New Year’s Day

January 3, 2010

It started out as a good day. We slept in, planned the weekend, played with the cats, and took a perfectly-timed walk, managing to get home just before it rained. Then I took a nap and we braced ourselves for Dot’s first non-stress test.

I hate NST’s, for the record. I had several when pregnant with Teddy, and they were all hellishly stressful – because of my high fluid levels, multiple nurses would try (and fail, every time) to get Teddy’s heartbeat on the monitor for the required amount of time. We’d leave, after hours of waiting and worrying, with no better information than we had when we arrived. In addition to this, everyone we talked to at the local hospital was afraid I’d deliver before we headed to Portland, and their worries fed my own.

So I expected this NST to be no fun whatsoever. I really did. I just didn’t expect it to be quite so bad as it was. The good (very good) news is that Dot looks just fine. The bad news is that walking into this place brought back a flood of technicolor, surround-sound memories I was not ready to face. I relived all of those miserable past NST’s and some of Teddy’s birth and death.

I felt like a trapped animal.

Not surprisingly, my blood pressure readings were high – not that anyone told us this till we’d been sitting in the damned room long enough to wonder what was going on. So they talked to me about preeclampsia and HELLP (I know all of this, I kept thinking) and ordered some labs. While the lab tech was drawing my blood, they took my blood pressure again, and when I questioned this, just told me they’d keep the reading anyway.

One of our nurses was nervous, talked to me as though I was a twelve-year-old, and seemed to think that I needed scaring when I suggested that frequent NST’s might not be in my best interests.

We were there for hours, and I left with a giant jug and instructions to save all of my pee for 24 hours.

What I’m really worried about is that, by going in for these tests I’m creating a condition (or the appearance of one) that will need to be treated by bedrest, which isn’t in the best interests of treating my raised blood sugar levels (the reason I showed up for the NST in the first place). And, if I’m honest, I don’t want to go back there – not back to Labor and Delivery, not back to those overwhelming memories.  Right now I wish I could give birth in a cave or an abandoned barn.



  1. Oh, Erica, that sounds awful.
    Can you get your NST done anywhere else? Can you get blood pressure checked in other places to show its elevated because of the situation?
    I wish this were all easier.

  2. ((hugs))!! Hang in there, Erica.

  3. Do you have a home BP monitor? They’re pretty affordable nowadays. I would record my BP and bring the chart to my doctors, so they would be able to determine if I had “real” high bp or if it was just white coat syndrome.

    All of my doctors took my home readings as the most accurate representation of my real blood pressure, and mostly disregarded the in-office readings.

  4. wow, you have to go to the delivery floor? that IS stressful – maybe this hospital should do a study – one group of women to a nice office and the other to L&D and see if blood pressure correlates to location!

    hope all the bad tests come back negative and the good tests come back positive 🙂

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