Last Thursday I had a great doctors appointment. This Thursday things took quite a turn. I went into the hospital for my NST (non stress test), where they monitor the baby and my blood pressure for an hour or two. My BP was high and continued to rise for 90 minutes. Usually as I lie there it come down as I relax. My urine results came back over the 300 mark.
Finally my doctor paged and wanted me over at the office. My doctor was very clear, there is no more messing around with this. I am to be flat on my side all day long. We need to make it to 34 weeks. (Today I am 33 weeks, so the next week is ultra crucial.) He wanted me to see the perinatologists again the next day. He sent me home.
An Unwelcome Phone Call
An hour later he called me. "Rebecca you probably don't want to hear this. I just spoke with the perinatologist for a long time. We need to admit you at least for the night. We may have to keep you there indefinately. We can't risk your pressures elevating during the night. I will meet you over there."
And so I went. My pressures stayed elevated until I finally fell asleep around 11 pm. Then they dropped. Yesterday morning I felt confident they would say "Oh, now we see you are just nervous...thank goodness we don't have to worry!" Not the case.
A Maternal Fetal Consult
I saw a new perinatologist who I really liked. She helped me understand what was going on. Another doppler on the umbilical cord showed resistance building. Not a good sign. She helped me understand that most preeclamptic women's pressures don't stay high "constantly." It is normal for them to go down in sleeping or in relaxation. She said, I have this disease. It is a disease of my placenta, and not my body. She felt confident, based on my history of the last 3 children, with strict bed rest I will be able to make it to 37 weeks. They sent me home with directions to try to sleep all day. I only exaggerate a little.
I did get another 2 doses of the betamethazone for the baby's lungs. Apparently, if the first dose is given before 30 weeks another dose is very helpful. Callista was there when the nurse gave me shot yesterday. Brent tried to convince her the shot was for her, I think the needle would have gone in one side and out the other on that little bean!
If my blood pressure doesn't get any higher, my protein sky rocket, or the umbilical cord become too rigid....basically if I stay the same we are okay for another month. That is what I am praying for. However, even if I do have to deliver earlier, my mom, my mother in law, Brent and I all feel at peace that our litte Berkeley will be born healthy and strong.
Now will she be full of fluid? That is anyones guess. Two out of three so far. I sure hope not. We have enough mucus in our family already!
It doesn't do a lot of good to ever ask why, but something struck me. Women who have chronic hypertension are at a far higher risk of developing preeclampsia. My blood pressure is very low. However, in my early 20's it was not. My Dad has been on bp medication from the time he was 22. My mom's mother suffered her entire life with high bp and we assume was preeclamptic (both her children were extremely small and born early). I've always been aware of this genetic tendency. But I thought it was eradicated by my controlling the symptom of high bloop pressure. With meticulous attention to diet and exercise I keep very low bp. But, genetics are not on my side and lears it's ugly little head in pregnancy. Beyond my control. I do know, my good health would be an entirely different story if I just didn't bother.