Thursday, April 10, 2008

Craziness in Lauraland

Wednesday, April 9th - 36 weeks and 2 days

4:00pm - our secondary midwife, Jenn, came by for a home visit. We chat about labour and how to identify it.

4:15pm - we talk about the results of the ultrasound, many of which are still unknown as the clinic has not forwarded them. Jenn reassures me that a 7lb 7oz baby is still entirely birthable, and that she won't grow that much between now and birth.

4:35pm - I do a pee-stick. Everything is negative. Jenn takes my blood pressure.

She makes a little "Hm" noise and a face that made me immediately uncomfortable. "What is the reading?" I asked, but she wouldn't tell me. She said it was "a little high" and that we were going to take it again in a couple of minutes.

4:40pm - Chris is out at my car, looking for the notes I'd taken on my last 3 blood pressure readings (which were done at my naturopath and the drug store). While he is gone, Jenn says the words "pre-eclampsia" and "induction". She says a lot of other things too, but I've lost my ability to process.

4:45pm - Jenn reviews my last 3 blood pressure readings, which confirm that it has been sneaking up slowly over the past 1-2 weeks. She asks Chris to call the hospital and find out how late the SAT lab is open. She takes my blood pressure again to confirm that her original reading was correct.

4:46pm - She now reveals the number to me - 140 over 100. Both times.

4:48pm - I argue that if it was pre-eclampsia, I'd have protein in my urine, and I don't. Jenn agrees, but says that she'd like to have bloodwork done just the same - if for no better reason than to establish a baseline.

4:50pm - Jenn asked me if I was done work. In fact, I believe her exact words were, "So, hopefully you're done work now, right?" I said that I wasn't, and she strongly suggested that I ought to be. She told me bedrest was very helpful for keeping blood pressure down. She then called Lillian and reported everything to her, and set up a time for Lillian to come and take my blood pressure again the next day at 2pm.

5:00pm - Chris and I head to the lab.

5:45pm - we arrive back home. We are both at loose ends. There's nothing we can really do - we won't know the results of the labwork until the next day - but carrying on with "life as normal" seems impossible. Lisa comes by for a conveniently distracting visit. Chris can't decide whether to go to class.

Somehow, the night passes.

Thursday, April 10th - 36 weeks 3 days

10:00am - I let my managers know that a medical issue has arisen, that I will be taking the afternoon off, and that I may not be back to work the following week as planned.

11:00am - I pack up my desk. I marvel at how much personal stuff I store at work and on my work hard drive. Chris brings me the jump drive from home so I can save it all.

12:00pm - I leave the office, knowing I'll be back at least once to properly re-set my voicemail once I know whether I'm coming back in a few days or a year.

12:15pm - I check the voicemail at home. When I see Lillian's name on the Caller ID, I get nervous that the labwork came back with very bad results. Instead, her voicemail says that she's got another client in early labour, and she wondered if she could come see me for the blood pressure monitoring earlier than 2pm.

12:20pm - I call Lillian back and tell her that anytime would be fine with me.

12:45pm - Lillian shows up and takes my blood pressure. It's 140 over 92. She confirms that I am not going to work anymore, and that I am definitely not going to visit Mike in Victoria next weekend. She writes a note for my work that includes the phrase "bed rest effective immediately".

12:55pm - We discuss what bed rest really means. "Should I really be in bed 24/7? Can I go get a massage? Can I do the laundry?" Lillian laughingly approves the massage but not the laundry. "Bed rest really means that all you get are bathroom breaks. Anything more than that takes you closer to being induced."

1:00pm - Lillian confirms that the bloodwork and urine sample from yesterday's trip to the lab are all fine. This means that I only have one of the two major signs of pre-eclampsia: I have high blood pressure, but no protein in the urine, which would indicate my liver and kidneys breaking down (the only cure for which is getting the baby out immediately).

1:05pm - Lillian tells me that my blood pressure is high enough that she has to consult an OB. Then the OB will make a decision as to whether a return to the lab for more bloodwork is in order, or if I should come in for a non-stress test. She heads off to the hospital with a promise to call soon and let me know the verdict.

1:15pm - I do the same mental pacing as the night before. My attention span is shot. I'm calm, but not very focussed.

1:40pm - Lillian calls and confirms that the OB wants me to come in for a non-stress test. I call Chris, who is heading home still assuming he's meeting Lillian and I for a 2pm appointment, and tell him to hurry.

1:45pm - I post this huge-ass entry which still doesn't really tell you all anything. It's a little frightening to be in limbo like this. Right now I'm working with the assumption that I'm spending the next few weeks in bed (or on the couch), with frequent trips to the lab for monitoring to ensure things are not progressing. If they do progress, we'll be inducing (not happy about that, but that's the topic for another post). If we're able to maintain my blood pressure and no protein appears in the urine, I'll be waiting for labour as I would be under normal circumstances. Just with a lot more bedrest.


Amberism said...

I didn't have time to read the whole entry (that sounds so rude) but I'm thinking about you and that the bedrest is what you need to get your bp down and on the positive side, 36 weeks is probably the best time to get this news.

*hugs* thinking about you and your babe and hoping your well. Do update on the stress test results.

Vanessa said...

Hugs! I hope that you at least have lots of good books & movies to help you stay sane on the couch/in bed. You have all my most positive thoughts about your blood pressure going down while you are on bed rest.

Anonymous said...

Wow, unexpected! That just crept out of nowhere, eh? Your friend Amber is right, a small positive note on all this is that at least you're getting this news now and not at 25 weeks, or even 30 weeks - crazy it might drive you, but at least it won't be 2 months of bedrest.

Here's hoping a little rest brings the bp back under control. I sent those puzzle books off to you, so there'll be something to do for a bit at least!

Hang in there, I'll be thinking about you and Baby B.


Anonymous said...

*Hugs* I am thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed. Would a phone call tonight be okay?

Anonymous said...

Wow, this seems so common these days! As the others said, at least it's at 36, not 25 or 30 weeks (like a friend of mine down here at 7 months just got told 2 months bed rest) ... but that doesn't help so much, because you're not them.
I'm sure everything will be fine and you will, at worst case, be a bit bored. At least you got to tell work to stuff it! That must bring you a touch of joy? :)

Kat said...

I would call you if I knew your telephone number. Shoot it to me in an email, k? I promise to program it this time.


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