Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 35

I know...I know it's been a while.  Things went just as I feared and once school got started I didn't do anything but work and sleep for several weeks...which is actually where the trouble began.

On September 7th, Karleigh had been cooking for 31 weeks.  I've been really struggling at school with huge classes so I stayed late that night to grade papers.  I didn't get finished until around 8 pm.  I've been checking my blood pressure periodically since I began swelling and when I got home that night...it was high.  140s/90s.  My normal is 120s/70s.  I went to bed and tried laying on my left side but it still stayed pretty high.  Early that morning I called my nurse practitioner and she wanted me to come in before the clinic opened.  When I got there it was even higher and they made me stay around for a while checking it periodically.  It never went down and at one point got as high as 160/110 which landed me in labor & delivery.  I was given an emergency sonogram to check on the baby along with lab work and kept for observation.  Finally my blood pressure went down... but not before I was assigned to a new doctor and given 2 steroid shots to help the baby's lungs mature.  I was put on bed rest for 5 days and assigned daily bp readings.

The bed rest was good for my swelling, which went down significantly.  I had an appointment with my new doctor the next Monday and I had lost 4 lbs of fluid from the swelling over the weekend.  My new doctor allowed me to go back to work but I was put on weekly dr appointments and weekly sonograms to check the baby's growth.  I actually ended up back at the doctor late that week because I picked up some kind of virus at school.  The steroids lowered my immune system and I had some flu like symptoms along with a weird heat rash on my upper arms and chest area.  Thankfully it went away but it was pretty perplexing at the time after all we had been through that week.

I did ok at work for about another week and half before my blood pressure went back up again.  This time the doctor put me on a beta blocker called labetalol to lower my blood pressure.  I didn't want to take it but they said it would be better for both me and the baby to get my blood pressure down.  It has helped significantly.  At times it has even lowered my bp down into the 120s/70s.  It helps take the swelling back off of my feet at night time and my hands are doing much better.  The carpal tunnel had gotten so bad that I had been unable to turn door handles and it was keeping me up at night.  I still have a bit of numbness in my finger tips but it really is much better.

The weekly sonos and dr appts have required me to take 1/2 days off at work which was disappointing but I think it has been good for me.  Kevin and I have been getting used to my new doctor.  He is very nice but doesn't quite dote on us like my nurse practitioner did.

I had my weekly appointment yesterday afternoon and it didn't go quite as well.  I was rushing to get to the dr and when I arrive my bp was 160/96.  The doctor wasn't thrilled because combined with the bp...my swelling came back significantly over the weekend.  He was happy that I'm still not showing any signs of protein in my urine which would indicate pre-eclampsia.  At this point the diagnosis is just gestational hypertension and he believes the bp will go back down after delivery.  He ordered some blood work and I went to my weekly sonogram afterward.  He also has put me on twice weekly appointments now.  I have to go back again on Thursday afternoon.

Karleigh was rated an 8 out of 8 at her growth scan this week which is fantastic.  We have had the same sweet lady sonographer for the last 3 weeks and she remembers us each time.  I think it is because Karleigh is head down and likes to sit with her hands holding her feet above her head...3 times now she has been sitting like that.  At 33 weeks the sonogram said that she was already over 5 lbs.  Next monday we'll get another weight check for her. I'm anxious to see how much more she has grown because in the last 2 weeks she has done something that I didn't think was possible....I now have MORE stretch marks.  I didn't think it was possible for a belly as flabby & stretched out as mine to get more stretch marks but I now have a train track of stretch marks running around my midsection.  She has gone from giving sweet, surprising kicks and rolls to strong, painful jabs and thumps so I know she is getting stronger.  My bp had gone back down by the time I left the dr around 4 pm and has done well since.

My first real run in with Braxton Hicks contractions was on the night after I received the 2nd steroid shot.  They lasted for several hours that night.  I don't really know when a contraction begins or ends.  I don't feel a real definite start or stop.  I'll just all of the sudden notice that my belly is tight and has been a little uncomfortable.  I've had them on and off periodically since then and last night I had quite a few.  I wouldn't call them painful but definitely uncomfortable and they become more and more uncomfortable as the weeks go on.

That is the enormous pregnancy update for the last few weeks.  I think I've covered most everything health & pregnancy related.  I'm getting more and more excited and more and more terrified as the weeks go by.  I pray that I will be able to deliver this adorable baby girl safely and be a fantastic parent.  My parents were fantastic so I just keep hoping I'll be as good as they were.  I know Kevin is going to be a amazing dad...I hope I don't disappoint anyone.


Linz said...

I know all of that can be scary. Glad you are hanging in there!