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Brittney's Pregnancy Journal

Week 24
~ Pre-Eclampsia!

So long my beloved Northwest! Our vacation back home ended and we are now back in good ol' Florida. It sort of bittersweet because I had so much fun back home and loved seeing everyone but I also want to get back into the routine of normal life. It's good to be back!

The night before we left I was noticing pain in my bladder area and wasn't really sure what was going on, but decided not to worry about it. The next day we packed our bags and set out for a day of flying--a four hour flight from Portland to Houston and then a two hour flight from Houston back to Florida, with an hour lay-over in there, makes for a long day! Anyhow, my bladder continued to hurt and got really bad right before we boarded our last flight. I almost thought I was going to have to tell the flight attendant I needed to lay down in the aisle! Anyhow, once off of the plane, it got a little better but still hurt. I went to work the next day and even just walking around it got worse. I've never been pregnant before, but I knew that at this point I better call the doctor just in case it was contractions or something else!

I played phone tag with the clinic and finally reached someone in the afternoon and they told me they had one open appointment if I could get there in half an hour. So, I cancelled therapy with my students for the rest of the day, picked up Mike at home, and drove to the clinic. I was ten minutes late so I came in running and they told me to hurry to the lab for a urinalysis. So I did and came back and right away they took me in for a weight, temperature, and blood pressure reading.

To back track a little, my blood pressure before I got pregnant was always in the high 120s to mid 130s over 80 something--not really high but not low either. My blood pressure reading came back at 132/91 and I thought all was good! However, I didn't get to see my midwife for the appointment since it was last minute and the doctor I did have was concerned about my blood pressure. He also said my ankles looked a little swollen (which I didn't really notice), I was hyper reflexive, and apparently the urinalysis came back with slight traces of protein in my urine. Great! So, he decided to do a full vaginal exam and was concerned about the amount of mucous I had (which again, I didn't notice anything different than normal).

Now let me just say, I'm one of those people that likes to know what's going on and have things explained to me. If I don't get told, I assume the worse and freak out! So, I can hear my doctor in the hallway talking to my midwife briefly about everything and is basically listing off all of my "impairments"- again, I'm beginning to freak. If my blood pressure isn't high already, it is now for sure! He then decides to take my blood pressure again manually and the reading, as I predicted, was higher--142/94.

To make a long story short, he told me that he wanted me to do a 24 hour urine collection and have some tests run for pre-eclampsia! I looked at Mike and burst into tears; I just felt awful like I was already failing at being a Mom.

As it so turns out, I was also supposed to have my technical doctor ordered ultrasound that day but my appointment for the "bladder" issue didn't finish until a half hour past my ultrasound appointment and they cancelled the ultrasound. This also made me upset because I really wanted to know if our baby was growing well and measuring okay. The sweet nurse working with the doctor told me to stay in the room and she'd be right back. A few minutes later, she told us to move to a different room and they were going to do an ultrasound for us! I was still crying at this point, but the moment the ultrasound tech came in and showed us Miss Finley, I was smiling again. Her heartbeat looked good at about 136, they confirmed she's a girl, and the tech said from this quick five minute ultrasound her structures appeared to be "healthy". What a relief!

So, we got a few more pictures and then I had to run over to the lab for my blood tests and to get my wonderful, giant, orange pee jug I'd have to carry around for 24 hours! The doctor also gave me amoxicillin and then vaginal cream to clear the mucous, each which I had to do for 7 days. I feel bad for the baby by taking medicine; so far I haven't taken anything, but I suppose it was my only option and apparently both are "approved" for pregnancy (although I'd still prefer not to take anything). The doctor told me that he had rescheduled my technical ultrasound for the following Monday morning and that I needed to see my midwife early next week as well (I already had an appointment scheduled for the following Tuesday afternoon). He also told me that I needed to stop running until they figured out what was going on with me! I'm bummed out but totally understand and will do whatever is best for me and the baby.

That weekend I talked to a few of my friends that had been pregnant and looked up pre-eclampsia online (I know, don't trust online information, but I promise, I researched it!). I know the doctor was just being cautious, but I don't feel like I have pre-eclampsia and I think that traveling all day before and running around like a crazy woman to get to my appointment on time had a lot to do with an elevated blood pressure and swollen ankles. We'll see though. Anyhow, all of my friends that I talked to sort of "calmed me down" a bit but I still will be anxious to know what all the tests say next week!

On a sidenote, every Sunday Mike and I watch the Seattle Seahawks game at a local pub with some friends, which this Sunday just happened to coincide with the first day of my wonderful 24 hour urine collection . . . I have to say that hauling around a huge jug and a pee catcher and keeping it all inconspicious at a busy place is very difficult, but I did it! Phew!

Have a great week, and stay posted on test results!
~ Brittney

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