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.

Friday, November 16, 2012

31 weeks


How far along?
31 weeks! Ok, well actually 31w4d, but close enough, right?

How big is baby?
According to Babycenter, Henry is over 16" long and weighs about 3.3lbs. At my appointment yesterday, he was measuring 32 weeks via fundal height. So much for him measuring two weeks ahead! Apparently he's done being huge. But, then again, I saw a new person yesterday (a midwife instead of my normal doc), and she was young. Younger than me. Which is fine... I mean, you have to start somewhere, right? But when she was attempting to find my sternum, she never actually pressed on it. She pressed around it, and then measured my fundal height. I found that to be curious. I wish I would have had my appointment with my same doctor, in retrospect, just to see how he would have measured my fundal height.

Weight gain?
No idea. I didn't look at the scale yesterday at my appointment. I'm boycotting it, actually.

Belly photos?
Here are my 30 and 31 week photos...

No longer do we have an empty wall in the nursery! Got the bookshelf put together :)
And yet another improvement... picked up the yellow canvas drawers for the bookshelf.
As you can see, I'm trying my best to live in comfy clothes. Although work makes that difficult. I peel off my work clothes as soon as I get home, and throw on the yoga pants instantly. Ahhh....

Cravings/Aversions?
Nothing new. Although due to the recent Hostess news, I find myself really wanting a Twinkie...

Sleep?
Well, thankfully I haven't had any real bouts of insomnia since last week. Although, my new thing is waking up every 30 minutes to change positions. Maybe every 30 minutes is an exaggeration, but it certainly feels that often. After one particularly shittastic night, I felt like a zombie the next day. I forced myself to stay up an extra hour until 11 p.m. the next night in hopes that I could pass-the-fuck-out. And it actually worked! So I've been staying up until 11 now, but I'm finding myself wanting to sleep in an extra hour in the morning because of it. And that's no bueno for me getting to work on time.

Symptoms?
First, thanks for all the comments and advice after my last weekly post! I actually implemented several of the suggestions.

I'm still battling the reflux, but Tums have helped tremendously! Last week was the first time I've ever purchased those little suckers, and man, they really work wonders!

Other than that, I've noticed that my energy seems to be dwindling a little. Nothing too extreme, but enough that I can tell.

And finally, I've been having some serious joint pain in my fingers. I wake up, and my hands just feel...arthritic. I don't actually know what arthritis feels like, but I imagine it feels like this. Every joint in every finger is sore. As the day goes on, they get better, but still a bit...off. I googled, and it seems this is normal due to increased fluid at night while you sleep. It's more annoying than painful, to be honest. So I guess I can deal. But... I got Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 this past week, and I'm worried how my fingers will do for a long stretch of gaming. I haven't had time to break it out yet, but this weekend I plan to put in a couple hours. If my fingers allow it, that is.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

They were wrong

This post may be difficult to read if you are in the trenches, so please feel free to skip it if you aren't in the mood. I completely understand.

With that being said, I have thought about this post for quite a while, and have finally decided to go for it. This was never meant to be a blog that had one specific arc. I wanted an outlet for what I was dealing with, which was infertility at the time the blog began. But I enjoy writing about other things in my life. And this is still my blog space, after all. So here it is.

As many of you long-time followers know, Buster and I started trying to get pregnant before we were married. And this past June, we celebrated our four-year anniversary. So the road to pregnancy was long, arduous, and painstaking.

In the beginning, I didn't yet have the tunnel-vision that I developed later. Early on, we were able to live life without it being affected by infertility. We didn't even know we were infertile at that point. We just had lots of sex and hoped that we would get pregnant.

Once we realized that it might be taking us longer than the typical couple, we started the fertility testing. This was Fall of 2009 -- two + years since we started trying.

And soon we were fully immersed in our struggle with infertility. It's amazing how quickly you can go from
"Hmmm, maybe something is wrong." 
to
"I'm so depressed. We'll never get pregnant. I'm such a failure."

Buster and I had two really, really tough years. As most of you know, infertility wreaks havoc on a marriage. And we were not immune. Those were really some very unhappy years for us.

I hate admitting it, but it's true. Infertility made me into someone I didn't want to be. Jealous. Bitter. Resentful. Unhappy.

I would not have wanted to be married to me.

But Buster stuck it out. Sure, he wasn't always the most patient. But I wasn't always the most sane.

And then, through the miracle of science, we became pregnant. I started to morph back into that person I knew was still in there. The happy version of me. Only to be struck down once again, when we suffered the miscarriage. Three and a half horrible months crawl by. We survive, but barely.

Science once again came to the rescue, and we were again pregnant. Only this time, my little boy was here to stay (yes, I know he's not here yet, but it's not too much longer!).

And it happened.

I became me again. I laugh now. I spontaneously smile. I am genuinely happy with my life as a whole.

Two years ago, I would never, ever have thought I could be me again. And be so happy with my life. But when you are in the dark hole of infertility, there is barely enough hope to sustain you one more day, let alone years.

My relationship with Buster has never, ever been better. And I feel that we deserve this, considering infertility stole so much happiness from us so early in our marriage.

You know when "they" say that having a baby won't solve your relationship issues? They definitely weren't talking about infertile couples.


Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Weeks

Because I'm pretty much the laziest blogger ever (ok, I don't think that's it, honestly. I have a whole blog post written in my head about why I was so much more interesting when I was fighting the good fight, but that will have to wait), I'm stealing the weekly update template from Jules at The Quest for Little Lambies.

How far along?
30 weeks today! Time is flying. My doctor's appointments are every two weeks now, which is insane. In a month, they will switch to every week.

How big is baby?
According to Babycenter, Henry is about 15.7" long and weight close to 3lbs. I realize that these are just averages, and feel that Henry is larger than what the average might be. At my 27-week appointment, I had an ultrasound to check cervical length and the position of my placenta. During this ultrasound, the tech measured Henry's thigh bone, and exclaimed that he's tall. At that appointment, she estimated him to weight 2lbs 15oz. At my 29-week appointment (I was 29w3d), I did not have an ultrasound. But, my doctor measured my belly, and I was measuring 32 weeks. I know it's not incredibly reliable, but I just have a feeling I've got a big boy cooking. Time will tell...

Weight gain?
Yes.

Ok, as much as I'd like to leave it at that, I won't. At my 27-week appointment, I had gained 33 lbs. Yep, 33. I asked my doctor if he was concerned with this, and he said not at all. I didn't even look at the scale at my 29-week appointment.

Maternity clothes that fit me in my second trimester no longer fit very well (if at all). For example, I ordered several tunics a couple months ago, to wear with leggings. At this point, the tunics barely cover my ass, and look pretty stupid with leggings. I guess they are just long shirts now. And even though I'm at the point where I don't want to be purchasing any more maternity clothes, I did order two maternity dresses from Old Navy. I figure those should cover my ass for the next 10ish weeks.

Here are my 28 and 29 week photos (haven't taken the 30 week one yet...):
I love this shirt so much that I bought it in another color.

Wearing aforementioned tunic (minimal ass coverage).

Don't mind how exhausted and shitty I look! I was starting to come down with a cold, it was pouring the rain outside, and I had gone to the grocery store after work. That photo was taken right when I got home, before I peeled my clothes off.

Cravings/Aversions?
Not particularly. And probably not anything different than normal, honestly. I'm obsessed with anything pumpkin, but that's me every year. This year I just have an excuse to eat it.

Sleep?
Ah, sleep. How easy you used to come to me. Not so much now. It's increasingly difficult to get comfortable. I end up on my left side for the majority of the night, but sometimes my hip will go to sleep or hurt really badly, and I'm forced to turn. I'll switch to the right side for a while, but that doesn't last very long. As a last resort, I end up propping two pillows up in the nook of the Snoogle, and trying to sleep elevated. Once that become unbearable, I switch back to my left side and hope my hip has gone back to normal.

Other than the whole trying-to-get-comfortable thing, I'm also dealing with some insomnia. It happens a couple times a week. I'll wake up in the middle of the night (usually at around 2 a.m.) and cannot fall back asleep. So I lay in bed and browse Facebook and Pinterest, and wonder if I should get up and actually do something. Or wonder if me turning on the lamp would wake Buster up. Usually after an hour or two, I get tired again.

Symptoms?
I find myself with some kind of indigestion or reflux. I'm not too knowledgeable on either of those things, as I've never had to deal with them prior to pregnancy. Whatever it is, I often feel like a burp will lead to vomiting. This happens mostly at night. Thankfully I've not vomited, but just get that yucky taste in my mouth like it's right there, knocking at the back of my throat. Lovely, right?

I've already gone into detail about insomnia, so there's that.

I'm getting the occasional Braxton Hicks contraction. This is usually brought on by me bending over completely at the waist to pick something up. After, I'll stand up, and my uterus is very tight and hard, and sticking out a bit further. It goes away after a minute or two.

And finally... I'm experiencing pregnancy-induced constipation. I thought I was going to get away without it affecting me, but alas, I was wrong. I've added Colace into my daily supplement routine, and that has seemed to help immensely. And if I forget the Colace one day, I'm pretty much miserable. So Colace daily it is.
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