I’m eight months pregnant and so far things have been going swimmingly, though I am one of those strange women who loves all 40 weeks of the pregnancy from baby kicks to body aches. But now the landscape has changed.
Instead of poking fun at my expanding waistline, I’ve taken to cheering for every millimeter of growth. It’s because I’ve started to develop preeclampsia. That’s where, among other things, a pregnant women’s blood pressure rises to not great levels and it can be dangerous.
A Personal History. When I was pregnant with Logan, at my 34-week checkup, the doctors noticed his growth had slowed, he was still measuring at 33 weeks and my blood pressure was high. After weekly monitoring, a couple trips to the hospital, medication and bed rest, they induced me at 38 weeks. That’s full term and Logan was born a perfectly healthy, but small 5 lbs 6 oz. He’s gone on to be a normal, thriving tantrum-prone toddler.
This time around the medical staff has been watching me like a hawk. Since my blood pressure started to go up a few weeks ago, they ordered monthly ultrasounds to make sure that Bean was growing fine. I thought this was great because I got to see the little one each month, how cool is that? Bean’s actually measuring a little big (yay!) and has been passing all the tests with flying colors.
Nevertheless, because mama’s not passing all her tests, I’ve been ordered to work from home three days a week so I can lie on my left side as much as possible, increasing blood flow to the placenta.
RELAXXX! This is my least favorite part of having high blood pressure. Everyone you’ve ever met tells you to relax. I know they mean well, but the chorus of commands to “RELAX!!!” isn’t, well, relaxing. I care for my child more than any person on the planet and I want the best for Bean and I’m always trying my best, so believe me I’m trying to relax. I’ve cut back on everything and will continue to do so, but keep in mind with a 3 year old, a husband who is now working at least 70 hours a week and no family nearby, it’s no cake walk. Thank goodness I have a great cleaning lady, good neighbors and good friends. But to the chorus, I say: mile in my shoes people, mile in my shoes.
What’s Next? For now, I’ll keep working as it keeps me sane, I’m sure if things keep progressing as they did last time, I’ll have to dial back and be on more bed rest. Last time bed rest drove me bonkers as someone who’s at her happiest (and Zen) when she’s on-the-go, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. For the time being, I’ll smile at Bean’s Cha-Cha slide in my tummy, root for Bean’s growth and yes, even relax a little bit more.