Oh man, where to begin. I feel like this birth story really started 2 weeks before the big day, so let's start there. Up until 35 weeks every Dr's appointment went off without a hitch. In fact at 34 weeks my Dr said, "Well, your measurements are perfect, baby's heartbeat is perfect and your blood pressure is perfect, see you next week!" I like when they use the word perfect, it makes my mama heart happy, so I went on my merry way. Well the following week things weren't quite so "perfect," my blood pressure was running a bit higher than my norm. Not high enough to warrant immediate concern, but high enough to put me on watch. I left not too worried, figuring it was just a fluke, perhaps I was running around a bit too much that day, surely next week it will be back in my usual range. It seemed like such a blip on the radar I didn't even mention it to Adam hoping next week all would be back to normal. I put my faith in that and went about my life.
Another 7 days comes and goes and I head to the Dr for my 36 week check up. I tried not to be nervous, but it's like as soon as they put that cuff on I can feel my blood pressure rise from nerves alone. Sure enough, exact same as last week, high but not officially in the "high range." My Dr. still seemed relatively unconcerned since I was showing no other signs that anything was wrong, but she did say with borderline high blood pressure she didn't want me going past my due date, so let's talk about an induction date. It was set for December 3rd barring any other issues or surprises. I left my appt with mixed feelings. A bit deflated I was looking at another induction. A bit excited that I had an official end date in sight, and four days earlier than expected! But mostly, a bit concerned about my blood pressure. I made a rookie mistake and started googling things about pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension and got myself even more worked up. I tried to remain calm and convinced myself if my OB isn't concerned, then I won't be. I shoved my worries to the back of my mind started my last full week of work.
I felt good all week considering I was 37+ weeks pregnant which definitely helped keep my mind at ease. Thursday things started to change a bit. It was a long day, I left the house for work at 6:45am and worked a busy morning. We had a staff meeting in the afternoon which was a nice break from the usual hustle and bustle of treating patients, but during the meeting I started getting a headache. I never get headaches so it struck me as a bit odd. I chalked it up to being stuck in a hot, crowded staff room but in the back of my mind knew headaches can be a high blood pressure red flag. After our meeting my co workers treated me to dinner and a baby shower. It was a nice evening celebrating baby girl, and thankfully I got in a good meal, because little did I know it would be my last for over 24 hours. By the time I got home just after 8:00pm I was beat. When I went to take off my shoes I immediately noticed how big and swollen my feet were, up until today I hadn't had any swelling and now I was toting around two giant monster feet. Great. Another big red flag. By this point I was really starting to worry things were going south fast, my only consolation was knowing I had a Dr's appt at 9:00 the next morning. I told Adam all my new symptoms and joked that I had a feeling if my BP was high again tomorrow we might be having a baby. Sure I knew it was a possibility, but deep down I honestly didn't think it would happen, I tend to worry myself over nothing, surely that was the case again. No way was I having a baby tomorrow. So I took my hobbit feet and tried to get some sleep. Easier said than done. Between my nerves and this off and on sharp pain under my right rib it was hard to get comfortable. I later found out this rib pain is yet one more blood pressure red flag, good thing I didn't google it at the time or I really wouldn't have gotten any sleep.
Friday morning started out like any other Friday. Adam got up and off to work, telling me he was meeting me at my appt today just in case there was any news. Jamie came into our room asking for breakfast and the iPad, so I rolled myself out of bed, no easy task at nearly 38 weeks pregnant. The headache and rib pain were gone, but I was still rocking some serious swollen feet. I decided to pack my hospital bag, you know, just in case. Got myself and Jamie ready for the day and snapped what would become my final bump picture. As you can tell by my face, I was over being pregnant and not feeling so hot, nor was I pleased to discover I was officially wider than the bathroom door. Pregnant girl problems. I loaded Jamie into the car, dropped him off at school and headed off to my appt. I wasn't even scheduled to see my OB, it was merely a BP check so hopefully I would be in and out quick. I met Adam in the lobby and we headed upstairs. When the nurse took me back I told her about my new symptoms, she then took my blood pressure and all I heard her say was "166." I didn't even hear the bottom number, but I knew 140 was the target "high" threshold and I had been in the high 130s the previous two weeks, so this was not good. The nurse went to consult with one of the doctors in the office and then promptly returned and said they wanted me to head over to Labor and Delivery for some monitoring and lab work and we'd go from there. I can't really say I was shocked, but it really started to hit me that this could be it, so Adam and I walked over to L&D.
When we got there they took me back to triage and got me hooked up to a BP cuff and monitor for baby. Over the next 30 minutes I watched as my BP readings bounced all over the place even hitting 190/100 at one point. Well that's just great. Thankfully baby seemed unaffected by it all. They did some blood work to check for other signs of pre-eclampsia and while we waited for the results Adam and I started calling the family and getting our plan set for Jamie just in case we were staying for the long haul. Shortly after we alerted the media the nurse came in to let us know all my lab work came back normal which was great, but with my BP being so high, since I was past 37 weeks, there was no sense putting me or baby at risk so they were going to admit me and start to induce. Today. I was having a baby today!
.....to be continued.....