My younger sister and mom left on a trip to the Middle East five years ago today. I was about to start my very first round of IVF. It was an exciting time.
Today is also exciting. Sort of.
Went in for NST #3 and a routine OB visit. BGL did fine on the NST.
But apparently my continued elevated blood pressure is not something that sits well with my OB office. (The BPs in a reasonable range at both of last week’s appointments have been forgotten. Tossed aside.)
Midwife Tiffany was running behind today. I heard her complaining about it in the hallway while I waited for her to come in. When she finally did come in, she briefly mentioned that the NST was fine and that my blood sugars seemed fine.
Then she reminded me of my elevated blood pressure. And that it has been elevated since about week 24 or 25. I concurred but with a silent “ish” added in.
She then said that it’s been two weeks since my last pre-eclampsia labs.
No, I said, that was last week.
Well, why does it say March 27?
Maybe that’s when the doctor ordered the tests, but I’m certain it was last week.
Okay, she says. Then we can wait until next week for the next round of pre-eclampsia labs.
I just sat there. Another round of labs? Boo.
This time, it’s not just peeing in a cup when I get there for my appointment, though. No.
This time, I need to collect my urine in a giant iodine-colored jug for the 24 hours leading up to my appointment.
She asked if I knew how to do that or had done it before.
Start with the first pee of the morning before your appointment. End with the first pee the next morning. Try to make it as close to 24 hours later as possible. (How am I going to remember to collect my urine when I’m in a sleepy fog at 1 am, I ask you?)
Also, the urine needs to be refrigerated. You can put it in the fridge or have the jug(s) in a cooler on ice next to the toilet. Which assumes a person will use the same toilet every time she pees. And assumes she won’t go anywhere.
The really fun part of all of this is that the day leading up to my next appointment is a Sunday. Easter Sunday. So I am contemplating the logistics of taking all of that stuff with me to church. Oh, did I mention that there’s a catcher thing that I’m supposed to put on the toilet seat to catch the pee? Then I pour it in the jug.
On the list of things to take to church then would be…
- diaper bag with snacks and such for my son
- lunch for me
- jugs of refrigerated pee
- pee catcher
- some sort of thing to put the jugs of pee and pee catcher in to keep things cold while I’m at church
- a bag to put over my face so I don’t have to look at anyone
My husband has suggested that I only stay for the first hour of church – and don’t pee during that time – to avoid logistical nightmare of it all.
And maybe that’s the answer. For this week.
I am not sure how to communicate how seriously I take the seriousness of pre-eclampsia and at the same time express how ridiculous I feel this all is. I need to accept that I will never be thought of as a normal pregnant lady. No matter how normal I feel.
I called and talked to Tiffany’s nurse on my drive home. Asked her why, when there have been no changes in my symptoms, it seems like the tests and paranoia are being escalated.
She didn’t seem to understand why I felt like this was an escalation.
So I tried to say it a different way. The only thing is still my elevated blood pressure, but now it feels like we’re looking deeper for something. Trying harder to find it when nothing has changed.
The nurse explained that things – as they relate to pre-eclampsia – can change suddenly. Especially as we get closer to the due date. She also said that things can be happening inside my body before physical symptoms manifest themselves.
So they test again. And the 24-hour pee provides a more complete picture. Establishes a baseline.
I asked if I should assume that I will be filling a jug regularly from here on out.
Probably. Depends somewhat on test results. But again, things can change suddenly. So weekly testing is likely. Might even be twice a week.
Twice a week, people. Just let that sink in. Try to feel like a normal person as you ponder it.
Again. I know PE can be super serious. It can even be fatal. But golly gee. Twice a week?
I almost started crying when I got off the phone with the nurse. Just wasn’t ready to deal with it. I had already called my husband before calling the nurse to complain about the one 24-hour pee. But now I’m trying to process the possibility of weekly or twice a week. Holy cow.
Super super thankful right now that I work from home. At least I don’t have to deal with this at work.
And I’m thinking that if the tests are weekly or twice a week, I’ll switch things up so I don’t have to collect pee on Sundays. Dealing with this at church isn’t something I’m going to tolerate.
My husband has given me two ideas for putting this in perspective when I am able to think rationally again.
- this is the last pregnancy, so no more being treated like a high-risk pregnant woman after this time.
- my OB is looking out for my and my baby’s best interest.
No one said that having perspective wouldn’t also require some suspension of cynicism.
There’s also the idea, and maybe he said this, too, that the maximum length of time of these pee jugs is 8 weeks. I had twice daily progesterone shots in my butt for that long. What is refrigerating my pee twice a week compared to that?
I have no taste for someone telling me that it will all be worth it. That sentiment currently falls on deaf ears. Or it is something that I already know. Believing that it is worth it doesn’t mean that it is fun. And really, I’m just explaining all the not so fun parts of being pregnant at 32 weeks and 1 day.