33w5d – Apr 21

The blood pressure monitor is sounding an alarm because the most recent reading was high. The bell won’t stop ringing until my nurse comes in to turn it off. But it’s really busy around here today, apparently a lot of women have preeclampsia or are in preterm labor. Same drugs are used to manage both. 

Magnesium sulfate. It is no joke. Something far beyond lethargic, which is the word they use to describe one possible side effect. 

Headaches, nausea, serious problems standing on your own. Let alone walking from there to the bathroom. 

I haven’t had to have blood pressure meds since last night. So that’s good. And my kidneys are functioning well. No fluid buildup in my lungs. No other signs of toxicity. 

BGL has been looking great on the monitor. Just along for the ride, said nurse Christina. Good heartbeat. Good movement. Good all around. And she’s still head down (try checked again on ultrasound).

I am mostly effaced, thanks to a balloon they put in my cervix last night. 

Have been on pitocin for several hours now. No progress to speak of by way of contractions. Might try something else overnight to ripen the cervix and then try pitocin again. 

The magnesium and the pitocin are working against each other. Magnesium slows things down. Pitocin is trying to speed things up. The mag is winning so far. 

I’m waiting for my second steroid shot to give BGL’s lungs to very best chance. 

I’m on a clear liquid diet. Guaranteed that o haven’t had even 500 calories today. No doubt BGL is making sure she’s got enough to eat out of me even I’m not ingesting nutrients myself. 

So many more details to report but my brain and eyes and fingers are scrambled. 

I am at peace. I am not scared. I doubt not that your prayers are a major reason why. 

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33w4d – Apr 20

Today is the day that I ended up at the hospital because Dr. M was worried about my preeclampsia. How my chart ended up in front of him, I may never know. But I guess we are glad it did. Because he looked at it and consulted with other doctors, including at MFM, and asked me to come in. And the labs and blood pressure said that the preeclampsia is now severe. And BGL needs to get here before anything gets worse for her or me. 

So here we are. 

I’m not going home until after she’s on the outside.

We almost made it to 34 weeks. Almost. 

There’s so much to say about this day. But I’m on a lot of drugs to stave off the worst effects of preeclampsia and to encourage my blood pressure to stay out of the stratosphere. So I’ll have to hope that someday I have the time or energy to give this day the post it deserves. 

Best news of the day, though, is that BGL is now head down after being breech as recently as the 33w1d ultrasound. So we can still try for a vaginal delivery. 

Pray that she can handle it, small and early though she may be. And pray that my body can decide to be ready to deliver a baby this early. 

I was 40-50% effaced and 1 cm dilated when I got here. Which they tell me is amazing given that I’m still only 33 weeks. So I take that as a good sign. 

Also pray that a spot opens in the NICU before BGL arrives so she doesn’t have to be transferred to a different hospital. I am not sure I could handle being stuck in this hospital while she’s somewhere else. 

The depth of gratitude I feel for the prayers that have already been offered and have gotten us this far is not something I can properly express. Just know I know that we are so much better off tonight because of the care and concern and prayers of so many. 

If you wondered, the baby shower that was going to happen on 33w6d is not going to happen. 

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33w3d – Apr 19

Today was going to be the day of my final trip to DC before BGL comes. But this cold prevented that from happening. 

BGL has been moving like she’s never done before. Which I really appreciate. 

Today is the anniversary of my bike accident in 2008. The event that solidified the future of my relationship with my now husband. 

Today is also my brother-in-law’s birthday. 

Talked to the lab folks at my OB. Protein level in urine puts me in the mild preeclampsia category. More updates as events warrant. I am certain events will warrant. 

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33w2d – Apr 18

My OB called me tonight at 8:30. Lab results from yesterday. 

Blood still looks fine. 

Protein in urine was elevated. 383 when they would like it to be below 300. 

They would like me to repeat the 24-hr fill a jug with pee on Sunday and bring it to my appointment Monday morning. I’m pretty giddy about it. 

I am planning to call tomorrow to talk to someone with medical training (Erin with the lab results could not adequately answer my questions) about what the protein in urine but no problems in the blood does and doesn’t mean. 

Assuming I have time/energy tomorrow, I will write about the things from last pregnancy that were less than pleasant that I have not had to deal with this time around. Perspective and all that. 

And let’s all be thankful that I didn’t vomit today. And that my blood sugars were all normal. And that BGL kicked up a storm. All good things. 

Last but not least: my abs (such as they currently are) are sore from coughing. Good to know they’re still there. 

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33w1d – Apr 17

Lowlights

  1. My pee jug leaked in my fridge.
  2. I definitely have a cold. Accompanied by a bad cough.
  3. I coughed a lot during my NST, which basically caused BGL to not pass with flying colors. (But nobody freaked out because I was about to go have an ultrasound anyway.)
  4. I vomited up my dinner. All of it. Not the way I wanted to end the day. It was horrible.
  5. Banana-induced heartburn makes the list just to be thorough.
  6. My chiropractor said my tailbone was totally misaligned and on the verge of causing sciatic nerve problems. She also said that the position of the tailbone and resultant position of certain abdominal muscles are contributing to BGL’s continued breech position.

Highlights

  1. BGL gained an estimated 11 ounces since her last growth ultrasound 12 days ago. That puts her at 3 lbs 11 ounces and moves her up from the 2nd to the 3rd percentile.
  2. My blood pressure at the OB and ultrasound appointments was stellar, the diastolic portion (i.e., the number they really care about) being 78 and 80, respectively.
  3. I must not have pre-eclampsia because no one from my OB called to deliver the bad news, which they promised they would do if the results were of any concern.

Other lights

Both the midwife (Anne) and the ultrasound doc (Dr. L) told us to expect them to recommend that BGL comes early. Like in the vicinity of 37 weeks. Even if she’s still growing and doing well based on ultrasounds.

Why, you ask? Let me tell you what I understood from Dr. L.

Basically, elevated blood pressure and small baby both indicate that something must be or very likely is going on with the placenta. But they can’t see or know what that is, just that there’s probably something.

By 37 weeks, BGL will be sufficiently developed. Meaning that the risks associated with her coming 3 weeks “early” are minimal and that the benefits of her remaining in utero for longer are also limited (e.g., additional weight gain). So the doctors will recommend getting her out to avoid the possibility of a problem with the placenta causing a problem – for me or for her – because she’s still in there.

Assuming we listen to what our doctors recommend (which we may very well do), then I will likely be induced on some scheduled date in the vicinity of 37 weeks gestation. No one has said that I can’t plan to deliver vaginally, but I believe that depending on a whole bunch of things (that we don’t know yet), I could be having a scheduled c-section. Only time will tell. For now, seems like induction for a vaginal delivery is a realistic hope.

In the version of my life where I got pregnant without medical help and didn’t have high-risk pregnancies, I would also be the person who went into labor on her own and got to experience childbirth naturally. But that choose your own adventure version got ix-nayed when I found a live mouse in the woodpile out in the pasture that one time. Or maybe it was when I decided to go to Taiwan to teach English after college graduation instead of becoming a manager at Walmart. Or maybe I was never going to get pregnant on my own and go into labor on my own no matter what.

Bottom line is that I’ve let go of that dream of getting to 40 weeks and going into labor on my own.

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33 weeks – Apr 16

Happy Easter. 

33 weeks = baby as big as celery. Whatever that means. 

I’ve been filling my jug today. It’s not as easy to do as it is to write. I need some UPS help with logistics. 

I took the jug and supplies with me to Easter dinner and then didn’t use the bathroom there. But at least I was prepared. 

A friend reached out and offered to tell me about her experiences with pre-eclampsia. I need to call her. And I’m grateful to her already. 

My blood sugar survived Easter. Go me! 

My husband thinks I have a cold. I think it’s allergies. I don’t want to deal with either. Who does, I ask you. 

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32w6d – Apr 15

Today was long. And emotional. My vessel overflowed. All the keeping it together that I’ve been doing ended, and I had a good cry. I also had a good talk with midwife Jana. 

I learned some stuff and would like to write it down, but I can’t do that tonight. Tonight I must sleep. 

Tomorrow is Easter. I’m going to try to connect with the hope and gratitude and peace available to me because of Jesus Christ. All while collecting my urine in an iodine-colored jug that I need to keep in the refrigerator. Right next to the jello and green salad I’ll be making for Easter dinner. 

It will be an Easter to remember, no doubt.  

Tomorrow is also 33 weeks. Four more weeks before I’m full-term. We can do this!

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