The dreaded non-stress tests began today, and I failed the first one. Again, everyone I encountered today was so wonderful, but it is a devastating blow to fail these tests. The test basically has you lay on a table or in a chair with a monitor attached to you. They want to make sure that in 20 minutes, the baby moves enough times and each time, the heart rate responds appropriately to the movement, like it increases sufficiently but does not stay elevated.
Since I failed the NST, I was sent immediately for a biophysical profile. This is an ultrasound where the baby is tested for four different things. The maximum score for each thing is 2, so you are aiming for a total of 8 on the test. I scored 6 almost right away, but the final 2 points, for “practice breathing”, took almost the full 30 minutes they allow. Had I not passed this portion of the test this week, they would have let me go home, but as my due date gets closer, not passing this part of the test is reason to go to the hospital for further monitoring. Scary.