Now taking bets – just how long can I stave off pre-eclampsia?

I’ve written before about my blood pressure highs and woes. For most of this pregnancy, my soaring estrogen kept the BP at a blissful 110/70 or thereabouts. Then in the third trimester, it went back up to where it usually hangs: A dismal 120/90. I started checking it at home and peeing on sticks to look for any protein in my urine, and it all seemed OK, except for the part where I’d only bother to check it after lying down in bed for a few minutes at night. This week, I showed up for my regular OB appointment and, as soon as I saw the intake nurse doing a second squeeze of the cuff and then a third squeeze before letting out a sigh, I knew it wouldn’t be good news. Brace yourselves: 150/110. Aaaaand cue the doctor coming in to remind me for the zillionth time what the signs of pre-eclampsia are and ask whether I’ve had any of them, and by the way could I go over and demand an urgent ultrasound down the hall and then also head over to triage to get this checked out properly—oh and don’t eat or drink anything, “just in case.”

For a minute, I started to fear I may actually need to deliver this kid ASAP. And of course the pregnancy triage unit is located in the very centre of an enormous hospital and therefore has NO wireless phone signal and NO data reception, so once I was hooked up to all the monitors, I couldn’t even call my husband to fill him in on where I was. Actually, now that I think about it, I didn’t even bother to tell him I was going to my OB appointment, either, so I had visions of having to suddenly ring him up and be all, “Hey hon! Um, we have a baby now! Can we start thinking a bit more seriously about the name?”

Long story short: Everything is now fine. Well, “fine”. My blood pressure dropped a bit while I was being watched, my pee is clear, baby’s heartbeat is fine, growth is on track, movement is good, bloodwork is unremarkable, etc. Still, I’m now on medication and have to go in to repeat about five hours’ worth of tests in triage every two days while obsessively self-monitoring to ensure I don’t have headaches, blurry vision, swollen ankles and whatnot. If I ever get a reading that hits 160/110 and/or experience any of these symptoms, that’s when I can freak the hell out and floor it to the hospital.

So! Let’s take bets. Clearly, this kid is not going to be cooking until 40 weeks. He’s 36-ish weeks now (you can see the latest—and probably last—bump pic on my page), so my guess is I can maybe hold on until Wednesday before delivering (at which point I’ll be 37 weeks). He’s also still breeched, so it’s definitely going to be a C-section, but I’m kind of over it. The idea of straining to push a baby out my vajizza for hours on end when my blood pressure is this high only worries me more, so bring on the slice-and-dice!

Now, place your bets!

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There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

Oh man… don’t even. I can’t bring myself to look at how long it’s been since my last post, but what can I say? It’s TIFF season (aka the Toronto International Film Festival), which is the most insane time of year for me as an arts reporter, and it means I have barely a second to shove an occasional wad of street meat in my mouth, let alone blog. As a side note, if any of you have pressing questions for Mr. Harry Potter, I’m interviewing him in a few days, so pass those along. Also speaking with Dexter, and that hot guy from True Blood (Ryan whatever-his-name-is), and haven’t yet organized my notes on their upcoming films, so will gladly use my allotted 20 minutes with each for random subjects of conversation like, say, how they feel about breech deliveries.

Last time I had an ultrasound, it showed the little guy as being the kind of breech where his butt is down by my cervix—apparently any breech position leads to an automatic C-section in most U.S. hospitals because doctors want to avoid getting sued if anything goes wrong. But my mother was saying it’s likely for Canadian OBs to attempt a natural delivery if the baby starts coming out bum-first. Erm… this kind of freaks me out. I’d much rather try to turn him so his head is down where it should be, and at 33 weeks, I’m running out of time. I tried singing that “Turn, Turn, Turn” song repeatedly but then figured I may as well look up some other strategies online. This is where it gets hella weird, girls.

The first result that came up was 9 tips for turning your fetus. Among those tips? Applying an ice pack to the top of your stomach and a heating pack to your vajayjay; playing music through headphones positioned by your crotch, or “have Dad place his mouth on your lower abdomen [ed note: they really mean vagina] and talk to the baby, encouraging him or her to move towards the sound of his voice”; getting onto the floor on your hands and knees, then wiggling your butt around; or lying upside down, on a 45-degree angle — and note, “You can use large pillows or an ironing board to help you get into the slanted position.” Oh, can I? Great! So basically, if you want to find me, I’ll be here lying upside-down on a tilted ironing board with an ice pack on my stomach and a heating pad down below with my husband singing to my vagina. No probs. Seems SUPER scientific.

ironing

Anyone got any better ideas?

P.S. Bump pics page has been updated yet again, but don’t expect any major changes from 28 weeks to 32… same old tummy, basically.