At my non-stress test on Tuesday my blood pressure was really elevated and they also found some protein in my urine. The doctor said I could possibly have preeclampsia and they sent me for further testing. This freaked me out because all I know of preeclampsia is when Lady Sybil died of it on Downton Abbey. I also have a friend who is in the hospital dealing with a rough case of it.
I got the automated test results online the next day and they showed levels of protein that were way above the cutoff for preeclampsia so I hurriedly emailed my doctor. When I didn’t hear back from her I left a voicemail and waited for a response while freaking out all morning at work. When I finally spoke to the doctor she said I do have preeclampsia and they are moving my c-section date up a week to March 9th! I called my family and tried to keep things calm so my mom wouldn’t freak out (it didn’t work) and they were (luckily) all able to change their travel plans.
They doctor also set me up with a blood pressure machine so I can monitor it daily. I went in that afternoon to pick it up and to learn how to use it. They took my bp a few times and it was really high 159/95. This was concerning because the cutoff for necessary medical intervention is if the higher number is over 160 or the lower number is over 105 so I was right on the borderline. Surprisingly, the nurse sent me on my way and I headed to an amazing Vietnamese restaurant to get dinner before my newborn care class later that night. Right after the waitress put a huge bowl of delicious pho in front of me, I noticed I had 5 missed calls from my doctor’s office. I guess the nurse spoke to the doctor and they wanted me to go to labor and delivery ASAP. So I gulped down my soup and headed to the hospital to possibly have a baby.
The labor and delivery nurses put me on a baby heartbeat monitor and checked my blood pressure regularly for about 2 hours. The numbers went down quite a bit and the doctor decided I didn’t need to deliver and I was sent home. phew!
This morning my I had another appointment and my blood pressure is completely normal. My c section is still on for the 9th. So yeah, I’m going to be a mom in a week!
Pregnancy has definitely altered my relationship with my body. Before my pregnancy, I would also describe myself as “body positive” and someone who accepted and (tentatively) loved her body. I say this with the caveat that this was an everyday struggle due to all the stigma, judgment, and bullshit the world attaches people’s bodies.
So it’s been quite a shift to be pregnant because I find myself really loving my pregnant body. I think this is partially due to my body getting public validation for just about the first time ever. People smile at me and ask me about the baby and how I’m feeling. They also jump up on public transportation when I ask for a seat. It’s like my body is finally confirming in some way to the world’s expectations of what a woman’s body should look like (and be used for). Due to this new-found acceptance, I’m finding that I like showing off the bump and prefer wearing clothes that accentuate that I’m pregnant. I’m also not looking forward to losing this validation after I give birth.
I think some of this is also tied up in still not completely trusting my body. Most of my trying to conceive/infertility process focused on how my body was inadequate and wasn’t doing what it’s supposed to do. I really, truly, didn’t think I could get pregnant despite my doctor’s assurances. I just assumed my body would fail me like I’ve felt like it has for my whole life. Even now that I’m pregnant, I’m still in some way convinced things won’t go the way they are supposed to. A few weeks ago I completely convinced myself my body was incapable of breastfeeding. Now, I just can’t shake the feeling that my body will somehow betray me.
I’m also having more and more of the “holy shit what have I done?” feelings where I worry that this was a huge mistake and I doubt my ability to be a good parent. These feelings are interspersed with a lot of excitement and anticipation to finally meet my little girl. Sometimes I’m like “3 weeks is too long to wait” and other times I’m petrified thinking that I only have 3 weeks of “freedom.” I know that these feelings are normal-especially at this stage of pregnancy (with all the crazy hormones coursing through my body). But I also want to be thoughtful about my increased risk of post-partum depression. I already have depression/anxiety and have been taking Zoloft throughout my whole pregnancy. Also, my mom and sister both had really bad PPD. I’m planning on mentioning this again to my OB during our next visit and asking a few friends to check in with me. I may also try to get back into therapy-although I’m unsure how to swing that with a newborn.
In other news, I’m still feeling pretty good physically. While I’m still throwing up daily (usually at 3am), struggling to keep my fasting glucose levels in check and have increasingly bad heartburn, I’m also sleeping great, have had very little back pain and have completely avoided round ligament pain and “lightening crotch.” And I still walk about 1.5 miles daily for my commute (at a snails pace). I’m pretty exhausted at the end of the day but I just don’t expect to get anything hugely productive done when I get home. That said, I’m definitely looking forward to going on leave in 7 days! I should have two full weeks off before the baby is born (unless she decides to make an early appearance). I’m planning on a lot more sleep, eating out, and seeing as many movies as possible. Fingers crossed the baby stays put.
Only five weeks and a few days until I meet this little person. It’s going both really fast and excruciatingly slow. I had my last ultrasound yesterday and everything is looking good. She is measuring right on track at 4 pounds 13 ounces. I was born with a birth defect in both of my kidneys so they checked to make sure she doesn’t have a similar issue and her kidneys both looked perfect. Here are the adorable/creepy pictures:
Also, my belly seems to be growing bigger by the day:
In other news, I had a pretty intense experience Friday night. I went out to a beer garden with some friends and witnessed a small child have a seizure. The mom’s scream ( while her drink crashed to the ground) was frightening. I’m usually really calm in emergency situations but I completely froze and couldn’t even look in that direction. My friends said I looked super scared. I’m thinking this is some kind of mom instinct thing. Luckily the kid seemed much better after the seizure and they were able to carry him out while he was conscious. I have a feeling motherhood will bring with it a whole new set of emotions…
Here is the bump at ( almost) 8 months.
I had another check-up with my OB this morning. Baby is doing great and has a nice strong heartbeat. But because I’m on insulin and have the tiny risk of uterine rupture due to my surgery, they are monitoring me like crazy. I’m having weekly non-stress tests, another high contrast ultrasound (which i must say i’m excited about), another OB appointment, and a consult with the surgeon who will be doing my c section. I’m also doing a newborn care class, a breastfeeding class, and a labor and delivery tour. So I’ll be at an appointment or class 11 times in the next month. That said, I do know I’m lucky to have access to this medical care (and free classes) but crap I’m overwhelmed. Especially because this is my last month of work. But a healthy kid is that most important thing-so I’ll be at all of them.
My OB also told me that there is a whooping cough epidemic and that anyone who holds the baby has to have a vaccination for about the first 2 months. I trust her because she is the opposite of alarmist but I have no idea how I will deal with this. I suppose I’ll at least ask my family to get them before they get here. She said there has been an increase in babies getting this because there are less people getting vaccinations. I guess i’ll just add this to my list of stuff to worry about..