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Week 36: Stressed Out Over the Non-Stress Test

As a matter of end of third trimester routine, we now go to the doctor every week. They’re planning on another ultrasound next week to check that the baby is still growing well. I’m measuring (height of fundus/uterus) at 34 cm. Number of cm = approximate # weeks growth, so that puts me “2 weeks small,” supposedly. It could mean baby isn’t growing well, but it most likely means that I’m just small. During my ultrasound last week, my placenta and amniotic fluids looked full and healthy, and the baby continues to move well.

Well, mostly! I saw the nurse practitioner again on Thursday rather than the doctor. After reading the heartbeat and checking me to see if my cervix is dilated, a process they started last week (it’s starting to, but is still less than 1cm–not really open yet,) she decided to run a Non-Stress Test.

During a non-stress test, they have you lay down on your back and put a fetal heartbeat monitor and a contraction monitor band around your midsection. They also handed me a little clicker to push whenever I felt the baby move. I was then left to lie there for 15 minutes while the machine kicked out static-riddled heartbeat patterns and a pile of paper with a little jagged line, charting Print Nugget’s heartbeat. The Nugget was too calm for them. Heartbeat stayed mostly in the high 120s. It jumped up to 140s, 150s a couple of times, but they had to extend my test and feed me a diet coke to get it to do so (which seemed counter-intuitive to me.) We were there for about an hour.

The baby moves the most around 8:30pm, and during the day when I’m sitting up in a chair at the computer or something (rib cage pressing down on it,) or when I’m riding in the car. It would be kind of out of character for its heartrate to be going too crazy around the time of day/in the situation in which they were monitoring it, I thought. But whatever. After the extension and the caffine, we passed the non-stress test. Barely.

In other news, the results of my group B strep test from last week (a routine procedure) came back negative, so I won’t need any antibiotics. Yay!


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