…and trying not to.
Yesterday, at 35w5d, I had another prenatal appointment. And my blood pressure had sky-rocketed. It was on the rise two weeks ago when I went in, but then it was *only* 136/77, which was much higher than two weeks before, but not so high that anyone was worried, especially because I have a tendency to run that high in early pregnancy and it has always gone back down on its own. Plus, I was nervous about discussing my birth plan with my OB and so I chalked it up to that.
But yesterday, my BP was 149/75. I’m not happy and, in fact, I’m rather concerned. My doctor is not happy either, but he says he’s not concerned. Yet. We’ll monitor it and see what happens. The good news is that my urine is free from protein and, though I have had some swelling in my feet and hands, my weight gain is perfectly healthy (I gained barely a pound in the last two weeks). I return to my OB on Monday for another prenatal checkup.
And even though my doc doesn’t think I should start worrying yet, of course I have. I’ve cried. I made a trip to Rite Aid to use their BP monitor (141/88 last night). I used my at-home manual BP monitor several times (readings anywhere from 132/85 to 145/90). And I’ve googled obsessively. Not good, friends. Not good.
As far as I can tell, the baby and I are primarily safe right now. My BP is high, but not severely so and I’m not yet showing any signs of preeclampsia. However, I have a 25% chance of developing pre-e in the next 4 weeks until my due date and that could pose definite risks. As could an even greater rise in my blood pressure. We’re talking growth restriction for the baby, stroke for me, placental abruption, and/or a good possibility of an induction or c-section if this gets worse. Which really makes me blue because I am desperate for a natural childbirth this time around, since I didn’t get that chance with Cupcake (thanks to placenta previa).
The worst part is that it seems there is very little I can do to lower my BP. My friend Lillian encouraged me to try the Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet, which I just cannot fully get behind. Adding salt to everything I eat? Eating 3000-4000 calories a day? Stopping exercise? No, sorry. Not willing to try that and risk causing other problems. However, I think I will give the protein component a shot. Basically, I’m supposed to have a high-protein snack every hour I’m awake and aim for about 100g of protein (or more!) each day. Not easy for someone who is primarily a vegetarian and who has a bird’s appetite lately. But I’ll try. That, and increasing the amount of water I drink, are my only hopes. Well, and prayer. I’ve been praying a lot.
I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining or ungrateful. I’m not. I’m still so happy to have Skittle growing and kicking inside me. But I’m scared. Scared for Skittle’s well-being and scared that my dream childbirth experience, the one I believed I actually might have a shot at this time, is dying. Maybe I’m worrying unnecessarily. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time. But I just want the worrying to end. I want to know that Skittle and I are and will be okay.
Today, more than ever, I am ready for her to be here with me, safely in my waiting, aching arms.