Congrats on your pregnancy and sorry for the problems you got. The dipstick urine test results can be:
- Negative - normal, ok
- Trace - still considered normal
- +1 - elevated - I imagine this is why they sent your urine for a culture
- +2, +3, +4 enough to diagnose preeclampsia if you also have high blood pressures.
The dipstick can give both false positive and false negative results, so I think they should have asked you to do a 24h protein test to make sure that the "trace" that you got was indeed a small amount. Their explanation is reasonable, but in order to rule out either a kidney problem or preeclampsia, they need to do a 24h test.
A normal result for a 24h test is below 150mg/24h.
The most important thing that you need to take care of is the blood pressure. It needs to be below 140/90. It also depends on what week you are and what is your normal BP. In the second trimester, the BP usually decreases, so a 130/80 which would normally be ok, could be a little high.
Headaches can be normal symptoms in pregnancy and they say that they might be caused by hormones. However, sometimes a higher than normal BP can cause mild headaches, so don't forget to tell your doctor about them.
There are no blood tests for preeclampsia. The only tests are the Blood pressure and the protein in urine. The tests they are doing are for HELLP, a preeclampsia variant, which can get dangerous more quickly, where your kidneys and liver can fail. The blood tests do not rule out preeclampsia.
Also the tests are a temporary measure. What is ok today, can be wrong tomorrow. That being said, if you actually watch for the signs and symptoms and let your provider know if any of them occurs as soon as possible, you can be delivered if preeclampsia becomes dangerous for you, so don't be scared, just alert. Let us know how are you doing!
Angel stillborn 24w p-e 2/17/03