I consider myself very lucky and grateful to have largely had an incident free pregnancy. I haven’t really had much in the way of morning sickness and little baby boy has been right on target with every scan.
Now that I’m in the third trimester, however, a chronic problem has come up to haunt me. Ever since my twenties when I had my wisdom teeth out, I’ve had a problem with high blood pressure. I’ve been on medication since then. It’s intrinsic hypertension and it runs in my family. My dad also has it.
Throughout this pregnancy I’ve been monitoring it carefully with my little electronic device. You guys remember when it went really low. Well, really low is better for baby than high.
I’ve been pretty busy so have been only checking it on weekends, and last Sunday got a bit of a shock to get 142/100. Phoned my mom and got into a bit of a panic. Decided to phone the emergency line for my gynae (who turns out to be away) and I get his replacement with a funny European accent (was it Russian?) that I’m trying to figure out. He says, not to worry, it could be isolated, rather take another reading in the morning and then see.
The next morning I got 129/89 (much better) so off I went to work. But this whole time I have been feeling really weak, so have been sitting down a lot. I kind of decided to leave things, was really busy so didn’t really have time to phone the doc’s rooms, and kind of left it. But my mother kept bugging me. Plus the news came through that my maid (who is on maternity leave supposed to be having her baby) lost her baby directly after the cesarean. I can’t help thinking it was a lack of monitoring that led to that horrible outcome. It is heart-breaking, and I can only be ever so grateful that I have a good medical aid and good care that I can take advantage of.
So on Tuesday I made the call and they said I could drop by in the afternoon and the midwife would take my blood pressure. Sr J was really great. The first reading was really high so she got me to rest up a bit in the waiting room while she saw another patient. Then she took it again and we got it down to 140. She wrote a note for my work so that I could work half days and said come back on Friday.
My boss has been great and even has a temp lined up for when I need to stop work. It also sounds like she is more open to me taking longer leave now. It could be a good option to stop, but I’m still trying to make all the right decisions. However we settled on me leaving around 2 which would be when school finishes anyway, and I would mark books at home.
In any case, Friday came around. She raced through the meeting and I actually left at about quarter to three. But the thing is, not knowing if I am going to be around or not, I have to be part of these meetings.
I get to the labour ward (Sr J had long gone home, but suggested I go there and then then phone her from there).
I got there and they told me to go lie down on a bed so long. I thought this was good logic: let me rest and then the reading would be lower.
I didn’t quite count on them forgetting about me.
About half an hour past. I poked my head around the corner (this was a room right next to the reception area) and asked how much longer am I expected to lie there?
Poor old dolly had forgotten about me. She came and took my measurements. She got me to lie on my left side. The first one was 149 and the second one was much better – 129/76.
So this was an excellent reading. I phoned Sr J and left a message.
I went to the car and phoned my boss. She is still pushing for me to stop and getting a replacement. I think she doesn’t understand why even when I have a good reading, I’m still feeling weak, and needing those half days. Is this all in my head? I don’t know. Still trying to figure this all out. Am I back in the infertility “just relax” zone again?
I phoned my DH and went over to his work where he was still busy. Had a nice chat to his boss’s wife who took a full month off before the birth. I think I finally understand why! I also got a phone call back from Sr J who encouraged me to keep going with the half days and see her again on Tues, and then I will see Dr K anyway on Thurs.
When I phoned my mom she was glad about the reading, but still pushing for me to stop work. She is a doctor and she is convinced I am going into pre-eclampsia and basically depriving my baby of blood. According to Wikipedia, Pre-eclampsia is diagnosed when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure (two separate readings taken at least six hours apart of 140 or more in systolic blood pressure and/or 90 or more in diastolic blood pressure) and 300 mg of protein in a 24-hour urine sample (proteinuria).
In any case we went home and skipped our normal Friday night grocery shop. Just got some stuff from Woolworths (like TV dinners) and I basically went straight to bed. And yes, I’m doing my best to sleep on my left side.
This morning I’m feeling a lot better and got another good reading 126/92.
I’m taking it easy. I’m having my afternoon naps and going to bed early. I’m doing what I can and I think it’s helping. The real question is: should I take the next step? Should I stop work now? At the moment I’m tending to take a “wait and see” kind of attitude, especially till my appointment on Thursday.
Oh and to end off on a lighter note – here is something B has been longing to do for ages…. making baby a Bulls fan before he is even born.