Wednesday, May 22, 2013

34 weeks 1 day - and coming off the rails?

How Far Along: 34 weeks 1 day today. E2 should weigh, oh, a lot less than he actually does. He's far beyond the standard fruit charts now...and I feel it!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Up six pounds Monday from the previous two weeks ago, almost entirely water weight. More on that below.

Maternity Clothes: Always.

Movement: Big movements now. It feels like he's staking claim to much more of my uterus at once than before, stretching side to side, or up and to the side. My belly now obviously changes shape, especially when I'm lying down. It's fun to watch Paul's eyes go wide!

Sleep: Better, although the rib pain from earlier has returned.

Gender: A baby brother for Aliya and Bennett.

Symptoms: Nothing new, except that I walked up a flight of stairs yesterday and could feel my upper thighs touching my belly with each step. That was a new one. Perhaps baby has started to drop into my pelvis a bit more.

Cravings: Still none...but I certainly won't turn down a piece of baby shower cake!

Belly Button In or Out: It's much more inside out this week, not 100%, but probably 85-90%.

Freak-out of the Week: It's been a very stressful, emotional week. More on that below.

Looking Forward To: Um, I'm no longer sure, except to say, probably, keeping E2 baking for at least another couple of weeks (knocking on wood!).

Next Appointment: Ugh. Tomorrow, May 23rd at (gulp!) 7:40 a.m. at UW (cruel and unusual punishment!) for three appointments with the blood pressure clinic, one of which is to see Dr. E., the blood pressure specialist I've been trying to avoid since October.

Miscellaneous: OMG, what a week+.

We had our second growth scan at UW on Thursday of last week. Paul was unable to come, but I brought my mom, grandma and aunt for their first ever ultrasound experience. That part came first, and it was pretty cool. Our tech was really sweet and described everything she saw and measured. We got to see him swallowing, which was awesome. Baby is still ginormous (6 lb 4 oz as of Thursday, measuring an average of 3 weeks ahead, size-wise). Then, she surprised us by switching probes and turning the machine to 3D! I didn't even know they could/would do that! The images weren't fabulous because E2 had his hand/arm in front of his face and his umbilical cord was floating in front of his mouth and chin, but she cut away some of the interference and printed us a profile. (I'll share it below.) It was pretty cool.

We wandered down to the cafeteria for lunch, and then came back up to see Dr. C. for my MFM follow-up. Here's where things started to go off the rails:

(Aside: to my credit, we had just eaten, Paul wasn't there with me, and the nurse who came and got me was new to me and didn't introduce herself, so I was a tiny bit stressed. Still...)

My BP, when first taken, was 140/80. That's not horrid, but it's a lot higher than usual for me when I see Dr. C. The nurse frowned, said she didn't like that, and took it again. It was 130/80. Better, but still abnormal for me in that office. She was about to leave the room, but I asked if she wanted me to pee in a cup (duh!) since I could (please? I held it just for you!). I did my business, came back to the room, and Dr. C. came in to commence our appointment. A few minutes later, the nurse came back and thrust a slip of paper to Dr. C. Ruh roh. Turns out I had a trace of protein in my urine (+1 or +2, not sure). [Cue feeling of defeat] The conversation changed immediately. Just like that, E2's size - which was to drive our appointment (because last time Dr. C. said if he was still growing "like that" she'd assume gestational diabetes, send me to a nutritionist and order me a blood sugar monitor) - was no longer a concern. Instead, my blood pressure is.

The conversation is a bit of a whirlwind, but I distinctly recall hearing, "We need to prepare for baby to be early," "If you make it to 37 weeks, that will be a bonus," "If you DO make it to 37 weeks, then we'll plan on delivering at 39 weeks," "We may need to admit you to the hospital for 24 hours of monitoring, I don't have a bed ready here or I would offer you that, although it's not medically necessary just yet..."

Just like that, my hopes for a "normal" labor and delivery started to fly out the window. Cue mini freak out: I'd been fearing that somehow, we wouldn't make it to our birthing workshop last weekend, and those threats of 24-hour inpatient monitoring - over the weekend - were scaring me. Then, too, was the thought that if he needed to come NOW, I couldn't deliver at St. Pete's in Olympia like we want to, because they can't handle babies younger than 34 weeks. (Dr. C., bless her heart, said, "It's just 5 more days, 5 more days...") Sigh. She sent me and my entourage on our way with orders for blood work before leaving the building, and another fabulous red pee jug for a 24-hour urine catch, which I was to start that night. Oh, and more warnings about the symptoms of preeclampsia. (Thankfully, the blood work was normal, negating the need for inpatient monitoring, so we were able to make it to the birthing workshop, which deserves its own post, later.)

I dutifully turned in my pee jug to Sierra at Dr. M.'s as requested on Friday evening and had more blood drawn. I still haven't gotten the results of those, but I assume no news is fine news. However...

Monday morning I woke up with a weird pressure-y feeling in my head, like I'd been clenching my jaw all night. (Hell, maybe I had...) It lingered through the morning. The pre-e symptoms came to mind...but this wasn't a headache, per se, just pressure. Then, around 10:45, I started feeling a little bit weirder, sort of light headed. Huh. I ate a cheese stick, walked up a flight of stairs to the wellness room, and took my BP. Holy shit: 177/101. Well, wait a sec...I just ate, and I walked up a flight of stairs. Trying again: 173/100. I didn't like that, either. I took it four more times. The "best" reading was 153/99, about 20 minutes from the first reading. I called Dr. M., realizing this wasn't your average "just ate a cheese stick and walked up a flight of stairs" reading.

Dr. M. grabbed the phone from Jeri, who answered and was about to seek Sierra's input, and when he heard my readings, said, "You know, I haven't agreed with this "wait and see" approach that UW has taken. I think it's lame. You should have been medicated long ago. I'm calling in a prescription and I want you to take the first dose immediately and then see me at 1:30 as scheduled." Hell. I did as instructed, and, interestingly, the pressure in my head was gone within about 30 minutes of that first dose.

My BP at Dr. M.'s office was still elevated (140-something over 80 something), so he had me lie down on my left side on the ultrasound table and Sierra took it again...a "good" 130/77. The rest of the appointment was a bit of a blur. He measured my fundal height (the height of my uterus from pubic bone to fundus, or top): 37 weeks (what???). He took a quick look at E2, who had marvelously, miraculously turned head down since the last growth scan and our birthing workshop (good boy!!!). He measured my cervix quickly (still long and closed at 4.1 cm). He wrote "Stop Work Order" in my chart and ordered me on modified home bed rest for the duration of my pregnancy. He concurred with Dr. C. that E2 will be coming sooner than expected, and said he hopes bed rest and the BP medicine (a beta blocker) will "squeak out another couple of weeks" in this pregnancy. I have to go see Dr. E. at UW tomorrow for the consultation because apparently starting BP meds this late in the game won't help much, and he wants another opinion as to whether anything else can be done to effectively control my BP at this point, in hopes that we stave off preeclampsia. (He was not happy with the state of my feet on Monday, either, and I have to say, my right foot was freakishly swollen and SO gross looking!)

So, there you have it...Paul and I spent Monday night sharing a mini panic about how soon baby might be here and how ill prepared we are. We have family coming this weekend to help prime the nursery and guest room trim and ceilings for paint, and our sister-in-law is coming Monday to help me sort baby clothes and do laundry (although, for the sake of pulling stuff together for my hospital bag, I might start a little load today). Eek. A friend reminded me (thank you, T!) that all E2 needs are a nipple, my arms and some diapers. We have those bases covered...but this house is in no state for a newborn, or at least in no state for the mother of a newborn who is likely to lose her ever lovin' mind trying to navigate around the furniture and baby stuff strewn everywhere due to having two empty, mid-remodel rooms. I'm supposed to spend most of my time lying on the couch with my feet up (or on my bed with my feet up), and I will...but you have to believe I will also be tackling little bitty chunks of chores, just for my own sanity. Oh, and baby shower thank you notes, of course!

E2 at 33 weeks 2 days. That "donut" is his umbilical cord.
E2 in 3D! Look at that chubby cheek!
The belly at 34 weeks (yesterday).


  1. Wow, I really can't believe you are now at 34 weeks. Hopefully your blood pressure won't get too out of control. It's hard to handle hearing other things like that when you have enough to worry about. A few more weeks

  2. Oh my goodness! That blood pressure/pre-e talk scares me! I'm so glad they're monitoring you closely, but please take it easy with those chores. None of that is important... only the baby's health and YOURS!

    Not much longer. Anxious. Hoping.

  3. I'm with Brandy- put down those chores and rest rest rest! Everything else will fall into place and you need a close friend to come help you get organized. Buy you need a couple more weeks if you can get them.

    xox. 34 weeks! :)

  4. Yup, I totally understand wanting everything in order. BUT once little brother is here safely, you will not care about the laundry or remodel or mess (plus family that comes to see babe wants something to do and it is nice to have something productive to give them that will really be helpful). Put those feet up and a movie on the tv and rest up. xoxo

  5. Whoa-scary and stressful. I'm so glad you have doctors who are watching you and baby so carefully. Please rest and don't worry about the house stuff. It'll always be there and it's not important (even though it can stress us out!). Keep us updated and know I'm thinking of you! Love you bunches!

  6. Thinking of you and hoping that you can keep that little guy in there for a couple of more weeks. Echoing what everyone else is saying REST!!!

  7. Bring in the troops get your feet up! You sit back and direct everyone else. You really will not care when he's there in your arms with a nipple and some diapers! :) Wishing peace and relaxation to you and strong healthy stayin'in mama vibes to E2!


What are your thoughts?