Tag Archives: preeclampsia

Introducing Ethan Matthew

It’s official: I’m a mom of two. I’m actually still in the hospital as I type, but it’s just me and the little one and he’s passed out while I’m too wired to sleep.  I’d forgotten how much they snooze at this age.

After my last post, I was admitted into the hospital. No doctor in their right mind would let me leave with blood pressures of 177/115. They decided to induce me and around 4:30 a.m. started my pitocin, a medication that makes you have contractions.

The contractions were pretty light at first and I started practicing some hypnobirthing techniques that I finally had time to research a week ago since I was no longer working. I’m not against having epidurals, I had one with Logan, but I have scoliosis, making it very difficult to give an epidural and getting it in was the worst part of Logan’s birth. So I thought I’d try the unmedicated route if I could.

I made it fairly far, especially considering I hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours when the labor really started rolling. (I had a long day on Monday, left for the hospital shortly after midnight that night.) So was I exhausted, had lost my focus and couldn’t get it back.

There was even a time where Hubby was frantically searching for songs that could help me through and the next thing I know Eminem is playing in my delivery room… At first I was like, what in the hell is he doing? But I was game for anything and it turns out spitting rapid-fire lyrics *can* help you through a few rough contractions. Thankfully the nurse never came in while I was dropping rhymes.

In the end I got the epidural, the anesthesiologist said it was one of the more difficult ones she’s ever given, but she did a great job and I felt loads better.

I had my mother-in-law in the delivery room because we’re very, very close and I felt I’d need her support. Also, though she has three grandchildren, she hasn’t seen one come into the world and I thought that’d be a wonderful gift. When the doctor announced that in a few minutes the baby would be there, tears welled up in her eyes. “Hey, there’s no crying until the baby’s here.” I said teasingly. Then I looked at Hubby and he too was teary-eyed. I smiled. I love that they wear their big hearts on their sleeves.

Two minutes later there was this exquisite moment where at first there were five people in the room and bing! Then there were six. The newest person was the smallest one, but had the biggest presence.

At 6-pounds, 7 ounces he has dark eyes, a head full of dark hair and big hands and feet for his 19-inch frame. His name is Ethan, a name Hubby and I have loved for years, and the middle name is Matthew after my nephew Theodore Matthew who died of SIDS.

Whenever I look at Ethan, I’m amazed at this little being. I’ve waited months to meet him and have worried week after week about his health considering my blood pressure. And he’s perfect. Absolutely perfect.

So here I am, a mom of two and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.

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The Docs Say It’s Time For Modified Bed Rest

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.