Saturday, May 7, 2011

Up and Down

I admit to going into this pregnancy thinking that it would be "normal"....well, normal for me, that is. I'd see a specialist and they'd watch out for any pre-term labour for me and I may end up on bedrest, but the baby would come early and all would be well. I didn't consider pre-eclampsia or hypertension, although I did have gestational diabetes on my mind as well. So things have been going .... interesting for me. I'd have to say that it's actually been going well all things considered. I have appointments on a weekly basis with all of the doctors I see! I have been expecting to be hospitalized or on bedrest sometime during this pregnancy, but was taken by surprise when it did happen over Easter! I'd already had a crazy week, so I should've seen it coming, but I wasn't too sure what would happen.

It started out with a visit to the maternity clinic, where my blood pressure was noted to be elevated. Of course, I didn't think it was "too high"...but that's because I tend to forget my target range! It had been so good for so long, so each week I had been pleased with the numbers at the MFM Clinic and not having to go back on the anti-hypertension medication. But I was also anticipating a climb, since it's common for it to increase during the third trimester. Turns out, my time was now! Dr S looked at my blood pressure readings, checked his notes and then sent me to the hospital for another NST and some lab work! I was seen by Dr G (my OB, who happened to be on call that day) eventually ---it was a very busy day on the maternity ward--- and was put back on Labetelol, and all was well again. For a few days, at least. I saw my regular GP dr on a Friday (for non-pregnancy stuff) and my BP was checked and discovered too low--although, she didn't do anything about it because she said it was a normal range for me. It had me concerned though! I tried to contact the Internal Meds dr, but couldn't get a hold of her, so I thought I'd hold out and see how things went. I'd watch for any obvious signs/symptoms and go to the ER if I was worried.

Of course, that weekend was terrible for me! I was lightheaded, couldn't concentrate, had bad backpain, had sharp abdominal pain, and felt agitated and crappy and out of it. On Monday night, I didn't think I'd be able to cope much longer, but thankfully, Tuesday was a bit better. I saw Dr G again (at her office for an apointment) and my BP was still very low, so she told me to hold the Labetelol. The very next day, I saw Dr. M at Women's, where my BP was very high again! Good grief! By not being on meds for one day, it jumped up! Yet when I was on it, it plummeted! WTH?

Dr M didn't know about my high BP, NST and lab work done the week earlier (*roll eyes* why can't the drs work together?) so that info had her wondering what was going on. Plus, I had protein in my urine, so add those two together and they're looking at Pre-eclampsia. Phooey. :( Months ago, I thought I'd end up with this, but was starting to think that maybe I wouldn't...

So I was sent to Admitting at Women's, where I had another NST done and more lab work (to check my kidney function and such. Your kidneys put out a hormone that regulates your blood pressure. Too high BP and you could damage them, apparently), and given Labetelol. (actually, Dr M gave me one immediately after seeing my blood pressure numbers) Then I was given a room (which was more like a closet) in the Delivery Suite, and started a 24 HR urine collection (what fun!) I also got to have another ultrasound, which was the most enjoyable part of the whole hospital process! (Baby Jellybean looked to be "just under" 4lbs already! Yay!) They were trying to find me an actual bed and room, but it was busy, so I settled into my closet with the curtain for a door, and observed other patients! (like the woman across from me who was 41w4d and starting contractions! She moaned a lot and I was wondering how long they'd keep her here. Surely she couldn't deliver in this closet!!!) I knew I'd be there overnight, for sure, and was told by Dr C (another MFM doctor, whom I also adore!) that they wanted to get my blood pressure monitored and leveled out, as well as get my thyroid "sorted out" (since it was fluctuating a lot as well, which isn't too strange for pregnancy, but this was more so), and have me be seen by the Dietician for my Gestational Diabetes (since I sadly failed my second 2 hour test. Phooey. And I had felt so good about it too, thinking maybe I didn't have it this time since I passed the GTT test weeks earlier!) Phew! I was going to be seen by a lot of different doctors and nurses during my visit! (I was eventually set up in a room at 3am, just when I was starting to finally fall asleep!)

I had started to think that I must have pre-eclampsia and was trying to learn more about it while waiting for confirmation from the doctor. I learned that it is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications for both me and baby. (did that make sense? I stole that from Wikipedia!) Symptoms are headaches, visual disturbances, epigastric pain (upper abdominal), nausea and vomiting. Placental Abruption can occur, which is when the placenta detatches prior to birth, which is incredibly dangerous and causes stillbirth. It can lead to seizures, stroke, multiple organ failure and death in more and/or baby, if untreated. Wow. It's hard NOT to get stressed out by it all!

In the end, I wasn't given any information from the doctor regarding pre-e during my hospital stay, but was told by another MFM doctor at my next apt that it was "complicated". I have signs and symptoms, but I guess they fluctuate so much that it's not a simple diagnosis. Which is wonderful to hear, but also confusing.

I was first admitted on Wednesday, not knowing how long I'd stay, but learning it would be for sure overnight. Dr M wanted me monitored and Dr C wanted everything "sorted out", and Dr Unger, another OB, wanted me checked out, and Dr Thompson, the Diabetic Dr, needed to see me.... But after my urine collection was done and my BP was stabilized on Thursday, Dr C and Unger had me discharged. I was almost free! But then Dr Thompson wanted me to stay! Phooey! He wanted to get a better look at my blood sugar levels since I had just started to check. They had been elevated and he wanted 24 hours to get a feel for an average for me. (Poor Hunny was so stressed over it all! He doesn't handle sudden things like this very well, and had to find babysitters for the Youngers, and get the Olders off to school and leave work early and take time off and it was just hard for him to figure out.) I spent Good Friday in the hospital, eating pork chops {*shudder*} and learning how to give myself insulin injections, while my family had a nice turkey dinner!

Yep, I'm giving myself needles! I thought it would happen during my pregnancy with Rhys, since I had such a struggle getting my numbers in order even while on a diabetic diet, but it didn't happen. So I wasn't surprised, but wasn't happy either! It's one thing knowing you'll need to go on insulin and a completely different thing having to actually inject yourself with a needle on a daily basis! But I will admit that I have been so proud of myself! I've been able to do this and do it well! It helps that the needles are small guage and don't really hurt going in, but still! Wow. To think that some people become addicted to a high so much that they're willing to give needles even though they don't "need" them is so bizarre to me!

My hospital stay was finally over on Saturday. Three days later. Or four days, depending on how you count! I got to spend the rest of Easter with my family, and celebrate my anniversary, and see my extended family. It was all good! But it's amazing how quickly things can change. Up and down my numbers go.


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