Brad and I had a wonderful memorial day weekend. In true "Brad and Kami" form we got next to nothing productive done. The best day was Monday when the weather was just perfect. We walked a little over a mile to check out a new breakfast place - which was wonderful. On the way back, we ran across an old neighbor. They were pregnant the same time we were pregnant with Ernest. They have two kids now - the youngest looks to be two. It's crazy to think that could have been us. I was a bit nervous at first to stop and chat, but it went fine. They are are very kind couple and it was fun to reconnect.
On Tuesday, we went to our acupuncturist. She was able to help with my edema a little bit (it hasn't been bad, but aggravating my carpal tunnel) and suggested I drink a bunch of dandelion tea. I drink a cup a day . . .it is kind of nasty, but we have tried worse things to have a baby and it seems to be helping. On the way home we stopped by my midwife's home for our 9th(?) appointment. This one went much better than the last. She went to Senegal recently and she showed me some of the things she brought back. Senegal surrounds The Gambia and have similar cultures. It brought back memories of my time in The Gambia and gave us something to reconnect about. Brad chatted with her husband and we got to hear some good stories about his sail boat tour of Greece. It was a nice evening. The best news: LB's h/b is still strong, my b/p was good (110 /70) and everything seems to be on track.
On Wednesday we went to see our OB. As usual, it was a looooong wait. That worked well though, because my mom was in the adjoining hospital's ER so we hung out with her while we waited for Dr. Wonderful to get caught up. She's fine. She fell and cut her face, but a little skin glue fixed her up. About 45 minutes after our scheduled appointment, we walked back over to my OB's waiting room and, appropriately enough, we waited.
When we finally get back to the exam room and have my b/p checked it was 142/90. A far cry from the day before. I wasn't concerned. After all, I had been hanging out in a hospital's ER or a room full of pregnant ladies for more than an hour - both creating some background stress. Dr. Wonderful came in, noticed my swollen feet (in hindsight, he was probably purposely checking for edema) and chastised me for not keeping my feet up. Why should I? They aren't that swollen and they don't cause any discomfort. He asked if I had done any cervical checks with my midwife. I hadn't. He said the blood pressure wasn't good and that if I was his patient - and we knew my cervix was at least 3cm dilated - he would have induced that day. How crazy is that? My blood pressure was borderline mild - a pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) diagnosis is considered 140/90. He said that I wasn't spilling protein, but I did have 2 of the 3 other indicators of PIH - swelling and elevated b/p.
Dr. Wonderful suggested we see my midwife on Friday - two days later - and if any indicators got worse to get my kidney and liver function checked. Well, I knew Cathy would think the blood tests were a waste of time. My OB said that if it were up to him, he would get the blood work today. "Fine, let's do it today. We can always ignore the results." "No we can't," he replied. Brad took this to be the end of discussion and asked him if he would fill out my short-term disability paperwork. "Sure. When do you want to start?" I figured it would start when we had the baby. Brad half joked that it would be nice to start sooner. The rest of the conversation went something like this:
Doc: I think you should start tomorrow.
Doc: Yes. I think you should go on bed rest.
Me: Really? Full bed rest?
Doc: Yes. Get up only to shower, eat and go the bathroom.
Me: Really? Not even take walks?
Doc No, not even walks.
Me: Really? My b/p wasn't even that high and I had just come from the ER - my mom is fine, btw, but wouldn't that cause my b/p to go up?
Doc: The pregnancy hormones should keep your b/p from going up even if you are stressed or nervous. Your heart rate may increase, but your b/p should stay down.
Me: But bed rest?
We went on a bit longer as he explained how it was suppose to help. It would lower my b/p making it easier on my kidneys and liver. We talked about signs to watch for (which I already knew since my age and using donor eggs increase my risk of PIH), but he said not everyone will have symptoms. He didn't like the idea of me just monitoring on my own, but wanted someone to see me. I had my blood drawn for liver and kidney function and off we went, my head spinning.
Brad and I then grabbed some dinner at our favorite Mexican deli (it has become our mini-tradition after an OB appointment) and I headed off for a visit with my hypnotherapist. That was an interesting experience, but I will save it for another post.
After I got home I called my midwife to see if she could see me on Friday - currently we are not scheduled until Wednesday. I told what my OB thought. She said, "I don't believe it. You were probably just stressed." I told her what my OB thought about that. She said, "I don't believe it."
Ok, that's fine, but can we have a little discussion? Can you expand on that a bit as in, "I don't believe it because I have too many clients with borderline b/p do just fine." I felt very much shut down. Brad said I should have expressed my feelings, but I just let it go. Needless to say, I didn't ask her to see me on Friday.
Wednesday night I didn't sleep well. I was irritated with both my OB and midwife. I think my OB is overreacting. I think my midwife is underreacting - or at least not listening to my concerns. I am 100% against giving birth in a hospital unless it is absolutely necessary. I am frustrated with how I am treated sometimes by my midwife. Still, I know that she has had experience reviving babies (she is a nurse by training), she is mostly hands-off during labor (which I like) and she is a good person. It is probably good that she has such faith in my body to give birth. I still hate that my two caregivers are on opposite sides of the spectrum and I am stuck in the middle trying to figure out what is right for me. To top it off, I think they both resent that I am listening to another's advice. You would think they would both know me better by now. I'm in charge, they are my consultants.
On Thursday, my OB called to say that my liver, platelets and hemoglobin were fine, but my kidneys weren't 100%. He gave me the numbers to research later, but my understanding was that they were just a bit elevated and more water and bed rest could make a big difference. I told him I would not see my midwife, but would monitor my b/p on my own and see him on Monday.
Today is Friday and my b/p is doing ok - it was 130/75 this morning and I am about to run to the store and check again. I have increased my fluid intake and spent about 1/2 the day laying down and 1/4 of the day sitting wit my feet up. The rest of the day not doing what my OB recommended. I feel ok with that because my 2:00 am google scholar research found some research indicating bed rest can actually be bad for mild hypertension because it can increase the risk of blood clots. It also indicated that biofeedback can decrease b/p in pregnant women with mild to moderate PIH. Wouldn't that mean stress could make a difference?
There you have it - an eventful week. In summary, I am on modified bed rest for now, 38 weeks and 1 day along, LB still moving, and I am done with work until at least 6 weeks post delivery.