Well, this is not a sight I expected to see yesterday. In fact, when by 8:30 AM yesterday I felt like I was winning at life. Bo and I had enjoyed a sweaty Orangetheory workout together and commuted into the city together before he went to work and I headed to my OB-GYN’s office for my 38 week appointment. While I waited in the waiting room I even reviewed my to do list for the day, realizing that since I’d be home by 9:30 AM I’d have plenty of time to check everything off my list, therefore relieving some stress.
Well, unfortunately, by 9:15 my doctor decided that based on multiple high blood pressure readings at her office after 10 different attempts and swelling, that it was best for me to go directly to the NYU Labor & Delivery triage so they could run further tests.
I was in shock, to say the least. Other than Pubic Symphysis, I haven’t had any issues this entire pregnancy so imagine my surprise when at 38 weeks and 2 days, I was walking down Second Avenue towards NYU Hospital. As you all know, I LOVE my OB-GYN, Dr Teresa Cheon, and therefore did not question her when she made this decision. At this point in pregnancy, any irregular test results, especially blood pressure, can point to issues that could put the baby or mom at high risk. Elevated blood pressure is one of the symptoms for Preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication which impacts 5-8% of pregnancies. While most mothers who are diagnosed with it will still delivery a healthy baby and fully recover, promt medical attention is important. Doctors do not know what causes the condition but often the only cure is to deliver the baby, which therefore if discovered after 37 weeks when the baby is full term, usually results in immediate induction.
Dr. Cheon’s goal by having me go to the hospital was to have me watched for for hours which would include constant heart rate monitoring, fetal monitoring as well as a thorough panel of blood and urine tests. Bo and I joked, while checking in on the NYU Labor & Deliver floor that this was our daughter’s way of giving us a hospital trial run. We were able to meet many of the staff and nurses that will most likely be there when we deliver while also seeing the area first hand, a treat since NYU no longer offers hospital tours for expecting families.
For the next four hours I relaxed on a stretcher and tried to pass the time by reading the book I thankfully had in my bookbag, Paris for One, as well as taking a few naps.
Every single person that I met while in the hospital exceeded my expectations. The nurses, doctors and entire staff were knowledgable, friendly and did a wonderful job putting our nerves at ease. They even helped take my mind off things by letting me see our little baby girl via a sonogram, the first time I’d seen a full sonogram of her since 20 weeks.
She was waving to me when we zoomed in on the picture and within seconds it seemed like she was sucking her thumb.
Finally, after hours of waiting, the final lab results came back and that, combined with the fact that over the course of four hours my blood pressure levels had returned to normal, I was able to be discharged. Before Dr Cheon and the staff would discharge me, they gave me a firm dose of reality through a few requests. While working out is 100% okay at this point, they want me to be smart:
- During the upcoming 90 degree weather that New York City is expecting, stay hydrated, avoid subways, limit time outside and elevate my legs more than often as swelling will increase.
- Do as much as possible to reduce or limit work stress, including closing out key projects.
- Reduce other stressors that could elevate my blood pressure.
- Try and sleep at least eight hours per night and nap during the day if pregnancy bladder and discomfort isn’t letting me sleep well at night.
Both Bo and I are thankful to have a clean bill of health after yesterday’s scare but it was also a quick realization that so much of this pregnancy is out of our control at this point. Baby Girl Diamond could choose to come any day or, if my blood pressure is elevated again when I’m at the doctor next week for my 39-week exam, we could quickly be induced. We are buckled in for the wild ride and looking forward to meeting her whether it’s tomorrow or three weeks from now.