My health has continued to be slightly problematic, seemingly just enough to keep me on my toes and add on a whole bunch of extra appointments and tests.
On Tuesday, I had an ultra-sound to assess Beuhla's growth. I was actually sort of happy about this because it seemed like everyone and their mother had something to say about "how I'm looking." In the same day, people would tell me how big I looked (when did that become socially acceptable?!?!?), ask if I were carrying twins, told me that I still looked small and that I had a long ways to go, and told me that it looked like I was dropping and it would be any day now. It seems like everyone is a gynecologist now, and it's frickin' annoying! So I was happy to get some objective data and be able to shut people up.
The actual ultrasound was a little disappointing because she is so big that the images weren't very clear and she insisted on covering up her face the whole time with her arm, although I was amused by her chubby little arm and hand. Mostly, I'm beyond caring about ultrasound images at this point and am just ready to meet her in real life. The good news is that she is measuring right on track, maybe a day or two ahead. I'm focusing on the "right on track" part of the message, because there is so much variance with those things. They predicted that she is 7 pounds, 5 ounces - plus or minus a pound. A pound! That's huge variability! Like I said, I'm focusing on the normal part of the results and not trying to guess birth weights at this point.
On Thursday, I had my 37-week appointment. My blood pressure had risen again, my ankles were already swollen at 9am, and there was protein in my urine. This bought me a ticket for some blood work, an order for a non-stress-test, and a conversation about the possibility of being induced early if my health continues to decline. Luckily, her heart rate continues to be pretty stable around the 130-140s and she is still in a good position with her head down. He was slightly disappointed in the internal exam to learn that I am not yet dilated at all.
On Friday, I had the non-stress test. The name is ironic to me because any extra testing that may indicate fetal distress is clearly causing me some stress, even if it's meant to be non-invasive and not stressful for her. Basically, I had to lay down for about thirty minutes while there was continuous monitoring of Beuhla's heart rate and any movements or contractions. The worst part was the discomfort of laying still for that long and some boredom. Actually, the worst part was probably the stress leading up to it and trying to figure out how to re-schedule my entire Friday afternoon of patients to fit in this last-minute appointment.
The conclusion of the test was that "she looks happy." I'm sure there are better medical conclusions, but it helps me to focus on the overall simple message - healthy baby. Then, he took my blood pressure again... and it was high, again. So the moral of the story, so far at least, is that my daughter appears perfectly healthy and content, but my own body and health are not nearly as promising.
I am returning for additional testing, a biophysical profile ultra-sound, on Monday and then another OB visit on Tuesday. C and my mother are monitoring my blood pressure from home three times per day. Basically, at this point, we're just taking it day by day. I am reassured that she continues to be healthy and nearly full term, so if the worse case scenario now is early induction I am working on accepting this as a possibility. C hasn't taken his nursing licensing exam yet, is in the middle of a review course that we paid substantial money for, and I am feverishly trying to wrap up several big things at work; but, aside from this, we are ready and there are far worse possibilities and outcomes.
Day by day is my new motto.