Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NST PTSD

NST machine
I will eventually write about the baby shower we had on Sunday, but until I can get to all of that I wanted to write about today's NST. Our appointment with the different doctor on Friday went okay. I didn't have to go crazy on her, which was a bonus. She wasn't dismissive, but she wasn't thorough either. I left feeling like I didn't get what I needed. I called the office later to have my real doctor call me when he is back.

This was my very first NST (non-stress test) I have had this pregnancy. I have been dreading it because the last NST I had made my whole world come crashing down.

My NST's are scheduled twice a week until Mason is born. One NST a week I have to go to on my own because Brian can't get the time off work. I haven't gone to a single appointment without him, let alone THE appointment I went to where they couldn't find Addison's heartbeat.

My first NST was on a "no Brian day" um seriously...what the hell was I thinking? Clearly I wasn't. I was really nervous when I got up this morning. Luckily Mason was squirming around in my belly so I knew at the very least he was alive.

Brian left for work and I left on my own to the appointment feeling...scared, anxious, lost etc. I checked in at the OB's office and also asked for a copy of my last ultrasound results. I waited for my name to be called and read over my results. They looked good as far as I could tell.

A nurse I have never seen before called me back to the NST room.  Now the last NST I had where they couldn't find Addi's heartbeat was at the hospital so this wasn't THE room, but it was the room where I had the only NST where Addi was alive and well. I hadn't been in that room since my daughter was alive. It felt odd in there. The nurse was chatty and and I am sure a little confused why I looked like I was about to pass out.

When she asked how I was,  I said  I was nervous. I tried telling her that the last NST I had they couldn't find my daughter's heartbeat, but she went on and on about how that happens often and she would get me all hooked up...no lady I mean they NEVER found it! After a couple more attempts I finally had to spell it out, my daughter is DEAD, this baby is my son, my second pregnancy. Then she felt terrible...I didn't mean to make her feel bad, but she just wasn't getting it. As if no one warned her about me.

She found Mason's heartbeat right away and I have to say I was quite pleased with how well he cooperated the entire test. The nurse kept coming back to look at the print out and every time would say "look how pretty". Like she wanted me to know how well things were looking.

When she left me the first time, she asked me to drink the water I had brought with me. So I did. All of it! It was cold and I couldn't help, but notice how the cold felt as it went down my throat and then as a contrast how warm the tears felt that streamed down both sides of my face.

I was quiet about it, no ugly cry, but I cried through the entire test. I couldn't help, but think that the last time I was in THIS chair in THIS room staring at THESE tiles on the ceiling I was listening to my perfectly healthy ALIVE baby girl. If only I had known that her passing that test with flying colors would mean she would be gone 3 short days later. Those tiles really made the tears flow.
my ceiling "view"


These tests don't make me feel better. I still want to do them, but do I think they will keep Mason safe, oh hells no. Nothing will.

When the test was over the nurse commented on how great the results were, that they don't usually see such great cooperation. On one hand I was thankful not to have anything new to worry about, but on the other hand I know that doesn't guarantee me a take home baby.

My one shining moment came when I heard my doctor was back in the country today. Maybe I will sleep a little better knowing he is here if I need him.

33+ weeks pregnant and it is just getting harder. I seriously think I suffer from NST PTSD among other things!

14 comments:

  1. ooh, I'm sorry you had to do that alone. I get what you mean about PTSD and also not feeling like this extra monitoring will really DO anything to prevent another loss. For me it always comes back to "so what, my first baby also looked perfect and then she DIED." It's hard.

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  2. I'm glad that you have that NST behind you. Thankfully, you'll never have to do that first one after the horrible one ever again. I'm sorry that Brian wasn't there. I know that would have helped at least some.

    I'm sorry that your nurse was a little dense about understanding about Addi. I hate having to spell that out!

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  3. I understand. These tests are meant to bring reassurance but do they when we had these with our firsts and all appeared to be fine. But regular monitoring will hopefully keep you in tune with your little dude and help to bring some comfort - if it can. Good luck with these last weeks, single digit count down now... thinking of you :)

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  4. I think PTSD just goes with the territory. I know I've got it.

    I'm so glad the test results were good in the end though.

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  5. I hear ya sister...I hated NST's with Layton. I actually had an NST where they couldn't pick up his heartbeat/couldn't keep him on the monitor and had to have an ultrasound done to make sure all was ok...horrible flashbacks. My doctor kept telling me that we can see him moving so he is ok...ya right!!!

    I am hoping from now on they will be less traumatic for you...you are in the final stretch. Having 2 appt's a week really helped pass the last weeks for me. I hope it does the same for you. You are getting so close!!!

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  6. Yes; I know just that feeling that nothing is certain. The doctors and nurses want us to get comfort in test results and perfect scans. But when a perfect baby can die for no reason, those kind of good results still don't offer us much relief. I hope the next few weeks pass by quickly and Mason is soon home in your arms.

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  7. That's really rough. One idea - we wrote out a special colorful little note with a picture of Elizabeth on it for each of our doctor office files and instructed that it be put on the top, so anyone who ever opens our file knows right away that we lost a baby. It seems to help somewhat.

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  8. Oh geez... I know that must have been veeeeerrrryy hard to go thru. At least u got it over with. Hearing about these NSTs makes me feel better that my drs are doing BPPs only. I want to hear about the shower!!

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  9. Sending you giant hugs always, my dear...

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  10. Oh how I cannot wait until this pregnancy is over for you and Mason is in your arms. Reliving those memories is maddening!

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  11. That must have been excruciating to be there after the news you got last time... hopefully each time will get easier xoxo

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  12. I think we all suffer from PTSD as a result of everything we've been through. I hope that these next few weeks are kind to you.

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  13. That sounds so tough - I hope that the remainder of the NSTs are less excruciating for you. I hated it when health care professionals hadn't read through my notes and didn't seem to know about my history.

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