33 and 4 days prego!!
I was so curious what these non-stress tests were going to look like. Seeing as I will be doing them twice a week for the next 4-6 weeks of my life, I had high hopes that they would be quick and easy. Fortunately, the first few have gone really smoothly and baby is active as can be.
Non- Stress Test
According to the Mayo Clinic,
A nonstress test (NST), also known as fetal heart rate monitoring, is a common prenatal test used to check on a baby’s health. During a nonstress test a baby’s heart rate is monitored to see how it responds to the baby’s movements. The term nonstress refers to the fact that nothing is done to place stress on the fetus during the test.
For the most part, I found this description to be accurate although the title of the test is a bit deceiving. Maybe I just run a little more high stress than your average Joe?
When I first got to the doctor, I gave a urine sample as usual and waited to be called back. A nurse called me back and strapped me in to this contraption:
Right when they strapped me up it felt like baby Schwartz started PANICKING. I think the straps are pretty tight and it might make him a bit uncomfortable. At least that’s what my newly acquired motherly instinct was telling me.
It is ironic that the test is call “nonstress” and it seems like they are so darn stressed in there!!
There are two monitors on the belly. The blue one monitors uteran activity and contractions while the pink one monitors the heartbeat. They put me on it for 20 minutes minimum to show that he is moving on a regular basis and his heart rate is correlating to his movements. They give the patient a little clicker and instruct you to click it any time you feel any movement. The machine that the monitors are hooked up to create a sheet that looks like this:
The black dots at the bottom of the graph show where I have indicated that he moved with the clicker. I’m not sure what the thresholds are for movements and heart rate or how they determine whether you pass or fail. They have tricks to get the baby moving and the longest I have been in the office is just over an hour. I’m glad baby Schwartz has cooperated thus far because these appointments are so frequent. I told the nurse that these “nonstress tests” actually cause me extreme stress because I’M NEVER AT WORK NOW. Once again, ironic.
Twice a week seems like over kill but it eases my mind to hear his heart beat and know that he is healthy. I’ve done some research and I can’t seem to find research on non stress testing. I’m wondering if the NSTs are a bit antiquated?