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How reliable are non-stress tests?

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How reliable are non-stress tests?

Postby kkinnell » Tue Jun 05, 2012 09:42 pm

by kkinnell (13 Posts), Tue Jun 05, 2012 09:42 pm

Okay, I might be worrying for nothing but...

I'm 30 weeks 3 days today and was diagnosed with mild preeclampsia during a week long hospital stay last week. I have labile blood pressures (anywhere from 160/85, 150/100 to 107/55), and my last 24 hour was only 324. I'm home now and going in 2x a week for NSTs, etc. Baby boy has always been super active--we did non-stress tests everyday in the hospital and even on 'sleepy' days, I was counting 20 or more (sometimes lots more) movements during the test. He's also always been very responsive--if you poke him, he will poke you back. In fact, his favorite game in the hospital was to find the monitor and kick it repeatedly.

Last night I noticed that he wasn't moving as much as usual. My husband and I both poked and prodded him, but he wouldn't respond. I laid down, did a movement count, and easily got the 6 within an hour--but 6 squirmy movements, not visible kicks and punches like normal. We had a NST scheduled this morning, so I decided not to panic (since I got the 6). The NST was reactive within 20 minutes, and so they said there was nothing to worry about. It was odd, because I only counted 5 or so movements, which I realize is fine, but is really uncharacteristic.

So, this is my question: he remains quite and unresponsive to our poking him. I've done a few movement counts, and they're fine. The NST is fine. Am I crazy for being worried still? Are NSTs so reliable that noticing this kind of difference doesn't matter?

Thanks for any input you have. All this waiting and wondering might just be getting to me. It would be helpful if this whole process weren't coinciding with the most hormonally charged time in life...
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Re: How reliable are non-stress tests?

Postby aajatwins » Wed Jun 06, 2012 02:46 pm

by aajatwins (476 Posts), Wed Jun 06, 2012 02:46 pm

So he did fine yesterday and you have another NST later this week? If you have another one this week, I wouldn't worry too much just yet. Remember, at this gestation, they are putting on weight rapidly and running out of of play room. Have you tried some caffeine or getting on hands and knees and rocking? just little tricks that usually get them moving. My ob always said if it was different from our normal and concerning to me, then I should come in. But as you've already been in, I would think the NST would be pretty accurate. But he is still moving, right? just not as much as usual? Have you done anything out of the ordinary in the last day or so?
Anna (28) - endometriosis
Hubby (27)
Aidan & Jordan - 7.2.09 at 36 weeks. Induction turned emergency c-section due to eclampsia. big healthy toddlers today!
Asa - 10.23.11 at 39 weeks. NO hypertensive issues!! successful VBAC :)
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Re: How reliable are non-stress tests?

Postby kkinnell » Wed Jun 06, 2012 03:44 pm

by kkinnell (13 Posts), Wed Jun 06, 2012 03:44 pm

Thanks so much for your reply!

Yes, he did fine yesterday and I'll have another NST on Friday. My midwife said the same thing about coming in, but 2 NSTs a week ought to be enough, no? And I am getting my kick counts without any trouble. I've tried caffeine, sugar, etc. He's moving, it's just *different* if you know what I mean. Because of that, I just got myself all worried that the NSTs wouldn't pick up some distress or trouble. Again, probably I've just got myself worked up over nothing--wouldn't be the first time. :)
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Re: How reliable are non-stress tests?

Postby aajatwins » Wed Jun 06, 2012 09:46 pm

by aajatwins (476 Posts), Wed Jun 06, 2012 09:46 pm

It is so hard to not worry about that sweet baby, though! I would think he is probably just getting so big now - or maybe he's turned differently than he was before. My youngest would turn while I was asleep and I'd wake up to an odd-looking belly :)

Let us know after your check on Friday, though!
Anna (28) - endometriosis
Hubby (27)
Aidan & Jordan - 7.2.09 at 36 weeks. Induction turned emergency c-section due to eclampsia. big healthy toddlers today!
Asa - 10.23.11 at 39 weeks. NO hypertensive issues!! successful VBAC :)
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Re: How reliable are non-stress tests?

Postby jamie w » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:19 pm

by jamie w (978 Posts), Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:19 pm

I would request an ultrasound just to really see what is going on. I don't want to create fear because my story is certainly not the norm but my daughter's NSTs were all ok too and we had an unfavorable outcome.
Jamie
DD Carly 7-1-04 PE at 37 weeks (6 lbs 9 oz)
DD Anna 12-3-07 PE at 24 weeks and delivered at 38 weeks after 13 weeks bedrest, gestational diabetes, and oligo. This sweet baby has cerebral palsy and epilepsy thanks to my dear friend PE (5 lbs 15 oz)
DS Gabe 2-24-11 at 35 weeks for chronic HTN with superimposed PIH (5 lb 13 oz) 18 NICU days
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Re: How reliable are non-stress tests?

Postby kkinnell » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:02 pm

by kkinnell (13 Posts), Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:02 pm

Thanks, all. He was quiet all day yesterday and the day before, but started bouncing around again like normal last night and this morning. I was all set to ask for an ultrasound like you suggested, Jamie, but he seemed more himself all day today and the NST was good. So, thank you all for your input--and no need to worry about worrying me, I'm obviously already there :).
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