So, I saw my doctor today. The amniotic fluid levels had not changed, but I was able to convince her to put off the induction until Monday. My cervix is actually effacing and dilating now (it hadn’t been before) so I’m hoping I just need a couple more days to go into labor on my own.
So, we went over to the hospital for my previously scheduled non-stress test. This was at around 10:30 in the morning. We left a little before 2:30. The test is supposed to take 20-60 minutes. In a non-stress test, they look for the baby’s heart rate to accelerate twice in a 20 minute period. If, however, your baby is asleep, she might not move around that much and her heart rate might not accelerate as often as needed to meet the criteria of the test. They will try to wake the baby up or they can do a contraction stress test in which they give you something to cause minor contractions and watch the baby’s heart rate in response to that (if her heart rate slows down after contractions, then that’s a problem). Well. Little Miss Whatsit might move (and her heart rate accelerate) twice in 20 minutes, but the acceleration wouldn’t last the 15 sec. or whatever to meet the criteria to count it. Or, she might move twice and have a long enough acceleration in, say, 22 minutes which again doesn’t meet the criteria. In the meantime, I was having contractions on my own and she did not respond negatively to any of them but I wouldn’t have 3 in 10 minutes, I might have 3 in 15 minutes. So, again, didn’t exactly meet the criteria. So, as the doctor and nurse repeatedly told me, there was nothing wrong with my baby, she just didn’t technically meet the criteria for “reactive.” So, they kept monitoring me.
Now, as a scientist, I understand the necessity of creating a set of rigid criteria upon which to judge test results and discarding the ones that don’t meet the criteria. But. This was not a clinical study. I was not part of any sort of experiment. The purpose of the test(s) is to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the baby. Therefore, if they can tell there is nothing wrong with the baby, who the hell cares if she doesn’t exactly meet the criteria? I wasn’t going to lay around all day waiting for the baby to meet these criteria if she was fine. So, I decided that, at 2:30, I was leaving whether she met the criteria or not.
At 2:25, the nurse came in and said the baby met the criteria and I could go. She apologized profusely (she had been doing that all day, actually, and had been getting annoyed with my doctor, too) and I appreciated that even though it was my stupid doctor’s fault I was hooked up to a monitor for four hours for no good reason.