Saturday, October 23, 2010

So, WHAT is going on?

Okay, I know many of you are confused by the events of this past week. Yes, we entered this week thinking that we would be meeting our baby boy by the end of the week. However, that is not so. So, what exactly happened? Well, here's the story:

At 34 weeks, I was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension and put on partial bed rest. Basically, my blood pressure was high and I had a lot of swelling so I was told that I had to be horizontal for at least 12 hours a day. The other 12 hours I could do pretty much anything. I also had to start going to the midwife weekly. So, every week at my appointment my bp has been slightly elevated and now we have to start watching out for pre-eclampsia, which can come on very quickly and be very serious. At 36 weeks there was protein in my urine so I was told that I would have to start getting weekly non-stress tests. Basically, I go to the hospital on Saturday morning and they hook me up to two monitors: one to see if I'm having any contractions and one to see how the baby's heart rate is. They want to make sure the baby is moving around like he should be and that his heart is responding appropriately to the movements. At my first test, my bp was up the highest it's ever been and was up again at my regular appointment. So, the midwife said that since I'm full term and my blood pressure is still elevated we start to get concerned about any damage that this can be causing to me or the baby. So, she said that it would probably be best to get him out before anything gets too serious. However, since I have no other symptoms and she'd rather deliver a baby that is 38 weeks than a baby that is 37 weeks she thought we could wait another week.

This was totally not what we wanted to hear. As many of you know, I've been hoping for a completely natural childbirth this whole time so finding out that I would be induced was extremely disappointing. I know how painful contractions can be with pitocin (the drug they typically give you to induce labor) and I knew that meant the chances of me getting an epidural would increase. Nevertheless, we started to prepare ourselves for an induction. I made sure everything was ready at home and did some reading on inductions, etc. We even started to get a little bit excited that we would finally be getting to meet our little man.

So, we go to our appointment on Wednesday and my bp was elevated, but not as high as it has been. The midwife brings up induction again and says it's like walking a tight rope because inductions come with their own set of problems, but we have no idea what the high blood pressure is going to do to my body. So, she sent us to labor and delivery for a full PIH work-up. Depending on the results of the tests we would start the induction that night. So, I get hooked up to the monitors again, they draw blood, take a sample of my urine, and we settle in for a long night. Eventually, they took me down to get an ultrasound so that they could make sure everything is going well with the baby and he's moving as he should be, etc. After a couple of hours, we got a phone call from the midwife. She said the tests came back great and I was "the picture of health." Since I'm not experiencing any other symptoms and there appears to be no damage being done to the baby or any of my organ systems we were sent home and told that we could let this baby comes when HE wants to.

As you might imagine, it was a very up-down kind of day. We were ecstatic to find out that both Micah and I are healthy despite the high blood pressure, but there was a little bit of let down knowing that we were going to have to wait to meet him. However, more than anything, we are overjoyed that we will get a chance to experience this birth the way that we were hoping--and that Micah gets to decide when it's time for him to come rather than someone else. Now, it's just a waiting game. I still have to get weekly non-stress tests and we had another ultrasound today (he stuck his tongue out at us during the u/s as if to say, "Haha, Mom and Dad! I'm still in here!), but he can come any time he wants.

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