Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Non-stress? Not really!

Today was my first non-stress test. A pretty simple 20 minute test where they put a contraction monitor on your belly, as well as heart rate monitors for each of the babies. I was supposed to press a button when I felt the babies move, and it records their heart rates at that time or something like that. That's how it's supposed to go. What really happened is this:

They were about half an hour late calling me back--I'm used to waiting when I go to the doctor's office, so I wasn't concerned--but when the nurse came and got me she apologized for the wait and explained that they had just had a set of twins that weren't cooperating with the test so it took a little longer. I think it was a sign! Today was not a good day for twins and non-stress tests!

I got in the chair and they laid me back and strapped the contraction monitor on. Right on top of Baby B, actually, but I figure they know what they are doing so I don't say anything. The cute little nurse then proceeds to try to find Baby A's heart beat. She can't. She moves it around and around and is now trying to find ANY heart beat. She can't. I'm not worried, seeing as how the babies are moving and all...she asks me how they are positioned and I tell her exactly where they are. 10 more minutes, still no heart beats. She leaves to go find another nurse. Nurse #2 walks in and takes the monitor...she moves it around and around, still no heart beats. Lots of comments on how much the babies must be moving and how I'm just not far enough along for this to be easy, it should get better the next few weeks, etc. She FINALLY finds Baby A's heart beat, way down low, by pressing the monitor in really REALLY HARD. I'm supposed to hold it there because we lose the heart beat if it isn't pressed in so far. She then starts pressing really hard and moving the second monitor all over to try to get Baby B's heart beat. She finally finds it way over on the left side, and kind of down in the middle.

Let me stop here and explain that there are no babies on the left side of my belly. Baby B is really high and laying sideways, and Baby A is breech, sitting and leaning to the right. So there are no babies over on the left side. But I digress.

They watch these heart beats for a few minutes, and I'm thinking that they must be monitoring Baby A twice, because they sound exactly the same, and the second reading (supposedly Baby B) is really light, and they keep losing it. Lots more comments about how he is just moving too much to find a steady reading. Finally the first nurse decides she is going to take the readout to Dr. Smith and see what he has to say. (Note: I am not supposed to see Dr. Smith today.) She comes back, and sure enough, it's the same heart beat twice. I ask if I can get up for a minute, because I am about to faint from laying on my back so long and having them dig into my stomach. I lay back down, and we start over. Baby A, right away. Baby B, not so much. I AGAIN tell the nurse exactly how high Baby B is...and again, she can't find a heart beat because she is looking low and to the left. After about 10 minutes of this, they decide to go GET Dr. Smith, and have him bring in the ultrasound. It takes him approximately 32 seconds to come in with the machine, find the baby on the ultrasound, and put the heart rate monitor EXACTLY WHERE I HAD BEEN POINTING. He says we have lots of good readings for Baby A, so we can take that monitor off (yay!) and just watch B for 20 minutes. Nurse #2 leaves.

We finally got all the readings, and once they found Baby B's heart beat, it was good and strong and he was doing lots of moving. Dr. Smith came back in a few minutes later just to make sure everything was going okay, so we ended up seeing him I think 3 times when we weren't supposed to see him at all. No wonder the doctors there are always so busy! We also got to talk to the original nurse, who was now the only one in there with us. It was really neat to get to talk with her--she has been through lots of the same infertility problems that we have, and she actually has boy-girl twins herself! They were adopted, and they got them at 10 weeks old. She also has an older son whom they were able to adopt right after he was born--they took him home from the hospital! Her family even attended the same church that we do a few years ago. It was nice and refreshing to realize that the people that work there are real people too. Plus we got lots of good twin tips!

So all in all, everything turned out okay--the babies are healthy, and that's all that really matters. Hopefully next week our 20-minute test won't take 2 1/2 hours!!!


Tales of Browns, young and old... said...

Yay for the non-stress test! Although I must admit, I've totally used those lines before on patients whom I have trouble finding the fetal heart rates on... :)

The Momma Chronicles said...

Wheee! Two blog updates in one shot, it feels like Christmas. ;)

Glad to hear all is well with the beebs.

Princess Diaries said...

Further proof that indeed, "Mother knows best"!! Keep that in mind as you go through the next few weeks-NO ONE knows your babies like you do!! :)

Sarahendipity said...

Oh my! Why do they think we don't know what we are talking about? Glad to hear they are doing wonderful and getting big. Love all of you!

Tales of Browns, young and old... said...

You're going to laugh but I had a 28-weeker today that I could NOT find the heart rate on except weakly in this one spot... and I totally used that line on her. And I thought about your experience and felt like a moron. But I couldn't get that baby to stay on the monitor! Silly Nurse Daja :)