Saturday, December 15, 2012

34 Week NST and Ultrasound

This week I started being monitored more closely due to my preexisting hypertension.  I really do like that they are monitoring me so closely, but at the same time the appointments have been a bit of a pain to schedule around work.  Thankfully since I'll be done working after this Thursday, that won't be a problem anymore!  I went in to have my first non-stress test (NST) done on Friday morning.  I was also scheduled to have a quick ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid level, plus an office visit with one of the doctors.  For the NST, the nurse took me back behind a curtained-off area and had me get comfortable in a leather recliner.  Then she hooked up two different monitors to my bump, one to monitor Abby's heart rate and one to monitor any contractions.  NST's are supposed to last about 20 minutes or so, and the test measures how the baby's heart rate reacts to her movements.  After 20 minutes, Abby was not responding the way that they wanted her to, so I had some juice and a snack to try to get her moving.  After another 20 minutes, she still wasn't responsive.  At this point the nurse went to get the doctor, and then I stayed hooked up to the monitors for yet another 20 minutes.  The nurse then came back in and took me straight to an ultrasound room.  I was really starting to freak out by that time thinking that something was wrong with our baby!  The strangest thing is that I honestly felt like Abby was moving just like normal.  I feel her move a lot throughout the day, but it's never really huge movements.  She's a pretty mellow baby I guess!  So, I went in for the ultrasound and thankfully got the same tech that Dave and I had last week at our growth ultrasound.  She was super nice and throughout the ultrasound reassured me that Abby was just peacefully sleeping and sucking on her fingers.  We watched her practicing her breathing over and over again, which is apparently a good sign because a baby in distress would not be practice breathing.  The tech finally got Abby to move a little bit and after about a half hour, she said that Abby had passed the test and I could go see the doctor now.  I didn't actually realize there was a specific test being done!  I went into another exam room and immediately met with yet another doctor from the practice, Dr. Thomas.  She was quite young and very nice.  Dr. Thomas reassured me right away that Abby was perfectly fine and just happened to be sound asleep for most of the NST.  She explained that during the ultrasound the tech did a biophysical profile on the baby and that she scored an 8 out of 8.  This meant that she was doing her practice breathing, she opened and closed her hands and performed other body movements, the amniotic fluid level was adequate, and her heart rate increased appropriately with movement.  Talk about being relieved!!  My blood pressure was 112/72, which the doctor said was great.  I was actually measuring a little smaller than I was last week, but that could be due to the baby's position and also just the way that each doctor might measure slightly differently.  The doctor said everything was great and sent me on my way!  For my next NST I'm going to be sure to eat a bigger meal closer to the test time and also have some sugary juice.  I ate breakfast a few hours before my appointment this week and only had a small snack right before the NST, so hopefully changing the time that I eat will keep Abby awake and active during the test.  Here are some of the ultrasound pictures that the tech printed for us!

Here is Abby sucking on her fingers while sleeping

And here is her cute little fist :) 

That's all the updates I have for now!  Our next appointment is on Friday when I turn 35 weeks.  We also have my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew coming to visit for a long weekend so that should be lots of fun and I'll try to remember to take lots of pictures!

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