contrax (none) on the right.
Then I was left alone in the cool, darkened room to relax. This is the dirty little secret of some of these prenatal tests: As long as you're not worried about your pregnancy, they're a great excuse to nap, tweet, or take nosy snapshots of your own printouts.

The couple next to me was having a more stressful time. I guess you're not allowed to leave till your kid makes a certain amount of noise. They have sugary snacks available to get your baby moving, but these two were opting for a more direct approach; I could hear the dad cupping his hands against his wife's belly, yelling in a Slavic language, and clapping his hands to get the little nipper moving. I heard their heart monitor go up, and some kicking ensued; when the nurse came back in, she looked at their printout and praised their efforts. The kid was moving, the heart rate was good; they could finally go.

I needed no such help. My little Rockette didn't just kick -- she knocked one of the monitors out of place so it had to be re-adjusted. Once it was back in place, I barely had time to retweet @DrunkHulk before I was up and outta there with a clean bill of Birdie's health.

I go back roughly every -- week? Is that right? Oy vey, what a hassle, but I guess this is how they make sure the kid is all right.

In other news, I'm now supposed to do daily kick-counts, my blood pressure is still nice and low (despite my fat ankles), the new yoga moves are really helping my hips from ruining my life, and I've been given the go-ahead for our big July 4 train trip down to LA. Which I'm dreading for many reasons, but I'm trying to get over it. Like Spock says, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. Of course, he said that right after stuffing his body into a giant radiation chimney, but ... I can't be such a homebody. It's LA, not South Dakota, for crap's sake.


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