/ The RE's Muse: A far cry from normal

The RE's Muse

After 4 years of infertility, 2 surgeries, 1 miscarriage, and 19 months of high risk pregnancies, hubby and I now have two little women in our lives--one a toddler, the other not far behind. Buckle your seatbelts, it's gonna be a wild ride.

Friday, April 01, 2005

A far cry from normal

Yesterday my Pollyana rose-colored glasses got knocked slightly askew. I had an OB appt, just a regular ole visit but, alas, regular was not in the cards. My BP clocked in at a lovely 147/92 which concerned the good doc (the hot one I'd previously not met) to no end. Luckily, he said, I'm not spilling any protein in my urine so I'm not preeclamptic, at least not yet.

Apparently, as he reminded me, the second trimester really is the 'honeymoon' phase of a pregnancy. If you've been experiencing morning sickness, it usually tapers off, you have more energy, and so on. And your BP also drops--and this, as the doctor said, lulls one into a false sense of security. Silly me. So here I am, staring the start of my third trimester in the face with a sham somewhat secure feeling.

Oh, but wait--there's more from the good doctor. While the 'normal' pregnant patient's odds of developing preeclampsia are around 7%, my odds come in at 25% given my preexisting hypertension and insulin resistance. Great, just great.

So now I've got a slew of labs to have drawn this coming Monday--CBC, complete metabolic panel, RPR, a 24 hour urine (we know what I'll be doing this coming Sunday), as well as fibrinogen (which supposedly can accurately predict if one will become preeclamptic within the coming two weeks from when the test is drawn) and a few others. And I'll now start seeing the OB weekly and--here's the only good part as far as I see it--getting weekly ultrasounds to monitor the baby's growth in case I do develop preeclampsia.

On one hand I'm terrified, and bargaining my body to please please please just do what 'normal' pregnant bodies do and function as it should for the remainder of my pregnancy (now 90-someodd days and counting down). On the other hand, I'm slightly relieved that my girl currently has good survival odds should she need to come out ASAP. But that's not enough to take the worry away completely.

But--as my SIL said, it could have been a bad BP reading. For 1), it was done with a self-inflating BP unit--instead of the old-fashioned hand pump/stethoscope all of the other nurses have used on me previously and 2), it was done on my right arm. I've always heard that the left arm is better at getting more accurate BP readings as its closer to your heart. But--hey--what do I know? And, final point of contention, my BP monitor at home (a combination model--with a manual inflator but electronic reader) has not clocked my BP higher than 120/80 or so at any point in time for the past two weeks. So which is right? No idea. Last night A and I popped by the local Wally World store after dinner so I could take my BP on the machine in their pharmacy area. It came in at 130/80 even, slightly higher than the 110-115/70-80 I'd been getting at home all evening after coming back from the OB.

So, what to believe, I don't know. But I do believe that my fear is growing by the day, and I know that's probably not helping any. I'm going to do what I can to take it easy as much as I can (though I know that there's no way to prevent preeclampsia) and to help my little girl stay in there as long as possible. And keep crossing my fingers for no protein or sugar in my urine, my BP to behave, and my body to be good to me and to her. A hard bargain, I know, given it's past shenanigans...but I've got Hope for it--Hope hasn't left me yet.


At 10:47 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

Hey Kristin-- My thoughts and prayers are with you--although I don't think you need too many prayers--you and your little girl will be JUST FINE. I, too (at a mere 17 weeks) worry about my BP. Mine was 136/82 on Monday--told it was fine by the doc..but that is what we do--we worry. Also--the more you worry, the higher it will edge up--but you already know that--so I will stop my assvice right now. I am thinking of you--and try and continue to enjoy the next few (10-12 to be more exact) weeks. Feel free to email me at any time.

At 12:13 PM, Anonymous amanda said...

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. You and your little one will be in my thoughts.

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

Dee--I am so sorry I called you Kristen!! I've got such pregnancy brain. I am catching up on my blogs and I lost my way--please forgive me!

At 1:52 PM, Blogger lobster girl said...

Hang in there. You've come this far, and it sounds like they will take care of you. I'm sorry you've got something new to worry about, and hope that everything proceeds normally.

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still, 75% likely you won't get it. And if you do develop it and have to deliver early, your baby doesn't just have a "good" chance of making it, she has an almost 100% chance, especially since she's a girl and female preemies do way better than males. And every day that goes by she gets healthier and healthier, and a day closer to bringing her home.

It's strange at this stage, how much I want to have the baby right now, yet in the face of premature labor it makes me feel like "stay in there!!!" I had some weird fluids today, got all paranoid my water had broken, but it went away.

I think having a previous m/c (or two) can make us "need" something to worry about, yk? at least for me. I just don't trust it, still. BUT, I trust it for you!


At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Menita said...

Oh Dee, I am so sorry about the worry. I agree with Lobster girl, it sounds like you are getting good care and I will be thinking of you (as usual!). And what Jenn said - about trying not to worry (easy, huh? and I'm a fine one to talk!!!).
Also available via email if you need to talk.

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Jen P said...

Oh Dee, I'm shaking with you. I'm going to argue for a bad reading based on those crappy electronic cuffs...they're never any good.

Will be holding my breath and crossing everything still crossable until you get those lab results back.

Hoping for the absolute best!!!

At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Julianna said...

Thinking of you my dear. I am sorry you are having to deal with all of this......hang in there.

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Day said...

Oh Dee - my blood condition puts me at higher risk for pre-eclampsia as well, and I fret regularly over my BP counts. Last Monday I was 137/80 - at 22 weeks- a bit too high for my comfort. I didn't like reading that it "drops" during the 2nd trimester, but will focus on being in that 75%.

I think BP fluctuates naturally though and a consistently high reading over a period of time would be more meaningful than a randomly high one.

Hang in there- so sorry you have to deal with this anxiety on top of everything else you've been through. I hope that fibrinogen test comes back negative and you can breathe more easily for the coming 10-12 weeks.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Toni said...

Maybe you were nervous? I've heard that sometimes when you're excited, it rises...I'm going to think that's it. Yep. That's the issue. Thinking GOOD THOUGHTS over here for you and the little girl. :)

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Dee...my thoughts and prayers are with you and the little one. I hate the electronic cuffs too.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Dee, I've been fighting my blood pressure since week 19. It's definitely not an easy thing to deal with, but we just have to hold onto the fact that, even in your case, odds are it is *just* high blood pressure rather than preeclampsia. Thinking of you -- I've been there. Hell, I'm still there.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger ThreeBees said...

I am thinking of you often and I pray you and wee baby girl are going to be just fine. ;)

Much love.

At 12:01 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

How are you doing? Everything still ok? Thinking of you.


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