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!

25 thoughts on “Now taking bets – just how long can I stave off pre-eclampsia?

  1. Ai yai yai. Not something that you need right now. I hope and pray that none of the headaches, swollen ankles, or what not would surface and also for the blood pressure to go down and be stabilized. You’re almost there! I hope that you can hold out as long as possible. I hope… at least 39 weeks. Or even 40!

  2. Whoa! Your post is giving me flashbacks to my whole L&D experience. I will say, if you I’m anyway feel off, get yourself in to be checked out. I didn’t realize that the extreme spaciness and inability to stay awake was a sign of preeclampsia.

    All that said, I will hope that nothing happens for a couple more weeks. Thinking of you!

    • Omg I’ve totally been thinking about you during all this — I have been extra-tired, but then that could really just be the side effect of the medication I’m on, which causes drowsiness. But I will be hyper-alert, for sure!

  3. I can’t believe you are 36 weeks already! I hope you hold on for a while, but if not, the risk for complications is pretty small by 36 weeks. And I’m glad you’re at peace with the C-section, either way, same wonderful baby!

  4. I’m right there with you, friend. I’m almost 35 weeks and my OB has given me a goal of 38 weeks. I’m hoping I go longer but my BP isn’t getting any better. Here’s to hoping you make it to 37 weeks. You’ll be holding your baby soon! AHHHHH! That’s so exciting! (And scary!)

  5. Woo hoo! 36 weeks! That’s awesome. Keep that BP under control and get ready. My son was 2 weeks early and 8 lbs 11 oz so baby can still be big. Best wishes!

  6. At 36 weeks, no matter how things unfold from this point on, you are both safe. And, given the 2nd trimester horror stories I have seen unfold, I am so releived for you.

    From a science perspective, they now think that a tendency to preeclampsia is regulated (exacerbated or counteracted) by the vitamin d level very early in pregnancy…

  7. Whaaaat? How did you get to 36 weeks overnight? I swear it was just yesterday that you were lamenting your lazy embryo and notquitethereyet baby bump. I’m sorry about the almost pre-eclampsia. I have a feeling I’m going to be joining you in several months. I sit around 130/85(ish). It seems to be unaffected by the pregnancy so far. I keep hoping it will miraculously go down. Too bad the body is often an obstinate asshole who does what it wants. Good chance of me joining you on the c-section bus, too. Because twins. They eff you up.

    This baby boy of yours is going to be here so so freaking soon! Yayyy!

    • Lentil, I can’t believe you have BP issues, too! You must also get doctors seeming very confused when they look at your body type and healthy diet and then see that 130/85… I guess it’s just lousy genetics?

      Also, for sure your readings will go down — the boost of estrogen in early pregnancy really does make a difference; 2nd trimester is OK; then 3rd trimester comes back to haunt you. Honestly, though, you never know!

  8. Was just going to say almost exactly what Lentil did, about you being 36 weeks overnight! I know nothing about blood pressure or preeclampsia so I won’t pretend to make an intelligent comment there, but I do love me a good bet. I’ll put my money on….hmmm….next Friday. October 4th sounds like a nice birthday. I don’t know anyone with a birthday in October. There. Make it so! :)

  9. oh I remember those days. I had every symotom .. swelling, weight gain, high blood pressure… just no protein in my urine. so not fun but I made it to 42 weeks. hope you can go a few more. if not, you have a great attitude!!! baby will be in your arms so soon!

  10. I’m right there with you with the blood pressure issues, if I ever become pregnant, I’m pre-eclampsia waiting to happen. My guess is between 38-39 weeks -you’ll be getting bonus time with your baby!

  11. Ugh. I hope you make it without getting preeclampsia. So not fun. I had perfectly normal BP’s until the day I had the babies then suddenly they were sky high (like 170 and 180). Now it’s still hovering in the 145/95 range. I am hoping it gets back to normal soon.
    I wouldn’t think you would have any complications at 36 weeks. That baby will be nice and healthy. That being said, I still hope you can make it another couple weeks and skip any sort of emergency delivery. It’s great your OB is so on top of it.

  12. My biased opinion is that 38-week babies born by c-section are clearly the best babies, superior in strength, intellect, and cuteness.

    But for real, hope you are doing well. BP is nothing to fool around with. Glad you’re being well looked after.

    And seriously–where did those 9 months go?!? You still look absolutely adorable. You’re going to have one long good lookin’ kid, lady!

  13. Sorry to hear about your BP woes. And what is with hospitals and their cell phone reception? Why haven’t cell phone companies installed towers IN the hospital so that we can make these VERY IMPORTANT phone calls????

  14. Damn girl, does this mean you’re 36 weeks pregnant? How on earth? So sorry to hear about this blood pressure madness (am I reading right that you now have a blood pressure cuff at home? if so, rock on.) You look great and godspeed to 40 weeks (or at least as close as you can get)!

  15. Holy shit- you’re 36 weeks? Where the hell have I been? Anyway, I’m betting on about…. 38w2d… what do I win if I’m right? Whatever the case, if we don’t hear from you again until after this little one makes an appearance, wishing you a happy and healthy delivery!

  16. Haha, I’m laughing at everyone’s shock at the 36 weeks. I’m one week behind you and I agree…how did this happen?? I’m sorry about the possible Pre-E. Very shitty. But the good news is that you ARE 36 weeks and so, even if all hell breaks loose tomorrow, baby will be fine. And if you make it just one more week, you will be full term! Thinking of you. Stay healthy and calm!

  17. Phew, that doesn’t sound great. “Fine” is one of those difficult places to be, as you can so quickly end up elsewhere. (Last week my cervix was “fine”, too…)
    While I’d love for you to hang in there longer, pre-e seems to develop rather quickly, so I’m guessing somewhere around 37. Good luck!!

  18. I’ve been reading your blog for a little inspiration the last few months. Its really nice to see that you’ve gotten so far and you’re looking at a healthy, even if a tad early, baby without too many complications! Infertility makes pre-e at 36 weeks look like nothin because you overcame it! Congrats on the success. I have two kids that I was blessed with when I was 19, on birth control and with a dead beat guy (go figure) and now that my husband and I are ready for a family….nothing. Four miscarriages (five babies) later and the dr’s are finally taking an interest. Of course since I have kids, they insist on 3x tragedy before they care. We’re looking at the possibility of IUI fot the next try. I’m not a blogger because I think in circles too much to really write, but I’ve really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for writing all this down so girls like me can find hope in the future. :) Good luck with your new baby!!!

    • Amazing to hear from you — what a story. I’m so sorry for all these losses you’ve endured and for such a cruel twist of fate; really hope you don’t have to go through yet another tragedy and that IUI works for you. There is definitely a tendency, I think, for docs to be more laid-back in treating women who have gotten pregnant before; we ended up doing 6 IUIs before finally getting the green-light for IVF — the reasoning being that, technically, one of them “worked” (ie. egg met sperm in fallopian tube). Try to take as much control over the situation as you can, that’s the only advice I can really offer. Wishing all the best for you two!

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