Friday, June 22, 2012

Non-Stress Test

Today, I went in for my first non-stress test (NST) for this pregnancy.  I did it with my son the first time around and doing it again for this baby due to my gestational diabetes.  I will be going in once a week beginning at week 34 and will then go in twice a week beginning at week 36.  I basically sit hooked to a monitor which records the baby's heart rate.  My practitioner wants the baby to move at least twice during the 20 minutes I am hooked up to the monitor.  When the baby moves its heart rate should increase (this is much the same way your heart rate increases when you move).  If the heart rate does not increase or in fact decrease, it could indicate that there is a problem with the baby (like an umbilical cord or placenta issue).  If the baby is lazy or sleeping, then they try different things to get it to move.  Today I had to drink a little bit of cold water and a little prodding to get some movement.  This baby is not a morning person and is definitely more active at night than during the day.

A nice thing about getting the NST is that it is one of the most relaxing times of the day that I can just sit around and do nothing.  With a toddler at home and working full-time, it really is a nice break.  I also get an ultrasound each time to check my fluid levels (high fluid levels are a risk with gestational diabetes) which lets me take a peek at my baby.  It is also always comforting to hear that heart beat knowing the baby is doing well inside.  There is something hypnotic about hearing a fetal heart beat that makes you feel so relaxed.

Here are some video that I took of the ultrasound.  Today was the first time (after many ultrasounds with both of my children), that I could actually see the umbilical cord floating around.

The umbilical cord and baby's face
The baby's heart beat
Hooked up to the monitor.  You can see the baby moving!

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