Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Non-Stress Stress

I should be taking my first non-stress test tomorrow. I say “should” because I am not technically scheduled for it but my doctor wants me to have it done. Since she is the doctor-on-duty in the ultrasound division on Wednesdays, she can make this happen. So first an ultrasound, with a growth and fluid check and then the test.

Of course I am all worried about this seemingly simple test. Naturally I turned to G**gle to find out what this was all about. It’s straightforward: A machine will monitor the babies’ heartbeats for an extended period of time. Most important is that the babies’ heartbeats accelerate at least 15 beats above baseline for at least 15 seconds. I have named this the 15/15 goal. If this happens twice within 20 minutes, the test is considered “reactive.” That means they pass. If this does not happen at least twice within 20 minutes the test is considered “nonreactive.” A nonreactive test result might mean nothing at all. Or it could mean there is a problem with oxygen or the placenta.

These babies are overachievers already so I would like to think that they will pass with flying colors. But I am still very nervous. We have come so far and have been through so much. I always say I am waiting for the other shoe to drop (where did this expression come from?) and so I think “what if this is the other shoe?” Why can’t I be one of those people who don’t worry their entire pregnancy?

Other test news: I find out if I passed my final graduation project on Wednesday too. This is a culmination of the past two-and-a-half-years of grad school. I feel fairly confident that I did indeed pass, but, again, I don’t take these things for granted. It will be quite a relief to get that Pass stamp.

But if I had to choose which test I wanted to pass tomorrow, obviously there is no question which test I would choose.

Pictured above is my niece with a flashlight. I feel a little bit like her today because there is an electrician here trying to fix the hall light without tearing apart the ceiling so I am acting as apprentice and holding a flashlight for him, much like this. But not nearly as cute.


lagiulia said...

Even when I had been on bedrest for a long time and taking medication to prevent labor and felt horrible, the babies passed their NSTs with flying colors. I feel confident that yours will as well. They sound like they like it in there. Good luck!

utRus said...

don't worry - your kidlets will be fine. i am on these monitors here in the hospital for one hour every 12 hours. it's really cool to hear the heartbeats and notice the accellerations, especially after they move!

look at it this way, if they were to exhibit stress, the worst thing that can happen is the docs might decide the babies are better off outside than in. you're already over 33 weeks, so though i know we want to go further, you are in great shape. there really is no "other shoe to drop" in this case. hugs

K J and the kids said...

Non stress tests are as easy as 1-2-3. I had them every stinking week for 2 months :)
The only bad thing is, they test for contractions...this is where having a big huge belly gets a little tricky. Our uterus contracts because it is so big. These seemingly harmless contractions can cause doctors to raise an eyebrow. Hopefully your nothing bothers her doctor will be there to pat you on the head and send you home.

I TOTALLY forgot to say something.
As long as baby A is head down...you can have a vaginal delivery. Baby b will move all over the place once baby A is born. They should be able to adjust her once A is out for a vaginal delivery.
I know....whatever happens you are fine with.
Just though you might ask someone. I don't understand why when baby A presents head down...why your doctor would still push for a C-section.

Happy days tomorrow.

Tracy said...

My twins were in the same positions yours seem to be. Baby A was head down for most of the pregnancy and Baby B was transverse. My OB, who was as layed back as they come, assured me that as long as Baby A was head down, he would get Baby B out vaginally. He only wanted to do a C-Section if it was absolutely necessary. We started talking about our delivery plan around 20 weeks (I delivered at 36 weeks, 2 days). He told me that I needed to have an epidural (this was about the only thing he insisted on, well that and no Enya music playing) and that the delivery would be in the surgery room not the labor and delivery room. When my water broke, Baby A was still head first and Baby B was now breech. Sure enough, he was right! Baby A came out head first vaginally and 5 minutes later, Baby B was pulled out feet first. They said he would be stunned and he did need a bit of oxygen but both babies were fine. No NICU or Special Care needed. I am so thankful that I was able to deliver vaginally. My recovery from delivering twins was much quicker than my partner who delivered our first by c-section two years prior. I'm sure for your OB this is a routine pregnancy, but for you, this is not routine and you deserve to have your questions answered and not be rushed because she is late for lunch. You might need to call her on this or tell her you want to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions when she is not rushed. I was terrified about delivering my twins but the trust I had in my OB really made all the difference in the world. Good luck -- you're coming down the home stretch!