Well, this has been The Week of Medical Appointments, with two visits to my OB, blood work, and an ultrasound. Not to mention the many trips I have made to Fred Meyer, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and the mall just to check my blood pressure.
I am happy to say, though, that I’m in a much better place than I was on Monday, when I was incredibly worried about preeclampsia and felt like my body was a ticking time bomb, just waiting to destroy my dreams of the perfect birth, or much worse, kill my baby. For now, though, those fears have been relieved.
My doctor also seems to view my high blood pressure in a much more positive light. After reviewing the BP readings I have been getting outside of his office (in the 120s/80s), as well as my blood work and the ultrasound, he feels pretty confident in saying that I do not have preeclampsia at this point. It appears to simply be pregnancy hypertension, which is a much easier thing to deal with — especially because no where else am I getting the outrageous blood pressure readings (yesterday it was 154/77) that I do at his office. I don’t quite understand why it’s so high there, but I’m glad that my doctor is willing to accept and believe that I am getting much lower readings everywhere else. He does want to keep a close eye on me, so I will probably be going in twice a week now, and he wants me to continue to monitor my BP outside of his office, but he’ll take no further action at this point and seems rather unconcerned now. Thank God.
There are a couple other issues that he is worried about.
One is Skittle’s position. When I first arrived at the ultrasound, I came with a full bladder and Skittle was head-down. The moment they had me empty my bladder, though, she turned sideways. Sigh. I haven’t written much about it here, but I’ve actually been concerned about a breech baby for some time because I often feel hiccups near my ribs. Yesterday and today, though, I have felt them in my pelvis. So it appears that our little miss is still turning every which way. I’m not exactly sure how she has the room to do that, but it may have to do with the fact that I’ve still got plenty of amniotic fluid for her to dance around in. Either way, Dr. Smiles says he has a “hunch” that she will probably turn head-down as she prepares for birth. But if she doesn’t turn by 39 weeks, then we’ll have to talk. About the “C-” word. Oh, dear.
And yet, that’s not even the biggest problem. The big whopper that seems to have my doc very nervous is Skittle’s growth. He scheduled the ultrasound to check on the baby’s size because growth restriction can be an issue if there is preeclampsia. However, little Skittle is definitely not having that problem. And she’s not so little. At 36 weeks and 6 days, she is estimated to weigh about 8lbs 10oz, though that’s only a very loose estimate and can go 20oz in either direction — or even more (from what I have read and heard from friends). The ultrasound tech told me that she thinks they have a tendency to overestimate and when I told Dr. Smiles he said, “Uh….yeah.” Twice during my appointment, he looked at me and said, “I just cannot believe you are carrying a 9lb baby. You’re too small!” And he’s not the first person to comment on my “small” belly (which doesn’t feel very small to me!). So while he seems skeptical of Skittle’s approximate weight, he also seems nervous that she could, indeed, turn out to be a big baby. And so the “C-” word was mentioned again. That word has been used way too much in the last few weeks.
Another ultrasound will be scheduled for two weeks down the road to check on both Skittle’s position and size. That’s going to be one nerve-wracking appointment because it’s going to either crush my dreams for a natural birth or let them grow. I am prepared to fight against a Cesarean if needed, but I’m not much of a fighter and I don’t really want it to come to that.
Dr. S did say that, best case scenario, I will go into labor in the next week or so and we won’t have to worry about any of this (as long as Skittle does indeed turn head-down). I am now technically considered full-term now (37 weeks), but I think that seems unlikely. And yet, it won’t stop me from trying.
And so begins Operation: Evict Skittle….
P.S. If you’re feeling up to it, you can pop on over to the Skittle page for a couple photos from our ultrasound yesterday.