Hey hey hey…
Here’s a picture of our cutie pups that has nothing to do with this update… But neither did any of my other pictures so… Shrug.
Let’s see where to start…
At my last couple of OB appointments I had high blood pressure. Not scary high, but enough that the doctors raised an eyebrow that second time. They asked me to do some blood work and a 24 hour urine test -which for the record is annoying and kinda gross. But I did the things because the doctor said my high blood pressure could be just a little hypertension or could be a sign of preeclampsia.
So, yesterday I had another OB appointment to get test results and talk about what those results might mean for the duration of this baby growing process. I went in pretty confident it was going to be hypertension, I expected a “we’ll watch it and maybe treat with meds if it gets too high” kind of thing. I even told D to not bother to come to this appointment cause it was gonna be in and out. Sigh. Y’all know what happens when you assume, right?
The result was that I have preeclampsia. Though yesterday my blood pressure was good, the protein in my urine confirmed that diagnosis. Protein that should be at the max 300 in 24 hours was 525. ‘Moderately high’ the doctor said, and told me it’s not a panic button, they’ve seen it well over 1000 before. But it still gives me the preeclampsia label which changes how we finish this baby growing process a little bit.
If I wasn’t already seeing the specialist doctor to monitor Amara’s weight I would be for sure now. Preeclampsia can cause growth restriction. Though the last time I saw him he said she was about to hit a growth spurt and judging by how hungry I am all the time the last few days I think she’s there. If you come visit me bring food. All the food. We especially like Italian but have stopped being so picky because ravenous hunger coupled with less room for consuming said food means I need to eat every couple hours. I wake up in the middle of the night ready to knaw off my own arm. My weight went up a few pounds finally so I’m taking that as a good sign. It had been either holding steady or dropping the last few appointments.I see the specialist next week and I’m really looking forward to that appointment.
I will also see my OB every week now. In the ‘normal’ schedule I’d have still been every two weeks a little while longer but the preeclampsia schedule moves up our timeline. I will obviously have my blood pressure monitored, but also I will have Non-Stress Tests (NST) every week, probably twice a week, from here on out. After the doctor gave me the news yesterday she asked if I could stay to have one right then. Of course I said ‘sure’. So the nurse wheels in this big machine, stacks some pillows for me on the table to help me get comfortable, and straps two monitors on my belly. The first monitor goes high at the top of my uterus to see if I’m having any contractions. I’m not, it was quiet. The second one goes low to listen to Amara’s heart and track how much she moves. So I lay back and read a book for twenty minutes while the machine spits out a record for the doctor.
At first our girl was relaxed, her heart rate was in the 140s, and she was just calm in there. So they thought maybe if I ate a granola bar she’d perk up. But, before I even got the granola bar eaten Amara realized there was something on her house and let me tell you she is not a fan of having things pressing on her house! She spent the next 10-15 minutes pushing and kicking at the monitor. Now they turn up the heartbeat kindof loud so that they can hear it from the hall in case she moves and they need to reposition it. It should be that quick steady thump thump thump. But when your kiddo decides to shove the monitor over and over it’s a very loud and obnoxious swishing static. The doctor and nurse kept coming in to look at the graph because a lot of the time her heart rate couldn’t get recorded over all the pushing and shoving. It went up into the 170s as she was active and even to the 190s when I believe the frustration of not getting her way set in. She did wear herself out a little and calmed down about two minutes before they finally took the monitor off. The doctor said “This baby is wild!” And I had to apologize. I told her I’d forgot she doesn’t like things on my belly. If I rest a book there, or a cup, or my hands holding my phone and she’s not in the mood she kicks all the things off. She laughed and said that there was obviously nothing concerning on the test when Amara is that active and determined. So, I’ll see the specialist first and then her again next week and we’ll have some more information about how we move through the next several weeks.
The doctor did give me a bunch of disclaimers, like…if I get a persistent headache, or have upper abdominal pain and vomiting, if my vision changes, etc… I need to call them right away. I’m also supposed to prepare to meet this girl at 37 weeks. I asked if even if they’re monitoring me super close and all looks good still to expect 37 weeks. She said yes. I asked if I can be induced then too, she said as long as Amara is head down at that point that induction is still the optimal choice over cesarean. I do find it amusing that we will both be 37 when she arrives. Me in years, her in weeks. I also find it amusing that I’ve been saying to people all along that I’d be OK if she wanted to come before Christmas because I’m excited to meet her. 37 weeks for us will be December 10th.
I had a moment of Whoa-I meant a little before Christmas not a whole 3 weeks early! So there’s half the struggle to get my brain around the fact that she’ll be here so soon and she’s not ready yet… She’s got growing to do in there! (Yes yes yes I know 37 is considered term, early, but term and not overly concerning to medical staff.) But when you’re told over and over 40 weeks, 40 weeks, 40 weeks, to have that change messes with your head a little. I had plans to make all of us ready for her too, and our house, and now my plans need to change because I lost time to get everything done! But, the other half of that anxiety coin is straight up excitement. She’s gonna be here, on the outside, in my arms, so soon and I’m so ready to see that sweet face I can’t hardly stand it! This stubborn girl, who wants her way, who will be the kid who kicks the nursing cover off and eventually all her blankets (like I did when I was little), who might hate socks like her Mama and be a little bit of a picky eater like her daddy… Yes. Yes to all the things. I’ll do whatever I gotta do to welcome her into the world as healthy and safely as possible.
So, all that leaves us with the current prayer list…
That she get her growing done quickly -Develop those lungs! Put on that weight!
That my body maintains -No organ damage! No emergency interventions needed!
That things around here get accomplished quickly -Our bathroom renovation done before she arrives! Me to make peace with my to-do list and the really not-that-important tasks I had planned to get done before she arrived!
And, in the midst of the chaos the next couple months looks to be bringing our family- Joy. When we get worn down, when things are painful, or fear-inducing, when life doesn’t go as planned- it’s all going to be okay. We’ll be together and we’ll celebrate every little victory. We might come out of this with scars but oh my gosh we’ve learned to embrace the scars that every step of this life has given us so far and we’ll learn to embrace these, too.
These coming holidays are going to be something exceedingly special my friends!