Counting the kicks, and a CTG trace.

I’ve been very aware throughout my pregnancy of the importance of monitoring and getting to know baby’s movements so I’m fairly used to what feels normal now- She likes to wiggle and kick early morning and late afternoon a lot, and usually if I sit quietly at any time of day I can see her move around. If I can’t then I usually give her a little prod and drink something and off she goes- clearly annoyed at being woken up! So after a few hours of no movements yesterday I came home and told Andrew I was getting a little worried. I did all the usual prodding, drinking, laying on my side and still, nothing. Andrew even had a go at waking her which normally drives her crazy but she wasn’t having any of it and to be honest, I started to panic.

We phoned our local day assessment unit for advice and were advised to go straight in for a check-up and fetal monitoring. I’ve been twice before to be checked out- once at 26 weeks when I had some rather strong and ongoing braxton hicks and once a month ago when our little pea stopped moving again- she was fine then! I didn’t want them to think I was making a fuss or being dramatic but equally we’re told all the time by our midwives to phone with any change/decrease in movements, so we did the right thing.


ctg machine

CTG machine

On arriving we waited 30 minutes or so and then I settled into a comfy bed in a cubicle and was seen by a lovely midwife who explained what he was going to do and then attached me to the monitor.  You have two straps over your bump and the machine measures baby’s heart rate, movements and any contractions. We saw immediately that our baby’s heart rate was fluctuating a lot meaning she was nice and awake, but I still couldn’t feel any movements. The midwife added on the ‘fetal movement’ monitor setting and it noted each time she moved too, which was plenty enough. Our midwife explained that as I have an anterior placenta (at the front) it was possible that baby had tucked herself behind this which is why I couldn’t feel the movements so much.

I was monitored for 30 minutes and my blood pressure taken (initially high but I think that was anxiety!) and all was fine, thank goodness! As I laid there I started to see, if not feel, baby move again so I relaxed. The midwife explained that it’s always right to phone and come in then to leave it and they would much rather people came in repeatedly than have something terrible happen. He said that some people are there daily….so I don’t feel too bad. Anyway she started moving normally again later in the day and I guess she had untucked herself from whatever corner she snuggled into as she’s rolling around like crazy today.

It’s days like this when I really appreciate our NHS too. If I had to pay for each visit to an obstetrician or midwife and each appointment to be checked out that would be a major stress and worry- or is it all included in a ‘maternity package’ if you live somewhere where you have to pay for healthcare? All I know is that we’re really fortunate to have our hospital free and so close to us.

All is good!



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