Wednesday, November 28, 2012

my body is trying to develop pre-eclampsia

Apparently, my body wasn't overly impressed with my blog fodder as of late. So now it wants to give me something interesting to write about.

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, my blood pressure has slowly begun to rise. But only sometimes. I've been having my blood pressure checked at the nurse's station here at work, and recording the results.

It started out averaging about 130/80. That 130 was high for me, but it wasn't anything alarming. A couple times I had top numbers of 136 and 138, but my bottom number was ok.

The weekend following Thanksgiving, Buster and I traveled out of town to visit my nursing-home-bound grandmother. I had some pretty severe swelling in my feet and ankles (which started the night prior to Thanksgiving) on Saturday morning, so I asked a nurse at the nursing home to take my blood pressure. It was 138/90, which is the highest it's been yet.

The high-ish reading of my blood pressure coupled with the swelling (that wasn't going away overnight... I was waking up with Stay-Puft-Marshmallow-Man feet and ankles), I decided to call my doctor. He told me to take it easy and put my feet up. If it gets worse (not sure what "it" was... the blood pressure or swelling?) to call him and I may need to head to labor & delivery. If it doesn't get worse, he wanted me to come in for an appointment on Monday, instead of my previously-scheduled Thursday appointment.

After making a conscious effort to keep my feet elevated and an amazing massage by my occupational-therapy-grad-student cousin, the next morning I could actually see a tendon in my foot. And by Sunday night, I could see tendons AND veins! Progress!

I felt silly even keeping my Monday appointment, but figured I might as well just go in. I peeked at the scale this time, and I'm up about 45 lbs total. Yikes. The stick dipped in urine was negative for protein, so that was a relief. And then it was blood pressure time... 138/98. The highest to date!

When the doctor finally came in (about 15 minutes after my blood pressure reading), he did another blood pressure check. And it was still 138/98.

Even though my urine was negative for protein, he instructed me to do a 24-hour urine catch just to be certain. The fun of collecting urine in a huge jug that needs refrigerated cannot be understated.

Jug o' urine, specialty brewery beer, Coke.
I worked from home yesterday in order to refrigerate the jug. Yes, we have a refrigerator here at work, but even I'm not brave enough to handle that level of awkwardness. I took the jug to the lab yesterday afternoon, and was to follow-up with my doctor on Thursday morning at the appointment that was previously-scheduled.

Except this morning he called me and left me a voicemail. The protein level in my urine was 274 mg. Anything over 300 mg is considered pre-eclampsia. He said if I didn't have any questions, he'd see me tomorrow.

Well, of course I called him back. I asked him if 274 is high for someone who doesn't have pre-eclampsia, and he said yes. That normally that number hovers around zero. He thinks my body is trying to develop pre-eclampsia. But, they've only had one documented high blood pressure reading from me, so they can't even diagnose me with pregnancy-induced hypertension.

He said there is a chance that my blood pressure will stay where it is, as well as my protein level. But he still wants me to come in tomorrow for another blood pressure check. Depending on the result, they would hook me up to the monitors (which I'm assuming means an NST?).

So there you have it. Today I'm 33w2d. I really need this baby boy to bake until 37 weeks! That's not too much longer now, so I hope we can make it. And maybe this won't turn into pre-eclampsia after all, and Henry will continue to bake until his due date. It's a mystery at this point.

16 comments:

  1. So, as someone who was induced at 38 weeks for pre-eclampsia, I have some good news for you. The fact that you're only 33w and developing high blood pressure is actually better than if it were developing later in your pregnancy because it means you more than likely will just have pregnancy induced hypertension not pre-e, the lesser of 2 evils. I was pissed when my blood pressure started to creep up at 36 weeks and by 38 weeks I was being induced because I didn't understand how people could go half their pregnancies with high blood pressure readings and never have pre-e and I had 2 high readings and I was pre-eclamptic, it didn't make sense to me. I now understand that it's when your blood pressure suddenly goes up at the end that everyone gets really freaked out because pre-e can go from just high blood pressure to seizures pretty quickly. So, all this to say that high blood pressure earlier in the pregnancy is less likely to be pre-e and you will more than likely just get put on blood pressure meds until you hit 38 weeks if you continue to have high blood pressure readings. But let's hope that you steer clear of even that and that blood pressure just stays put! Good luck!!!

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  2. Hi Jesica! I actually thought of you while typing this up, as I knew you were diagnosed with pre-e towards the end of your pregnancy.

    The odd thing is that my BP isn't always high. Today, for example, I've had it checked twice and it was around 120/86 both times. So I'm awful confused as to what is actually going on here! :/

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    1. My BP wasn't always high either. I was in the hospital for 6 hours the day before I ended up being induced and over that 6 hours I had only 2 BP spikes and my BP was being checked every 10 minutes! Apparently even 1 high reading combined with protein is enough to diagnosis pre-e that late in pregnancy. I bet you'll be fine though, I've known several people with gestational hypertension and they were allowed to continue their pregnancies uninhibited, so try not to stress!

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  3. Lets keep our fingers crossed that blood pressure will stay under control and Henry will have his required weeks to grow strong.

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  4. Oh no! Hoping your bp stays low.

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  5. shit I'm sorry! Keeping my fingers crossed... You're so close to 37 weeks! You can make it.

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  6. Yikes! Hope things are good tomorrow. That giant jug if pee is unreal!

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  7. Oh that big jug brings back memories :). My BP started going up at my 30 week appt and I ended up induced at 35 weeks with pre-e. Hopefully you will be able to hold out for several weeks too!!! Thinking of you.

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  8. Oh gosh, that's scary. I hope everything is ok and that precious little boy stays put until, like you said, at least 37w.
    Keeping my FX that everything stays just fine!

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  9. Hey girl!! I had both PIH and pre-e with BOTH my kiddos. I had the PIH early with Avaley, like 20ish weeks. So....to make you feel a little better they will *probably* just watch you, make you do a few more of the lovely 24 hour urine collections, and at worse bedrest and BP meds. You will make it to at least 37 weeks!! It can be scary, but they will do everything they can to get Henry to the safety of at least 37 weeks, you just do your best to rest, elevate those feet, drink LOTS of water and stay on top of your readings. All will be well!! I had the WORST readings with Avaley, I had her at 37 weeks 0 days, and they took her that day emergency c-sec b/c my proteins were high (450) and my BP was 200/160. They were watchin tho and we came out ok. That probably scared you, sorry. Point being is that even under the worst circumstances, which you are NOT lol, the docs have seen it all and can handle it! Keep us posted mama!!

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  10. Really hoping your BP stays down and you can go to at least 37wks!

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  11. I'm so glad you are staying on top of this and that you have a heads-up in case this develops further. I will hope that you don't have to deal with Pre-e. Good luck with your next appointment.

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  12. De-lurking so I can tell you I am so sorry about this! You'd think with everything we go through to get pregnant that we could at least have easy, uncomplicated pregnancies! You are not so far off from 37 weeks though and I am confident you can keep baby Henry in there until then! You really seem like you are on top of it too--please keep us posted and good luck!!

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  13. Not that this is going to make you feel any better at all, but Linds had almost the same exact symptoms starting up before her C. Hopefully yours doesn't get any worse though! Man, got to love that 24 hour urine test! You're not cool unless you keep your pee in the refrigerator! ;)

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    1. Clearly I've been blog slacking and as I'm reading through all your posts I'm feeling like our stories are eerily (spelling??) similar... Good news though, I got little M to 38 weeks and he is absolutely perfect (am I biased?). However the first sign that things were taking a turn for the worst for me was a huge drop in amniotic fluid in one week and things got bad pretty fast from there. I was on bed rest the last two weeks though and that really helped keep things (my bp) calm.

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