This past month has felt like two extremes, full speed ahead and inching through the days. I am so thrilled that we have made it through several big milestones this month. I felt a huge since of relief once we were out of the 20's and made it to Week 30. Just as my nerves calmed, I had a big blood pressure spike 160's/90's around 30.5 weeks keeping me up all night. I felt steamy hot. I could feel my pulse pounding from my head to my toes. My chest felt like bricks lay on top of it, making it challenging to catch my breath. If it wasn't for having a prescheduled doctors appointment the next day we would have gone into the hospital that night. Looking back, we should have just gone in. Note to all you mamas out there: If you dont feel right, just go to the ER to have things evaluated. At my doctors appointment the next day I was only able to see the Nurse Practitioner. My prssures were still elevated but not as bad (140's/80's). When the NP checked my reflexes my leg shot up at a 90 degree angle. After completing our NST at the office and with no other symptoms they decided they would take labs and send me home, stating they would call if labs looked bad. I didn't want to leave the office at all that day. My brain was acting so sluggish and I just did not feel well. But we made the trek home and I continued to take it easy and watch out for any major PreE Symptoms (Right Upper Quadrant Pain, Blurry Vision, Headaches). Much to my surprise, my labs were fine and a few days later, Week 31 was one of my best weeks yet! My pressures settled into the 120's/60's and I had more energy that I had in weeks! It's amazed at how preeclampsia can effect you so drastically one day and so minimally the next. Although I felt great, I still took it easy and did my best not to push my luck with this new found energy.
In Week 32, we went to see the perinatologist as we continued to have non reactive NST at each of our weekly appointments. NST (Non Stress Test) are where they place a monitor on my belly to track baby's heart rate over time. A reactive NST is when baby has an increase in his/her heart rate of 15 beats over 15 seconds. Our Little one never quite makes these markers. She is perfectly content hanging out at the steady heart rate of 155. We like to think this means she is a going to be calm, cool and collected little girl. However, because of my preeclampsia, there is also the chance that these nonreactive tests could also indicate she is not getting the oxygen she needs, even though our weekly BPP (Biophysical Profile ultrasounds) look good. So, just in case, we headed to see the perinatologist for further testing/and second opinion. There we repeated the ultrasound and NST. Her movements, body structures, internal pressures, amniotic fluid all looked wonderful and the doctor assured us that she looks perfectly healthy and that anytime she needs to be born that she has 97% chance for survival without complications. We were thrilled to hear of this and felt more reassured by his words. That same week, At my appointment with Dr. Oliver, she was thrilled with my progress and decided that if my pressures stay moderate and my labs stay within normal limits, she wants me to progress to 37 weeks before delivery. Great news right? ....I'm going to blame it on the pregnancy hormones but I actually felt pretty defeated hearing I needed to go another 5 weeks before baby was to be born. I had my mind set on 36 weeks being our end point and after all these weeks on bedrest, 5 weeks seamed like decades away. I compare it to the show survivor. You are physically and emotionally drained and just want to get off the island, but you know there is that million dollar prize at the end if you make it so you just suck it up and hang on a bit longer! That was me, resetting my mind to be in it for the long haul, 37 weeks.
Week 33, My wonderful mother came to stay with me and help around the house. The week seamed to fly by with her there. It was nice to have the company during the daytime while Clark was at daycare and Ryan was at work.
Week 34 it started settling in that our time as a family of three is quickly fading, only three weeks left! I became a mess of emotions with these thoughs as we anxiously await our little girls arrival. I am so thrilled to be a family of four but want to soak in every moment that I can with my boys. My pressures still fluctuated daily but at this week's office visit, they were very elevated at 180/60 and 148/78. I was also haveing some light nausea most of the day and baby wasn't quite moving as much as she does so the doctor decided to send us over to the hospital for the afternoon on observation and to do more labs. I truely felt okay and didn't expect my pressures to be that high. Quickly after getting to the hospital, my pressures died down and after my initial labs came back within normal limits, I got the okay to go home. Having made up my mind, baby is not coming until 37 weeks, I naturally expected once home I would feel okay again and things would be smooth sailing until delivery day. However, my pressures have consisitently reached 150/80 each day since then and I have begun to swell up even more. My face/hands feel so very puffy and greasy. I can't get my wedding ring off even if I wanted to. Exerting myself even a little leaves me breathless. The nausea continues on and off and last night I began having a pain at the top of my shoulder that feels like a deep pinch. As we enter Week 35, I had more labs this morning that we will get the results of in the next day or two. I am anxious to see what the labs read and hear from my doctor if we are going to push forward to week 37 or take action before then. Either way, we are so close to delivery and I can't wait to meet our sweet bundle of joy!