Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Non-Stress Tests are causing me STRESS!!!

Why do they call them Non-stress Tests?? I find that they do nothing but cause me more stress. Today's NST lasted 90 minutes long...yes, 90 minutes long! Let me start off by saying I had an OB appointment first, which lasted maybe 10 minutes so I was feeling pretty encouraged that my NST would be just as eventful and quick. No cervix check today (yeah!!!), no belly measurements (why bother...doesn't take a measuring tape to see I'm as big as a freakin house these days), and just a quick check of the babies' heartbeats with the doppler. She went over my recent bloodwork and labs with me - no sign of pre-eclampsia yet (but my levels are more elevated since the last time so we'll keep an eye on it), no gestational diabetes, no anemia and my fFN came back negative. Everything seems to be in check. My BP was a little on the high side again (148/89) so she ordered a 24-hr urine check. I did remember to ask this time at what point she wouldn't try to stop labor and she said 32-34 weeks, which surprised me. She said even if we had to deliver now for some reason that the babies would be fine but she'd feel better about them being delivered between 32-34 weeks. I'd much prefer for her to do everything possible to keep these little guys in until at least 34 weeks, even if all those meds make me feel miserable. I remember with Cole and Bella, after being on a mag pump and niphedipine for 4 days, I was begging and pleading with the nurses to stop all the meds and just let my body do what is was going to do....not only do the meds make you feel physically drained but it also does a number on your emotional stamina. You can only take so much, especially when you're throwing up every hour on the hour from horrible acid reflux. Okay, so let's stop there with all the gory stuff....

So I go over to the room where they do the NST's and right away the nurse does an ultrasound to check their positions and check the amniotic fluid. Fluid looks good and is at a nice, healthy level for both babies. Seems Baby B changed positions though...he's now transverse with his head on my right side and his legs on my left side. Baby A is still head down with his head right against my cervix and he's pretty much curled up in a ball, facing downwards. Poor little guy is being crushed by his brother and probably just counting down the minutes until he can make the great escape. It's funny how most people assume twins will want to be as physically close as possible after they're born but Cole and Bella never did. They loved having their own incubators in the NICU and being able to stretch their arms and legs out. They never slept in the fetal position, like most babies. And when they finally were moved to a double isolette where they could be side by side, they actually bothered each other more and the nurses moved them back to separate isolettes. I have a feeling these guys will be the same way...I mean, seriously, once they're out of the womb and have the ability to spread out, why would they want to sleep in such tight quarters?? I know I wouldn't.

Once the nurse determined their positions, we thought it would be a piece of cake to get them both on the monitors. At first, she managed to get recordings of them for about 10 minutes but they weren't moving very much. And then Baby A fell off the monitor and then Baby B and we were right back to square one. It took both of us to try and find them again....once we finally had both of them back on the monitors, there was no good solid movements from either of them for a good 30 minutes. She said if they continued like this, that my OB would probably send me to L&D for further monitoring....I said "no way....we gotta get these guys moving somehow"....but it seemed like everytime we'd manage to get both of them on the monitors, one would eventually fall off and we'd have to start all over again. I had a few contractions here and there but nothing that was extraordinary....I think she was more concerned with their lack of activity than the contractions. At some point, I even started to worry. Then she asked me when was the last time I ate something and it actually had been 3 hours so she offered me some orange juice and within 10 minutes, they were both a lot more active. Guess they were just feeling sluggish from being starved....she suggested that from now on I should eat a snack and drink some juice right before the NST's and hopefully we'll have better luck.

After 90 minutes of this, I was so exhausted!! I was looking forward to getting off the sofa and being out of the house but this wasn't exactly what I had planned! She took my BP after the NST and it had gone down a little but not too shocker there considering how stressful the "non-stress" test was. Overall, I'll consider today's NST a success though....I didn't end up at L&D and that, to me, is considered a success!

I have to laugh though about how many people I must have encountered on my way up to my OB's office who asked me when I was due. Here's how most of the conversations went:

The nosy person (TNP): "So when are you due?"
Me: "Not until April"
TNP: Oh, you look like you're due any day now.
Me: Um, yeah, thanks...
TNP: Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?
Me: Actually, 2 boys
TNP: Twins?
Me: Yes, twins (unless you know of a way I can have 2 babies that are NOT twins - no, I didn't actually say this part but I really really wanted to)
TNP: Were you trying for twins? (I'm not kidding....I was asked this 3 times do you TRY for twins??? Sex twice in one night perhaps??)
Me: No, weren't trying...we were just very fortunate to be blessed with twins
TNP: Are these your first children?
Me: No, we have another set of twins who are 2 yrs old
TNP: (opens mouth wide, looks at me like I'm kidding....) You're kidding, so this will be your 2nd set of twins? Do twins run in your family?
Me: Yeah, they do now (really, do I wanna start getting into a history of the fact that yes, my grandmother had twins and 2 of my cousins have twins...yadda, yadda, yadda...)
TNP: Wow, I've never heard of that (obviously, they never watch Discovery Healthy Channel or TLC where there are tons of stories more interesting than mine)
TNP: (without giving me a chance to respond)...So are you done having kids after this? (as if I'm my uterus is shooting off sets of twins left and right)...
Me: Yes, I think so (what I really really want to say is "No, we're hoping to have triplets next time around")

After having this conversation about 4 times with different people BEFORE I even got up to my OB's office, I had decided in my head that I was just going to say I was due anyday now and we were having a boy, who will be our first born. I hate to sound rude but in the beginning of this pregnancy I will admit I enjoyed the attention and the interest that people showed when they learned we were having our 2nd set of twins but nowadays, I just wanna avoid the conversation at all costs because it's ALWAYS the same questions/same comments. Then there are the people who want to know if we had to do fertility treatments to conceive either set of twins. Normally I don't mind discussing this as I've always been very open about having to do IVF to conceive Cole and Bella, there's no shame in that. But unfortunately the comment I usually hear after I tell people that we needed IVF to conceive our 1st set of twins but that these twins were spontaneously conceived is "well, looks like you didn't need fertility treatments after all". This comment always angers me. As if we were doing something wrong to begin with and that's why we couldn't conceive. I'd love to say to these people who make this comment "hmmm, now that you mention it, maybe all it comes down to is sexual position...maybe we weren't just doing it right the first time". As if all 3 IVF cycles we did were in vain and didn't mean anything....I always say if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. Yes, IVF is not an enjoyable experience by any means and it certainly isn't cheap either but I wouldn't have Cole and Bella in my life if I hadn't gone through any of it and, along the way, I've made many life-long friends who cycled at the same clinic with me. So I never look back now and think "maybe I didn't need IVF in the first place"....I just thank God I had such a wonderful RE and that we were blessed with success, even if it did take 3 tries.

Okay, I should get off my soap box....I'm feeling just a little bit irritable and hormonal these days. Can you blame me??


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Jen said...

Heen -

You can always make me laugh, I would love to hear you say some of those things to TNP. I think I'd say some other things to the insensitive people who don't have a filter working when they speak. You didn't need IVF - like they have any idea. Things happen for a reason. Like you said, you wouldn't have Cole & Bella if you hadn't done IVF. See you soon!


Michele S said...

Helene- you know I had to deal with all the comments too, and when someone told me it looked like I didn't need IF treatments I just said, "Well, should I get my 40 grand back? That would come in REALLY HANDY NOW!"

I, too, usually loved all the attention until the end when I was feeling like shit. I hated the non-stress tests too.

Hang in there!!!

Michele said...

Douglas Adams, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, wrote that humans have to make constant, inane small talk, because they're afraid that if they don't, their brains will start working.

In our case, after eight children (the last two a set of MZ girls), people have stopped asking if we're done yet. These days, the comments are mostly of the "better you than me" variety, with which I am sure you are familiar!

Enjoying the blog! Thanks!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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