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Who puts the STRESS in Non Stress Test?

This girl.

The MFM we’re working with has asked that I get a non stress test (NST) performed twice a week.

I’m a little early for the typical use of them, but given the complications, she wants to keep a watchful eye on these boys, which I appreciate.

The first one was last Thursday at our local office.  They had to monitor one baby at a time, so it took twice the normal time.  And L had the hiccups.  And L kept running away.  So it took MORE than double the normal time.  With a lot of manual intervention and some tricks by an experienced nurse, we passed and were in and out within about an hour.  But they suggested I get the future ones done at the local hospital, where they are better equipped for twins.  “It will be faster”, they said.

Fast forward to yesterday when I went in for an NST at the local hospital.  We had trouble keeping the heart rates due to the boys’ constant movements.  And part of me wonders if these high fluid levels will continue to give us problems in getting accurate readings.  Nonetheless, I was hooked up and we kept letting the strips run…and run…and run.  The nurse popped in occasionally and commented about the boys being difficult, moved things, exited. The midwife stopped in to check on me, and asked if I was feeling those contractions.

Those what?

Contractions. 

Great.  Technically I was, but I honestly had been attributing them to two boys fighting over space.  I have a two year old and until yesterday I still wasn’t sure what a Braxton Hicks felt like.   But yes, as it turns out, I feel those contractions.

Back to the task at hand. Technically the boys were failing by normal standards, but since they are younger (28 weeks trying to pass a 32 week test) the nurse said it would probably be fine, but they needed a doctor to sign off.  So I waited.

Strips kept running.

There was loud static noise every time the boys moved.  Which was fairly non-stop.

The clock on the wall kept ticking.

My phone was dying so I couldn’t even use a game to distract me.

More strips.  More static.  More ticking.  No distractions.

This went on for FIVE AND A HALF HOURS.

Finally, a new nurse popped in and said “good news, you can go home!”  It seems the Doctor summoned her Oz like powers and made the call from behind some curtain.  Nonetheless, she agreed the boys did fine for 28 week babies, and apparently wasn’t worried about the mild contractions.

I was told I could keep the complimentary water cup and box of tissues.  I grabbed both and bolted out maniacally.  Well…as much as a 28 week pregnant gal carrying twins can bolt.

Some takeaways here…

Words like “faster” “easier” “it won’t take long” etc all make me giggle and buckle down for the long haul.

I’m anxious to let Columbus do the NST on Wednesday.  I’d like to get a better feel for what their expectations are for our young babes.  See how they administer the test.   See if it takes them FIVE AND A HALF HOURS.    (That must always be yelled).  AND…I’ve been having those newly understood BH contractions from time to time for a few days.  I’m curious to see if anything has changed in a week in terms of cervix, dilation, etc.  Hopefully not…we need to let these boys keep cooking for a while.   So…I have a lot to learn tomorrow!

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