32w5d – Apr 14

People. We’ve made it almost six weeks (it’s been five weeks and four days, actually) since I got sent to triage. Since the pre-eclampsia watch began. That’s wonderful, isn’t it. Think of all that time BGL has had to grow and develop and get stronger. Good stuff.

We still don’t want BGL showing up yet, but I’m really pleased to look back and see how long it’s been.

At that first triage visit, Dr. Meldrum predicted she would be here between 35 and 38 weeks. Thirty-five weeks is barely more than two weeks away. And I currently can’t imagine that she will come that soon.

Of course, only time will tell. Well, time and the results of my regular pre-eclampsia labs and weekly ultrasounds.

I go to those appointments every week with the thought in my head that this visit could end with me in the hospital. I must not quite believe that it will happen, though, because I still haven’t packed my hospital bag. Probably should get that done. For real, though.

Today, I am trying to distract myself from the high blood pressure and gestational diabetes regimen by looking at crib sheets. I’ve looked through many pages of the offerings at Target and narrowed it down to two.

Woven

Sweet Jojo

I also found one on Amazon that I like. (Okay, I actually found it at BuyBuyBaby first, but it is sold out. At some other time I will ponder the mystery of how overwhelming the selection is at BuyBuyBaby – and Bed, Bath and Beyond – and how often things are sold out online.)

BBB floral

We have white crib sheets. We have our son’s blue-and-white striped crib sheets and another sheet that’s light blue with some teddy bears. So we don’t need a new crib sheet. But today I think BGL ought to have one new crib sheet that’s just for her.

I am currently not able to decide which option I like best. I welcome opinions.

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32w4d – Apr 13

It should be no surprise to anyone that I get up a couple of times each night to empty my bladder. What is more surprising has been that for the last few nights, getting up for my wee hours pee has set off a bloody nose. In my right nostril. Not just bloody congestion. Actual bloody nose. Welcome to late pregnancy.

My solution has been to stick a kleenex up my nose and go back to sleep. Obviously.

Acupuncture today. Lovely as always. She massaged my feet and legs and hands and jaw while the needles did their work.

She also placed needles at the outside base of my baby toes. Those needles are intended to help BGL turn to face head down. So we’ll see if she’s still breech at the next ultrasound.

When I got up from lying on the acupuncture table, I got a bloody nose. Again, right nostril. So I’m thinking the bloody nose gets triggered by going from sedentary (and prone?) to mobile (and upright). Maybe?

Bananas give me heartburn.

I’m tired a lot.

My lower back is ouchy.

My neck and shoulders and jaw are TIGHT. I cannot emphasize this enough. I made an appointment for a massage today. Appointment isn’t for a couple of weeks. Might call somewhere else to see if I can get in sooner. My neck and shoulders and sanity might not survive two weeks.

 

 

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32w3d – Apr 12

For real, I need to stop expecting that my health care providers are going to remember anything about me from week to week.

Ultrasound today showed a fine looking BGL. Blood flows were not concerning. That’s about as positive as Dr. Wu gets.

My blood pressure was higher than they wanted it to be.

But let’s start at the beginning.

The woman – Chris or Kris or Chrys or some other spelling – who takes my blood pressure every single week asked at the beginning for me to confirm my date a birth. “I already know who you are, but I have to ask.”

Then, when my BP was 154/88, she asked me if my blood pressure is usually high.

Why, yes. Yes, it is. That’s how it is every week.

Then she said that they would have someone come in to do a manual reading. I told her that we do that every week.

Then the ultrasound. BGL moved and moved and moved. Enough that both I and the ultrasound tech commented on it. I told her I was going to count the ultrasound movement as meeting the threshold of good fetal movement for the day. She chuckled and agreed.

When she was leaving, she asked me – like they seem to ask every week – if I do my NSTs with them or at my OB.

“At my OB.”

“When was the last one?”

“Monday.”

“And I assume it was fine?”

“Yes. It was fine.”

“I guess we would have heard if it wasn’t.”

I assume she’s right about that last statement. Because how would I know if there’s any communication going on between MFM and my OB?

“The doctor will be in soon.”

“I’ll be here.”

Dr. Wu came in several minutes later.

“We’re going to take your blood pressure again.”

“Yes. Yes, you are.”

Dr. Wu reported on the fine-ness of the ultrasound while my blood pressure was being taken.

And then the new BP result. 142/88.

I didn’t react. Sounded about normal to me.

Dr. Wu was less comfortable with the numbers.

(Please recall that Dr. Wu is the doctor who sent me to triage because of the combination of my elevated blood pressure and the small baby who didn’t do her own kick line during an ultrasound.)

She said, “Is your blood pressure usually high like this?”

“Yep.”

I admit to being a little incredulous at her question. Could she not have looked at the weekly record of my BP before she came in the room?

She then asked about whether my OB is doing labs for pre-eclampsia. I thought about referring her to my blog entry for two days ago. Instead, I said, “Oh, yes. I get to fill a jug with pee soon.”

“I’m sorry,” she said. Perhaps she recognizes that all the paranoia about pre-eclampsia started with her.

She also asked if I have a BP cuff at home. I told her I do. For my wrist.

She said those aren’t as accurate, so they’ll call the pharmacy to get me a better one.

I can’t say that I see the value in taking my blood pressure at home. One doctor appreciated it. Another doctor said it was a waste of time. And given that my blood pressure has been elevated for coming up on two months without anything else developing as a result, I’m not sure what good it will do. I’m pretty certain I’ll still get asked the same questions at every appointment regardless. (Maybe it was mean to say that last part.)

We also discussed the acceptable-ness of my blood sugars.

Dr. Wu’s last question was about how many more weeks of ultrasounds I have scheduled. Until 38 or 39 weeks, I said. (Just like you told me to, I didn’t say out loud.) I was ready to leave so I didn’t ask her why she asked me that question. I’ll try not to let it keep me up at night.

Now that I’m home, I have heard from the pharmacy. Whatever my doctor called in isn’t covered by insurance, so I can just go buy something off the shelf. Not sure I’m going to follow through and get something.

The amount of money I want to spend on a blood pressure cuff surely isn’t enough money to get me something that will provide better readings than the wrist cuff we already have. So. Jury’s still out on that.

I am working on having a better attitude. The disconnect between my providers knowing me every time I come in but then knowing nothing about my “condition” (which is what they get paid for) is hard to stomach and makes the attitude adjustment necessary and more difficult at the same time. To say the least.

I called my sister while I drove home and told her all about my visit this morning. We had a good laugh. So it’s not like I’m angry. Mostly baffled and often frustrated. She suggested that I take someone with me to each appointment who will remind the staff at MFM and OB to please not ask me stupid questions. Come on, that would be fun and funny.

I could say I want this “nonsense” to be over, but that would mean BGL was compelled to show up early. And I don’t want that more than I don’t want to deal with the weekly nonsense.

So we deal.

 

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32w2d – Apr 11

I ate four gummy bears after I checked my lunch blood sugar.

But what I really want is a cupcake. And a Snickers ice cream bar. Or a hot fudge sundae. It’s just one of those days that I want a real treat.

And I don’t want to eat anymore peanuts. Or string cheeses or cheese slices. Or broccoli.

I do still want to eat clementines. I hope I always love clementines.

A brownie sounds yummy, too.

I ate a piece of pizza for dinner last night. One piece. That’s it. I didn’t have the energy to eat anything else. You know, vegetables. Just no energy.

I don’t know what to make for dinner. I hardly ever know what to make. My brain is on vacation by that time of day. I suppose it means I should think of something in the morning and get it started so that I already have something ready by the time my brain shuts off. But I’ve had that idea before and never implemented it. Today, I blame being in my third trimester and just very tired.

BGL is moving just like she’s supposed to.

My blood sugar is behaving.

Can’t necessarily say the same about my blood pressure.

But we’ve covered all of that before.

I forgot to report that at my OB appointment yesterday, my belly measured 32 weeks. We’ll find out next week if that has translated to BGL gaining on the growth curve.

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32w1d – Apr 10

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.

No.

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.

  1. this is the last pregnancy, so no more being treated like a high-risk pregnant woman after this time.
  2. 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.

 

 

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32 weeks – Apr 9


Squash. You know, squash. 

I’m sore. My body is stiff and very pregnant. I waddle. Or limp. Good stuff. 

BGL is moving like she needs to. 

Day over. 

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31w6d – Apr 8

Pregnancy yoga gives me heartburn. 

I made pancakes for breakfast this morning. Haven’t done that since the gestational diabetes diagnosis. I slathered the two I ate in peanut butter. My blood sugar thanked me. My son also thanked me for making pancakes. He loves them. 

My blood sugar is high every time I eat a sandwich from Subway. But sometimes I just want a sandwich from Subway.

BGL is moving. I know I haven’t mentioned it lately. 

It’s been over a week now that I haven’t taken Diclegis. No vomiting and no nausea are great symptoms. 

On the other hand, lower back pain is not fun. It’s on the right side. I sometimes yelp from the discomfort. I also limp. Good times. 

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