Monday, November 10, 2014

Non-Stress Tests

Hello out there!  I'm looking for a little bit of advice today and hoping that some of you have thoughts on Non-Stress Tests or NSTs.  Both my high-risk OB and regular OB have offered me NSTs starting at 32 weeks.  Apparently they are pretty standard after one has a stillbirth, but given that we generally know what caused L's death (clotting in the placenta), both doctors think they won't actually be very helpful for me   Both of them think that if I started to have clotting in the placenta, we would see growth restriction (which we haven't).  And if I have an "acute event" like I did last time, the chance of us catching it while it happens is almost zero (so comforting).

That said, they have both brought it up and left it up to me as to whether we do them.

And I don't know what to do.

I've definitely been all for monitoring of any kind during this pregnancy.  I have probably had 20 ultrasounds and I've been seen every other week since 20 weeks.  But those visits were recommended and it seems like the doctors are not really recommending NSTs but instead just giving me the option.

I live in fear of making the wrong decision, but I don't want to do something just to do it (not to mention that NSTs would be twice a week for an hour each visit).

Any thoughts?  Has anyone done NSTs?  Were they comforting and/or helpful?

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In other news, the high-risk OB confirmed today that we'll induce at 37 weeks, which is the day after Christmas!  So, I'll work until Christmas Eve and that will be it for me (provided all goes well until then, of course).  So, this little nugget should arrive before the New Year. Crazy.  

14 comments:

  1. Wow, things are moving right along! Hard to believe it's coming close to that time already.
    I don't have any advice to offer on NST's - but just follow your gut and do what is right for you.
    Wishing you continued health and all the best.

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    1. Yes, they are... it is still so hard to believe. You are right about following my gut - I'm leaning toward doing them just for peace of mind.

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  2. I've done NSTs, not even so much because of our previous loss (I think) but because my blood pressure is rather erratic, especially near the OB's office. Although my MFM also said that serious problems would manifest themselves as growth restrictions (and I had one scan at 35w for that, after very many leading up to 28w), he still wanted me to do the NSTs. First weekly and then twice weekly. Honestly, I found they stressed me out, because usually SB was sleeping and needed to be "buzzed awake". Which supposedly doesn't harm the baby, but still, it always made me feel uneasy. So while I was first in favor of all the monitoring I could get, I'm somewhat divided on the NSTs. As I was probably on the edge of developing preeclampsia, I'd rather be safe than sorry, but for your case where the timelines seem to be so different I'd carefully weigh the possible benefits to the additional stress it might cause you. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts. This buzzing the baby awake sounds quite stressful... I think I might go to them for a week, see how I feel, and reassess since it sounds like I can stop anytime. I really appreciate you sharing your experience with them. I have no idea what to expect otherwise!

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  3. I would do them. If they stress you out (the irony of a non stress test causing stress, but I totally get it and have been there) then you can stop doing them. Cale died from a pressumed cord accident which most likely was, as you said an acute event where it's hard to "catch." But there are just so many variables with pregnancy, I wanted them to have as good of a chance as possible at catching whatever possibly could go wrong. So for me, the more tests the better. I found them comforting to just have a planned time to sit and listen to my baby and know he was ok, at least in that moment. I did have a couple tests where baby was sleepy, but even hearing the heartbeat was just nice and reassuring for me. Best of luck making a decision that's right for you.

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    1. Thanks for offering your perspective, Caroline. I do think I am going to give them a try... I like the idea of just listening to the heartbeat for a period each week. It sounds kind of amazing. I'll report in about how they go for me. Thanks again!

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  4. I think it's great that they are offering this for you. I have no good advice about this, but feel it likely won't hurt anything to do it and will give you extra peace of mind. That is so exciting about having your delivery date! That just 3 days before my scheduled C! I can't believe how quickly that time is coming! With the Holidays in there, we will be holding our little ones before we know it! It's all so surreal! Continuing to send you lots of prayers.

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    1. Time is flying, isn't it? Somehow it is mid-November... I am nervous and SO very excited. You are right that these will likely reassure me, so I am going to give them a try. I'll report back about how it goes. I'm thinking of you and hoping we both get the best news ever between Christmas and the New Year.

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  5. Wow!! Good to know everything is moving along quickly. I don't have much advice either. Just hoping everything continues to go well and that you have a wonderful Christmas. <3

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    1. Thanks - I went ahead and scheduled a test for 32 weeks. I'll report in on how it goes and whether it is terrifying or reassuring (hoping for the latter).

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  6. My very good friend gave birth to her son who was stillborn at 32 weeks. She just recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She never found out what caused her son's heart to stop but had NST's during her 2nd pregnancy. I know they made her feel comforted. Would they let you have one and then decide if you want to keep going? Maybe you could gauge if they are reassuring or not after one?

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    1. I'm so sorry for your friend, but so happy to hear she just had a healthy baby girl. What wonderful news. I do think I can have a NST and then decide to stop at any point if I feel like they are not helping with anxiety and stress. I've scheduled my first one for next Tuesday with that plan in mind... if I like it, I'll keep going. I suspect I will. Thanks for your comment.

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  7. Hi, I commented on an older post about supplements and just wanted to know how much of the Wheat Grass powder you took everyday? Thanks!

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