Friday, March 25, 2011

The Stressful Non-Stress Test

It is the third time that the nurse has been in the triage room, frowning at the monitor. She chats for a moment, then says she's going to find the on-call doc to see how to proceed.

I turn to the monitor, watching the double tracings of my babies' heart rates. Baby A's line is yellow and it dances all over the monitor as she kicks and swishes away in there. Baby B's line is green and it holds steady, varying between the same 10 beats per minute a non-reactive stress test.

I am thoroughly convinced that this is just what Baby B does. All three times she's been on the monitor, her strip shows less reactivity, yet I can feel her moving, listen to her hiccups amplified by the monitor, and know that she really is fine.

But she's not giving them the data they need on the strip, so the doc orders a biophysical profile, which is an ultrasound that looks for certain things: practice breathing, movement, muscle tone, etc.

I am still relaxed, for the most part, but had made the mistake of texting back to Scott when he asked, "How do they look?"

I texted, "Baby A looks gorgeous. Baby B is being a stinker and avoiding the monitor."

Seconds later, "Is she in distress?"

"No, too calm. Might be sleeping."

We text back and forth and I can hear his anxiety in his keystrokes. He's not with me because he's going to pick Milo up from school and I can tell that he is very concerned that he isn't by my side. It doesn't seem to matter that I tell him that I think everything is fine, he interprets this as cavalier and calls his mother, the OB nurse of 35+ years, (who has seen the strips and agrees with me) for a more expert opinion. So my darling worried hubby is causing me more stress than the non-stress test was.

Finally the ultrasound tech arrives and she starts looking around to see what's up in there. The best news is that both babies are vertex (head-down). I was pretty sure that they were, based upon the placement of their hiccups over the last week or so. This is a huge relief to me -- as long as A stays head down, I'll be able to deliver vaginally, yay! There is nothing wrong with delivering by c-section, but I'd really like to avoid having surgery if at all possible. I am intimidated by the recovery, particularly when I have two other children at home who will need a mom.

As we watch the screen, it is clearly apparent why Baby B was difficult to monitor -- she had pretty much folded herself in half and turned so that her back was away from the probe, hiding and playing with her foot. Side note: cutest thing on ultrasound ever to watch her reach for her foot and play with her toes...

Both babies passed the biophysical profile 100%, so I was finally released to my OB appointment, after three and a half long hours. I joked that I was at the hospital for less time when I delivered Violet.

The OB appointment? Well, my regular doc was on vacation, so I saw another doc from the practice who was very complimentary on my history with this pregnancy. She asked, "Did you go full-term with your first two?"

"They were both born at 39 weeks, plus a few days, so yep!"

"You'll be going full-term this time around, too. Great job, mama!"

So now two out of two doctors think that the girls won't arrive until their time to be evicted. I'm guessing that at next week's appointment (34 weeks + 3 days), I'll be setting an induction date for just after Easter. That date is coming both too quickly and far too slowly for my liking...


Vernetta said...

Great update! This has been so fun to follow along. You're doing a wonderful job and the next month will fly by. Squeeee!!!!!!!!

redheadreverie said...

OMG - I totally went through the same thing when I had to have my stress tests. The little guy was sleeping and just wouldn't wake up...they ended up blaring a radio right next to my belly to get him to respond. I felt so bad waking him up, but at least they got what they needed. And the whole time my hubby was freaking out. Men...