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Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Is he coming or not?" Week

This past week has been a big one in the baby Neilsen world and I want to write a little about it before I forget (as I've been told repeatedly that once Wesley makes his arrival my brain will instantly go to mush and details that are now crystal clear will vanish forever).

At my midwife appointment last week my blood pressure was high. So she put me on modified bedrest ("Try to lay on your side as much as possible and keep your feet elevated, stop going grocery shopping for yourself, etc"). We did that for a week (thank goodness my mom is here) and went back to her office on Tuesday. My blood pressure, taken by both the nurse Vicki (who usually gets a lower number) and Jayne (who usually gets slightly higher), had my diastolic (or lower number) above 100 which is not good. We had also bought a home monitor and I had been tracking my pressure at home, knowing full well that my bottom number was living in the 90s and occasionally creeping up to the 100s. Yet somehow it was still a shock when Jayne said that she wanted to admit me to the hospital for 24 hours to run test and monitor my blood pressure.

Mom, Reid and I immediately went upstairs to the maternity ward (we did not pass go and we did not, unfortunately collect $100). The check-in process was insanely easy ("Yes, Jayne called about you. This is the room you'll be in. Please sign these two forms"). I changed into a gown and they immediately took my blood pressure (down into the 90s sitting on the bed with my feet up, in the low 80s when I laid down on my side... instantly). Then they hooked me up to the fetal monitor where we watched his heartbeat bounce around for fifteen minutes. Come to find out later when I spoke with Jayne that you want the heartbeat to bounce around a fair amount (within the range that his was) because it shows periods of activity and relaxation. He passed with flying colors.

They also took some blood which they tested for several things. All happily came back with the appropriate results. Perhaps the least enjoyable part of my stay was the 24 urine test... Yes, for 24 hours you have to pee into a pan within the toilet and then pour your urine into a container (which is put over ice!) so that at the end of the time they could see how much I had produced and most importantly test for protein levels. Apparently if the protein level had been above 300 it would have been cause for moving the pregnancy along more quickly because it would have been an indicator that my high blood pressure was causing issues for my kidneys and/or liver. Luckily when the results finally came in Wednesday evening the level was 220, which apparently is acceptable.

Because I had not planned to check into the hospital I did not have anything with me. Reid and mom came home for dinner and then Reid drove back to the hospital (which is luckily only 12 miles from our house) with some of my "necessary" stuff (snacks, entertainment, a change of undies, etc). Of course after he left I thought of more things I needed so he had to stop by Wednesday morning before work too! I spent the 24 hours dozing, watching tv, knitting and visiting with people, when not having my blood pressure checked, peeing about a million times and having Wesley monitored three times. Apparently he is like his daddy and not a morning person because the morning scan was the only time where they had to move the monitor around and then give me juice to get him active enough to do the reading.

Luckily my blood pressure stayed low while lying on my side, the baby's readings were good and my protein levels weren't too high. Had any of those things not gone our way, there was a very real possibility that I would have been heli-vacced to a Denver hospital with Reid driving over and we would have delivered Wesley this week at 35 1/2 weeks. SLV Regional Medical does not deliver babies before 36 weeks if they can help it, mainly because we don't have a NICU and because of our high altitude (a baby born with premature lungs at this altittude has a greater increase of problems than a baby born in Denver which is a few thousand feet lower).

Instead of that prospect (which I was very much NOT looking forward to), I got sent home on complete bedrest (though granted one special compensation for my baby shower later this afternoon!) and a low dose of blood pressure medication. I've continued to monitor my numbers here at home and the combination of the two things seems to be working. I also had a BP check yesterday with Jayne that checked out well. We also did another fetal scan just to make sure and Wesley once again passed it exceedingly well (in other words, he has passed all of his tests! It's just mom who is failing :)...

On Tuesday we have another OB check (my one on Tuesday also told us that I was not the slightest bit dilated or effaced). We also have a bio-physical ultrasound which will make sure that Wesley has the correct amount of fluid levels, good muscle tone, correct size/weight gain, etc... If both of those come back well, we will continue what we are doing for another week. At this point our goal is to get to 38 weeks, at which time Wesley will be firmly in the full term camp (full term is technically any time after 37 weeks). At that time, if all of the test results are still coming back well (ie, if he is good size, my blood pressure is still holding steady, his scans are still showing lots of good activity, etc), we will induce labor... 38 weeks is exactly two weeks from today! Wow... that's soon. We haven't set a specific induction day yet (that might happen at our next appointment on Tuesday). The one thing we do know is that with my BP issues we won't be going all the way to his due date and definitely not beyond it. So... though I'll keep the counter at the top of the blog as to Master Neilsen's countdown to due date... we're going to have a baby before that timer is up! And until then, I'll be doing a lot of laying on the sofa!

1 comment:

JayD said...

It is good to get all this down in writing. It really will help your memory later.
Good to hear that you are "hanging in" :-)