I am 9 months pregnant. One month until the due date. This week involved a pre-eclampsia scare and an emergency non-stress test. At my routine midwife appointment my blood pressure was very high (160/106). This was a huge and uncharacteristic jump for me, and the midwife told me to call my wife and head to the hospital for some testing. She also told me point blank that there was likely nothing that could be done about this because it was genetic (my mom had pregnancy hypertension with me), and that the baby would likely have to be induced before full term, and to say goodbye to my home birth.
My wife rushed home early from a very hectic day at work and we met the on-call midwife at the hospital. Luckily it was my favourite midwife, Martha. She seemed much less worried than the new midwife I had seen earlier, and rather than jumping to the worst conclusion, calmly said we would check on baby and look at my blood pressure a few more times to see what was going on. The non-stress test was relaxing and reassuring as we listened to little bug’s steady heart beat and frequent kicks for 20 minutes. Miraculously, my blood pressure was completely normal every time they tested. The OB on call didn’t even recommend blood work. They couldn’t explain the earlier spike, but were comfortable sending me home to watch for symptoms of pre-eclampsia, and to continue on with weekly blood pressure checks. Lovely, wonderful Martha said that my birth plan won’t be affected based on the hospital assessment. She did inform us that if I do develop pre-eclampsia later on I would have to be induced, which of course would mean no home birth, but that right now there is no reason to get discouraged.
I have been told to take it easy – no more traipsing around town running errands in the heat all day, no more stressful trips out of town. We had two trips to visit friends planned for this weekend (I know, what happened to my plan for a relaxing, less social, August?), and we convinced them to come to us instead.
In other news…
I had the Group B Strep test done. After a two week regime of extra strength pro-biotics, vitamin C, and garlic capsules, my fingers are crossed that this test won’t add yet another kink in my birth plan.
I have been doing twice daily hypnobirthing meditations, trying to lower my blood pressure and keep calm and open to whatever path my birth takes.
I successfully defended my Qualifying Exam this week. Now I am ABD – All But Dissertation. I can see the light at the end of the PhD tunnel.
Our good friends who got pregnant a week and a half before us gave birth to their twins this week, healthy and hungry at 37 weeks. We can’t wait to meet them, but they are taking some family time right now while they recover and adjust to their new hectic lifestyle.
Preparations for Baby
- More home birth supplies purchased. I’m leaving the receipt with everything I wouldn’t need for a hospital birth/induction, so if plans change I can get my money back.
- Thank you cards for baby shower completed – people kept warning me that if I didn’t do it right away, the baby would come before I did them and I’d never get them done. So I got them done.
- Put batteries in all the bouncers, vibrating chairs, and activity gyms. Got extra batteries to stow away because people warned us that these things eat up batteries quickly.
Bodily Experiences This Week
- High blood pressure scare.
- Lightening crotch. Little bug is punching or head butting me in the cervix. Feels like jolts of a cramp, like a particularly uncomfortable or deep pap test swab.
- Sleep issues.
- Swollen feet. I try to make sure I spend chunks of time sitting or laying with my feet above my heart (apparently I should be doing this to lower blood pressure, too).
Baby This Week
- 6 pounds, 19 inches
- Not much has changed internally for little bug – she is more or less ready to come out. Just putting on more weight.
- She is engaged in my pelvis – her head was so low that the midwife couldn’t feel it tucked under my pubic bone. No wonder I am getting the lightening crotch.