A week ago I posted my monthly article at Pregnancy After Loss Support–Pregnancy After Loss: When a Textbook Pregnancy doesn’t feel like a Textbook Pregnancy. I felt like I’d really turned a corner in acceptance and hope for this pregnancy. Thursday, I headed into my 32-week OB appointment calm and confident, certain it was going to be a short appointment. In, fact, I told my colleagues that I’d be home in no time and could finish up a few more things for the day.
And then, the medical assistant (the same one who I thought asked me if I knew I needed to bring a casket to the hospital) took my blood pressure: 180/100. My stomach dropped, and I thought, “I’m not going anywhere soon.” I laid on my left side to see if I could bring it down, but I was getting very anxious, so I’m not sure it was effective.
Usually the nurse comes in to see me before my OB, but a few minutes later, in walked my OB. We listened to Stitch’s heartbeat, then she took my blood pressure again. She looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t ignore this. I’m going to send you over to labor and delivery (L&D) to be monitored for a while. They’ll probably do some labs, and I suspect they’ll keep you for observation.”
She went over a few more things with me, then let me go. Before I left, I asked, “What are the chances of me going home before this baby is born?”
She replied, “Not good.” Not what I wanted to hear.
I tried to be calm so I could call Lloyd and my mom and let them know what was happening. I told Lloyd that birth wasn’t imminent, and he could get to a stopping place at work then head over. Mom wanted to know if she needed to get on a plane, and I said, “No, not yet.”
I got over to L&D and totally broke down. The nurses and midwife were so good to me. By the time I was hooked up to the monitors and could hear Stitch’s heartbeat and movement, I was much calmer.
By the time Lloyd arrived, my BP was coming down some. One of the MFM (maternal fetal medicine) specialists came to see me. She was pleased that Stitch seemed unfazed and that my BP was stabilizing. But, she still wanted to admit me for further observation. She thought it was worth running a 24-hour urine collection to check for protein (and hopefully rule out pre-eclampsia), some other labs, and give a full course of betamethasone (steroids) to help mature Stitch’s lungs. They started the lab work, gave me my first beta shot, then moved me to an antepartum room.
It was a crazy couple of days, but my labs showed no sign of pre-eclampsia and my BP was almost normal if I stayed laying on my left-hand side. We had a biophysical profile ultrasound on Friday afternoon to check on Stitch, and he/she was doing perfectly. Passed the biophysical 8/8! And we got the most amazing 3D shot of Stitch’s precious face. We are so in love!
I was discharged Saturday morning and sent home on “home rest.” The MFM described it by saying, “Think of yourself as a lady of leisure.” Though, I have to admit that it’s hard to be a lady of leisure with all of these extra doctor’s appointments. Our OB monitoring has been increased, and I’m also seeing my mental health team more often. The current goal is to keep Stitch cooking until between 36-37 weeks. I’d still like to try to make it to 38, but that will depend entirely on my blood pressure.
I had a consult with one of the neonatal doctors while in the hospital. Stitch appears very healthy, so while they expect a NICU stay if Stitch comes early, they hope it will be fairly short and without a lot of incident.
Saturday morning, before I was discharged, I was pulling my hair back into a ponytail, and I noticed I had more grey hair. I can’t even blame it on the baby! Stitch is fine. It’s me that’s falling apart, apparently. I find myself almost 33 weeks pregnant, a “lady of leisure” with significantly more grey hair. It’ll be worth it when I get to hold precious Stitch!
Oh, and Didi is THRILLED to have me back home.