Wednesday, April 13, 2005

It's Called a "Non-Stress Test"... but I'm Definitely Stressed

It's been a crazy week. I've been going to my midwife/ob office once a week for non-stress tests to keep an eye on the baby and make sure he's OK. They hook me up to a monitor that measures the baby's heart rate and movements. What they are looking for is what's called a "reactive" test result, meaning that the baby's heart rate shows at least two periods of acceleration in 20 minutes. Last Wednesday I had a non-reactive test with only one acceleration and a few decelerations that concerned the midwife. She sent me straight over to Labor and Delivery so they could do some more testing. I spent the rest of the day hooked up to monitors for more NSTs and a complete biophysical profile which came back borderline (I scored a 6 out of 10; with an 8 you pass and below a 6 you fail). There was some discussion about the possibility of inducing me the next day if the results didn't improve. All I could think was "But my baby shower is next week! And we don't even have the carseat installed yet!" Of course there are much bigger problems to worry about when a baby is born at 34 weeks, but that's how my mind works I guess. Over the course of the day the NST results improved slightly, but not well enough that they would let me go home. They kept me in the hospital overnight and gave me an IV to make sure I was hydrated. The next day I had two more NSTs and at about 1:00 my lovely perinatologist Dr. Ghidini was able to come see me and he did an ultrasound. To our relief, everything looked fine. Eric took me home a couple of hours later and I pretty much slept for the next two days.

Being in the hospital and worrying so much was exhausting and I feel like I'm still recovering from the whole ordeal. There's something about being hospitalized that makes me feel sick even when I'm perfectly healthy. Plus I had a semi-private room and my roommate was up all night chatting on the phone so even if I hadn't been worried to death I doubt I would have been able to sleep. At 3:30 a.m. she was in what sounded like a very heated debate about abortion laws. Oh, and my IV kept coming loose so I had to hold my right arm perfectly still or I'd doze off and then wake up in a puddle of saline and blood (that happened at about 4:30.) That one night has convinced me that I want to stay at home during labor as much as possible, because as grateful as I am for the medical technology we have, I hate being in the hospital.

Today I had another NST, and thankfully, it was better than last week's and I got to go home after my appointment. I'll keep going once a week until I deliver and we'll keep hoping and praying that we don't have another scare like that again.


  1. Chels, I'm so glad everything is ok. You and baby will be in my prayers.

  2. I'm glad that everything worked out. I'm sorry to hear that you had such an uncomfortable ordeal in teh hospital.

  3. Pregnancy can be so scary when you are that close to the end and have "issues". I had non-stress test (Non Stress, My Arse) for several weeks before my Princess was born. She decided to arrive at 35 weeks, 6 lbs 11 ozs and is perfectly fine now (10 months).

    Hope everything goes well for you.

  4. Hi chelsea, Thats sounds like a stressfull day for you and baby !
    Glad to hear everything is fine now.
    Your pictures are amazing


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