(If you missed the last post, you kind of need to read that first to understand what I'm talking about. )
One of my mom's good friends used to be our next door neighbor until they moved away around the time I was in high school. She was an L&D nurse for a long time and one of the places she worked was the other major "high risk"/level III NICU hospital. (The kind of place where they had women helicoptered in from other hospitals when things got ugly.)
I had my mom call her to get a little more insight, realizing that she's not a doctor but that she's probably seen her fair share of high risk pregnant women, and she ended up calling me. She confirmed the breathing thing really isn't a big deal, a lot of babies don't really start practicing breathing until after 28ish weeks. But the drops/decels/variables are not good. It's better that they dropped and came right back up (so on the paper of lines keeping track of his heart rate, it looked like a squished together v, not a u or half circle where the dip lasts awhile). But, they shouldn't be happening, it doesn't have anything to do with them starting monitoring so early, it's not something that they like to see at all at any gestation. (And I think now what the nurse who did the NST was basically saying was that it's better when they are fullterm because they just induce or are already in labor and watch it closely. Since it's early and we have a long way to go before we're at fullterm, it raises new issues.) Also, I wasn't totally aware of this but the dips are actually a sign/indication of a drop in his oxygen levels. (That's why they don't like seeing them.)
It could be a cord issue, it could be something to do with the notching they saw earlier, or it could be something else or it could just be a fluke and a "watch me even closer" warning sign. (It does not seem to be pre-eclampsia or anything pre-eclampsia/HELLP like, I have no pain or swelling or anything and my blood pressure is pretty good. Even now. And my blood sugars have been normal all day too.)
So, if things aren't better on Monday, there's a good chance that they'll send me to the hospital, I guess for more continuous monitoring + trying to figure out what is causing this + possibly steroid shots to help mature his lungs. And if they can't figure out why it's happening or stop it and it stays status quo, we'll either have lots and lots of monitoring (like daily if not keeping me there), or deliver soon. I'm leaning towards "deliver soon" rather than wait to see what goes wrong next and he ends up *really* in distress. Maybe it will be normal Monday and we can hold off for awhile longer...but I'm really not liking this dips in oxygen thing at all, even if it is normal on Monday, I'm kind of feeling "lucky" that they saw it today, because my high risk doctor didn't think monitoring this early was actually necessary since everything looks good with me (besides my zillions of risk factors) and the baby seemed good between the growth ultrasounds and quick checks with the doppler. She decided to start it early mainly for my peace of mind. So that kind of backfired but I'm actually a little more relaxed now that I know they are watching us even more closely. I'd rather know about it and be stressed out and overly vigilant than be oblivious and things go horribly wrong later. If I hadn't had monitoring today and he's normal Monday, we wouldn't have even known there could be another issue. Luckily, he's been a busy boy for the rest of today so far so I'm feeling relatively okay in the scheme of things for right now. I hope this weekend goes by quickly though. And I haven't used our fetal doppler in forever, not since I started feeling movement every day, but I think we'll dust it off and will be using it quite a bit this weekend unless he stays pretty active constantly.
So, I guess I'll make sure I have my hospital bag packed and in the car for just in case. And I really hope this weekend goes by quickly and uneventfully. (I know I've already said that but I think it bears repeating.)