|38 week, making my husband's singlet look like a tent!|
One thing I didn't mention in my 37 week update was that my blood pressure was a little high at my regular midwife visit that week. I definitely get anxiety at the doctor's office, so that paired with late pregnancy pushed my BP into a range that she wasn't comfortable with. She also mentioned that most women see a slight drop in BP in the second trimester, and that I'd never had that drop. She wanted to monitor it closely, but didn't recommend that I stop exercising or anything of that nature. I bought BP wrist cuff monitor and at home, by blood pressure was never out of the normal range. I went back again two days later and it was still elevated. I had a non-stress test and an ultrasound, both of which went well and showed that baby D was happy and healthy in there. I was sent home again with no specific instructions.
I went back this past Thursday, and I was so incredibly anxious about my blood pressure that I was nearly panicked as I sat down at the monitor. SO not helpful, I know - but I couldn't help it. My first blood pressure reading was sky high and caused enough alarm that I was sent to L&D to be admitted for monitoring. I was very distraught and went up again for another non-stress test and ultrasound, which again showed that the baby was great. Over the next few hours, my blood pressure dropped back to the upper limit of the acceptable range. After 6 hours at the hospital, they let me go home, but formally diagnosed me with pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and both the MFM and midwife recommended induction at 39 weeks. I was told to stop exercising and take it easy. I bought another BP cuff and since then I've never had a home reading out of the normal range. It is incredibly frustrating to say the least. I definitely have a case of 'white coat hypertension.'
I go back today to get monitored again, so there's a good possibility that I'll be induced in the next few days. Unless my blood pressure magically drops today, it looks like I'll be meeting baby D sooner than expected! I am very excited to meet him, but absolutely petrified of the induction. I really wanted the chance to go into labor on my own with as little intervention as possible, but at this point I have to do what's best for baby D and my own health.
It has been a really emotional and nerve-wracking couple of weeks for me. I feel like my body is betraying me. I ran a marathon a month before I got pregnant! I taught 20 hours of fitness classes a week until late in my second trimester! I ran until 38 weeks! It feels so unfair to suddenly be suffering from something that I never even considered a possibility for myself. As I understand it, PIH can strike anyone, and there is really nothing I could have done to prevent it. The only real solution is delivery.
There is a chance I'll have higher blood pressure after delivery as well - but it should go down in the weeks after delivery. I don't know when I'll be back to running, but I am really looking forward to it - after almost a week without any exercise I already feel like a sloth. I get winded walking up the 12 steps in my apartment! But my first priority will be my son (!!!) and getting myself healthy again.