Page 4 of 5

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 00:03 am
by dracarey
I had another ultrasound yesterday with the MFM. Things looked so much better. The resistance in the umbilical cord was perfect, and the baby had gained 12 ounces over the last two weeks, making her a lovely 2 lbs 2 oz at 26 weeks (67th percentile!). My 1st daughter was 2 lbs 9 oz at 30 weeks. The MFM thinks that now I can be managed at the hospital in my hometown, but will see me at any point if anything changes.

Today I had a regular OB appointment as well, and my BP was 120/80, which is higher than normal for me, given that my last BP at the doctor was 120/66. I kept grilling the doctor about it, but he says I don't have protein in my urine and my BPs at home are great (and I am a psycho about monitoring). No swelling either, and he says he's comfortable at 120/80. He would prefer I stay right there and not go higher, obviously. My daughter broke my BP monitor last night, and I felt like I had lost a limb. I felt like kissing it goodbye when I threw it out. Now I'm starting over with a new one. I am sure that the doc thought I was a crazy person when I started assembling it in his office to make sure it worked correctly.

I had liver function tests (for baseline) and glucose screening done today, and we discussed what my monitoring plan will be for the rest of the pregnancy. I will be seeing this doc every 2 weeks, getting growth scans every 2-4 weeks, and having BPPs every week starting at 32 weeks. This sounds okay to me, as I fairly tightly monitor things at home, but it is a little scary that I'm not scheduled to see the MFM again....I do have to say that overall I'm feeling pretty good although I did get my flu shot today which has left me with a bit of a headache. I was just so blah I thought my BP must be up, but nope - 104/62.

Crazy - I booked an appointment for December today. Two weeks ago I thought there was no way I was making it this far. Day at a time. And I'm officially off work now for the remainder of the pregnancy. Thank you excellent work benefits. I can start to just relax a little.

~Anne Marie

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017?

Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 01:49 am
by dracarey
Yes, lots of people have advice, including those closest to us. In my first pregnancy, my husband kept telling me to calm down and that I was contributing to my high blood pressure. Although he refrains from offering such input now, I wonder if he gets the potential seriousness of what's happening. It wasn't until the other day when he asked me what we'll do if I'm hospitalized (the hospital is 4 hours away) that I realized he's probably freaking out inside. I think maybe in my first pregnancy his fear led him to say some pretty unhelpful things (like, "you just need to get some exercise", bahahhahaha).

I really blamed myself too. The night I was hospitalized I too thought that if I could just chill out my blood pressure would come down. Now I get it. Your weight, eating habits, etc. just really have nothing to do with all this. I hope rest will help - I'm certainly relying on it - but I think if things are going to commit to going south, it's going to happen regardless. I DESPISE not having control over it all, but it makes me feel less guilty to know that it is out of my hands to a certain extent. That's why I check as many things off my list as possible each day - swelling, blood pressure, heart rate, kick counts, etc. Besides taking baby aspirin and calcium, that is literally all I can do. I do toss in daily pep talks/bargaining with baby, haha.

I know what you mean about the hormone changes. My experience was so artificial, being an emergency c-section. I have no idea what labour pains are like. I don't know what it feels like to push. And my body was so sick combined with everything else I didn't even make any milk the last time. I really really really want to know what breastfeeding is like. But I do know that you've got to be a freaking warrior to go into an emergency c-section, or any of the experiences that women on this site have had. They're not conventional birth stories, but they are fierce.

Perhaps you're developing pregnancy-induced hypertension? As I understand it, that is a little different from preeclampsia, and can sometimes be managed with blood pressure medication. Hopefully, even if your blood pressure decides it's going to stay elevated, the other effects of preeclampsia stay away. I've also read a lot of stories here of women who experience some blood pressure spikes but definitely make it to 37 weeks and beyond.

Just remember nothing you're doing is causing this! And you're so much better informed this time.

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017?

Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 01:26 am
by Tammy0173
I'm just going to have to mentally prepare I won't be going to 40 weeks this pregnancy either. I'm so upset because I won't get to experience going into labor naturally. I know a lot of women won't understand where I'm coming from in that department but idk. I didn't feel that explosion of emotion with my A15 baby because I was sent straight from my appointment to he hospital and everything happened so fast and suddenly he's on my chest and I'm like, "what just happened" I won't get to feel the hormone changes that happens as my body prepares for baby to come. I feel a little robbed on not getting to experience going into labor naturally.

I think with rest I can get to my 37th week, hopefully? I have no protein in my urine so it's just high blood pressure right now. I'M keeping a log and I can see it slowly getting higher and higher. Today I felt it spike and I was just sitting watching tv. My toddler was napping so I wasn't even stressed about him and when I checked it was 140/88. It went down pretty quickly though. I felt another spike again tonight and I checked and it was 130/88. I'm not sure what is causing the random spikes but they seem to go back down as fast as they came and leave me with a dull headache. Most mornings my blood pressure is low 100s/60s though. With my A15 baby it wasn't like this. Or maybe it was spiking early on and we just didn't catch them because we weren't paying much attention to it until it was already more set. I'm a little upset because my husband mentioned to me that I should eat better. maybe it's how I'm eating so now I'm feeling like he's blaming me. I'm not over weight. Pre pregnancy I was only 115 lbs. My blood pressure is naturally low indicating I'm pretty healthy. his comment hurt me. Or maybe I'm just hormonal and emotional I'm going through this again idk. I'm upset.

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017?

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 02:35 pm
by dracarey
Hi Tammy.

I would say my blood pressure has been slowly trending upwards. I started the second trimester 90s/50s-60s, which is significantly lower than my pre-pregnacy BP (120s/70s-80s). Lately I do get readings that are 110s-120s/70s. Now, my nerves are also shot right now and I'm not sleeping well, so I'm not sure how much that plays into some of my higher readings.

My main issue right now is that my last ultrasound showed high-normal resistance in the umbilical cord. The baby had been in the 58th percentile at my 20 week ultrasound, but at my 24 week U/S, she had dropped to the 31st. I see a high risk doc every time I go for an ultrasound. He said the drop in percentiles could be due to minor differences in measurements (human error), and not actually reflect something significant. But he wasn't happy about the umbilical cord. He said he would be much happier with my history, had he seen low resistance. I was FREAKING OUT because like you, I thought that was waaayyyy too early for things to be heading in a bad direction. I go back in 4 days for another ultrasound, at which point I'll be 26 weeks. I was told to pack a back just in case (WHAT?) and that they could do steroid shots if needed, etc. I was pooping my pants. I had my doctor put me off work (I've got pretty good benefits at my work place) and I've just been trying to focus on working through my anxiety, and monitoring as much as possible. So far the baby is moving lots, my BPs aren't crazy, and there's no protein in my urine. But I realize I'm unlikely to make it to full-term, and I'm mentally preparing myself that I might go even earlier than the last time (30 weeks). Other than that, I am coping with some tachycardia but I have an appointment with my internist to review the results of a recent echocardiogram, and I will talk to him about that soon. I had the same thing in my last pregnancy, which also freaks me out.

As for your BP, I think higher BP readings generally tend to occur later in the day, but it is absolutely worth letting your doctor know, and sooner rather than later. In my first pregnancy, My BPs were labile until they settled in at 200/110, and then it was 4 days until I delivered. This is rich advice coming from me, but don't focus so much on that it feels like things are happening earlier this time. Remember that you are being watched really closely, and all those early warning signs are going to be caught. I don't know about you, but both my doctor and I dismissed a ton of symptoms in the last pregnancy (including high BP and proteinuria!). I am sure that there were much earlier things happening that I just ignored, or can't quite remember. It's been 5 years for me, so trying to put together the timeline of exactly when things started happening is difficult. I had my first high BP reading at 27 weeks, but who knows how long it had been bouncing around prior to that? I was seeing a doctor monthly, and I didn't have an at-home BP monitor. Also, as scary as it is, you have entered the point in your pregnancy where your baby's chances of doing well in the NICU are increasing with every passing day. I had a very tiny 30 weeker (very growth restricted) in the NICU for 11 weeks. I definitely don't want to do it again, but I'm a little prepared for that process. And I was surrounded by women with 26 weekers, 28 weekers, etc. There is so much great help available to you, just in case you do end up needing it.

If you aren't already, it's helpful to ask to see a high risk doctor. Where I live, that's the only way to have access to better ultrasounds and umbilical doppler on the regular. They take everything very seriously, and while that sometimes feeds my anxiety, I know it is so much better than being dismissed and ending up as sick as I was last time. I know that they will keep me next time if there is any doubt as to the baby's status. My regular OB is just focused on making our appointments as short as possible! Or at least, that's how it feels sometimes.

Anne Marie

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017?

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 08:06 pm
by Tammy0173
I'm due mid February! My first was born in April 2015 due to pre e. Induced in my 37th week.

Curious if anyone is already experiencin issues with their blood pressure? It spiked for the first time in my 22nd week. I'll be 25 weeks tomorrow. AT my 24week appt I had to do a 24 urine catch to use as a baseline in case symptoms progress but I'm nervous how early this is all starting. It doesn't stay high, thankfully but it does spike. LIke almost every morning my blood pressure is low 100s/60s and by evening it's high. Today for example it was 107/62 and it spiked to 141/90. With my April baby I didn't start having high bp until after my 32nd week and it stayed high while creeping up and finally it hit 170/103 and I went straight from my appt to the hospital for induction. this time it's fluctuating, A LOT. I can feel the spike. My head hurts, I can see spots, and my fingers feel stiff.

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 02:32 am
by smartie
Hi Emily & Anne-Marie,

Nice to connect with some other Mom's facing the same struggles. Anne-Marie that is so inconsiderate of your daughter's teacher- you would think that educators would be more sensitive with families these days. Emily it sounds like you are in control of your pregnancy more than some of your health providers! From my experience with nurses (beyond pregnancy too) you really have to push them into action. They mean well but are full of useless information.

I feel confident with my medical care in my second pregnancy, I'm with the same OB as the first time and I am going to a different hospital this time. Although I was not totally unsatisfied with my care in a private hospital with my daughter I've chosen a public hospital this time based on their experience with high risk pregnancies. I am based in Australia (but grew up in Canada) and we are very fortunate to have alot of choice in our medical care. I'm hoping because many of the pregnancies are high-risk in the public hospital it will 'normalise' the experience for me, I can't tell you how many times a nurse would come into my room after my daughter was born and would ask where she was. It was like a dagger through my heart telling them she was in the NICU.

I don't think that other people get the anxiety that creeps in as your weeks start ticking away. My mother in-law keeps talking about having a new baby for Christmas (which would be 34/35 weeks for me) and my work colleagues are joking about me needing to go to hospital straight from work again. A few of my friends who have recently had second babies have commented on how I don't know how hard it is to go full term which is true, my physical body doesn't know the hardship but my poor emotions know the consequences. I know nobody means any harm but with the hormones and my worsening anxiety I feel particularly sensitive. I've started pressuring my husband about getting the baby's room ready and he is good at trying to keep me calm and reminding me that we don't need to get it all done and we still have 3 months to go.

xx Sue

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 01:18 am
by dracarey
Emily, don't you wish we could have simple worries like heart burn? I threw up this morning, and instead of laughing it off, I worried that maybe it was an early warning sign of something. And other people just don't get it. My colleagues are baffled by my decision to go off work early, and all I can think is that I will be so grateful to still be pregnant then. I am about 6 weeks away from when I gave birth to my daughter. So much can change in that time. In the world of preeclampsia and HELLP, 6 weeks is an eternity. I do have an extremely understanding colleague, who just sent me a list of great counsellors (she battles depression and anxiety) in case I need some extra help. It is nice to be able to speak opening about the PTSD and psychological components of this with someone at work who gets it. Although we have different struggles, I think it's normalizing for both of us to just chat about things like that. My family are all equally as anxious as me, so it's hard to talk to them about my fears. I'm just trying to keep them calm. My mother's reaction to hearing that I was pregnant again was to start crying...but not happy tears. My daughter's teacher told her she is not a big sister yet. That made me SO mad. This pregnancy is uncertain, and damn it, she's a big sister now, no matter what happens! Grrrrr...I suppose all this makes me appreciate how precious every moment is, which might be why I am embracing as many moments as I get in this pregnancy and trying to pour as much love into it as I can, even as I hold my breath counting every passing day.

~Anne Marie

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017?

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 05:51 am
by Emily-Conant-facebook

As a long answer to your question dracarey about blood tests, if your developing PE by the normal pattern, raising BP and protein in your first pregnancy I think this would screen well for your PE. As I have developed HELLPs 4 times, 3 times in the hospital, I dont have raising BP and protein til after I have HELLPS.' My MFM OB who cared for me during my baby angel Alan's delivery, had decided to send me home 4 days afterwards with normalizing blood work, good BPs and no protein in my urine from tests on day 3. The night of day3, I started telling the nurse I was getting sick again, pain under my left rib(my nerves are mis-wired for sure), headache, and sick to my stomach. Doctor(my favorite) had my BP checked and urine all good. The nurse told me "you just dont want to go home without your baby this is in your head" She had a counselor come talk with me about 2 hours later, but I was done, in so much pain I started screaming if they wouldn't help me I wanted a knife and I'd cut the pain out myself. 20 hours after normal blood work,BP and no protein, I had level 1 HELLPs again. My numbers higher than the first time I had developed it. And this second time was right under their noises, with BP and urine not catching it. I had this same pattern with my son, Michael, much to the surprise of my nurse. Who told me again pain on my left side was not HElLPs pain and I was just upset cause it was the day after the anniversary of Alan's death and I was being emotional. To her shock I was induced at the end of her shift (by my favorite OB, who designed the plan to watch my blood work after I developed HELLPs under her care the second time) with numbers that put me at level 3 HELLPs but no protein til the next day(+1) and BPs around 140/85 throughout labor and only raising a few hours after delivery. I spent 6 weeks in the hospital 31-36 week pregnant and 6 days after, I understand my body just does PE its own way and I become a scared hurting animal, the pain is so bad and my favorite OB said I have Atypical PE. I almost went home with my son on day 4, but as we where packing up, the pain under my left rib flared up and I started puking, I stayed two more days, but I just barely reach HELLPs level 3. No protein til the second day and mild BPs around 140/90. I'm one of those very few who get HELLPs without the warning signs of PE, which I was explaining repeatedly to my new MFMs but they kept saying, Every pregnancy is different and we track all PE by BPs and urine, and will only test your blood if BP and urine indicate it's necessary. To which I didnt agree as HELLPs can and does develop without BP and protein, to which they told me this almost never happens but has happen to me 3 times. I was done, I would not risk my baby, and went back to my old MFMs who care for me, we moved about 2 hours away and I really thought the drive would be to much stress. Driving for hours is fine when Im not panicked I have doctor who cant read or listen.

i also was in to see the local MFM OBs four times in a week and a half because I was having a pain under my left rib like my HELLPs pain but not as bad(told again not HELLPs pain or liver pain), right around the time they told me their plan to care for me. And was told repeatedly the pain was in my head(I HATE hearing that and become really unpleasant) because I was upset about the care plan and I was 22 weeks right when I lost Alan, grrrrrrrrrrr. On the first day back with my MFMs they did an ultrasound of my liver and gallbladder, I have gallbladder sludge, changed my diet and all better. I cant believe how angry I still am with the local MFMs and have this feeling of total dread they will let someone die or get them very, very sick. The local group made me doubt myself so badly Im afraid my old MFMs will be dealing with my crazed I want to do it exactly, and I mean exactly the same way as with Micheal plan, to regain some feeling of peace and control.
My MFMs also had me on baby aspirin, vit D and calcium from the beginning with Michael, I dint know I was pregnant this time til about 8 weeks so I started them as soon as i had a positive test.

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017?

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 09:13 pm
by dracarey
Hi smartie and emconant! It's really helpful for me to chat with others going through similar experiences. emconant, I am so sorry to hear about your first pregnancy. We constantly remind ourselves how lucky we are that we brought home our daughter, no matter how awful everything was surrounding her birth. It is certainly a possibility that has been on my mind throughout this pregnancy.

You know, I tried to plan out my care prior to this pregnancy, but it was hard to go from the plan set out by the high risk MFM (from my prenatal counselling) to the care of a regular OB. Where I live, you are generally managed by your family doctor until you're 30 weeks, and then you see an OB for the first time after that. I was encouraged when I found out I was pregnant that my family doctor was all over everything from the MFM, and referred me right away to an OB. My family doctor definitely did not want to deal with me, haha.

Then when I FINALLY met with the OB at 13 weeks, I was so worried. He just seemed to be all over the place, not knowing if it was my first pregnancy, or if he had been my doctor last time, or frankly anything about my case. All I could think was "I am on my own." If you can't read my file, how can I trust you??? I was expecting special treatment, which I think we deserve!!

During my prenatal counselling, it was suggested that I start on calcium, vitamin D and baby aspirin. The calcium/vit D was to be started in advance of pregnancy, and the baby aspirin when I got a positive pregnancy test. I know many people don't recommend starting baby aspirin until further along in pregnancy, but I've been on it since day 1. And I'm not sure how promising the research has been on the whole calcium thing, but no harm. That doctor had also recommended an ultrasound at the referral hospital at 20 weeks to look for early warning signs - notching/increased uterine artery resistance. That recommendation was followed by my OB, and I went for that 2 weeks ago.

The specialty hospital is a 4 hour drive one way for us, but we are happy to do it. It is a wonderful experience. This is where I was airlifted and gave birth to my daughterk, and where she was kept for 5 weeks before transferring to our local hospital's NICU. An ultrasound technician completes a thorough ultrasound and explains everything to you, and then an MFM comes in, repeats various parts, looks for those warning signs, and again is talking to you the whole time. The doctor who oversaw my ultrasound was super reassuring. Not promising that this wasn't going to happen, because that's out of all of our control, but rather telling me that I was on the watch list, and that they were going to pay close attention to me - that special care I had been looking/hoping for all along. This pregnancy presently shows no signs of notching or increased resistance. And the baby (a girl!) is in the 58% percentile right now.

I too am otherwise being monitored with BP measurement and urine protein. My OB tells me we won't do a 24 hour protein unless I test positive for protein on my usual strips. I did request a baseline, but he said it wasn't necessary, sigh. emconant, how were you feeling when you had blood work done with your second? Was it just routine lab work that caught your HELLP? That scares me, as I haven't had blood work done since early pregnancy, other than maternal screening for genetic issues. So far my BP is normal. My last measurement at the OB was 116/71, but at home it is usually 100/67-68. That is something I strongly recommend - an at-home BP monitor. It is very reassuring and empowering. I take my BP every night, and probably WAY more times than is healthy, but I just need to see those numbers. It is important to make sure your monitor is calibrated correctly, so bring it to an appointment to compare your numbers with what the doctor/nurse gets. Weeks before I had severe preeclampsia, my pressures were labile, and I want to intervene at THAT point this time, not when I am extraordinarily ill. I was an absolute mess by the time I was admitted to the hospital with my daughter Lucy.

I am trying to remember when I started feeling bad with Lucy...I think it was around 25 weeks. My allergies were horribly bad (so much worse than pre-pregnancy), and I was already swelling and generally feeling ill. I think I was starting with the "sense of impending doom" around that point too. I definitely knew something wasn't right. At any rate, I love everything that's different from my last pregnancy. I spotted throughout with Lucy, starting at 10 weeks. No spotting this time. I don't think Lucy was ever near the 58% percentile, and due to IUGR, she was only in the 6% percentile for her gestational age at the time she was born. This baby moved earlier, more frequently and stronger from 16 weeks on. I was way more nauseated this pregnancy. I am generally happier this pregnancy and somehow less edgy. However, anything that is similar to the last pregnancy freaks me right out. This sadly includes that I am having another girl. I am so happy to have two little girls, but I think it brings back memories even more strongly of the first pregnancy. If it was a boy I would be seizing that as yet another difference. Bizarre, I know, but fear and anxiety creep in the further we get along in this pregnancy. I also really hold on to any superstition that might "mean something." For instance, we had our big 20 week ultrasound with this baby, 5 years to the day that we took Lucy home from the hospital. And, the due date being on Valentine's Day. And the fact that we got pregnant in the first month of trying. I will take anything that even remotely suggests "this pregnancy was meant to be." Whatever gets me through.

I am going to start maternity leave early January (yay full year in Canada!), but I suspect I will go on sick leave in December. I will be 30 weeks at the end of November, which is when I had Lucy. If I make it that far, I'm betting I'm going to be super anxious and needing to avoid the stress of work. If I'm this fussy over every little twinge and sign now, I can't imagine how I'll cope them. I think any swelling will send me straight into the fetal position. I want this baby to cook cook cook.

I don't have a lot of advice for monitoring for HELLP. I thought I had this in the last pregnancy, but during prenatal counseling it sounds like I did not actually. My platelets were beginning to fall, and my liver function tests were becoming abnormal, but overall I was never truly experiencing HELLP. I had wicked PP preeclampsia though. Woah. I had pulmonary edema, was assessed for intubation just in case, yuck yuck yuck. I have an echocardiogram scheduled for next week which was at my request. My doctor believes the pulmonary edema was a consequence of the severe preeclampsia and not peripartum cardiomyopathy (I had an assessment following the pulmonary edema) but this is for my peace of mind. I hope it serves to reassure me rather than freak me out, but we will see.

I go back for another ultrasound in 2 weeks, and will have one at least monthly after that. I'll let you know how the 24 week scan goes! I will be monitored for the baby's growth very closely. I also just filled out the paperwork to have my c-section booked, one week before my actual due date. Here's hoping we make it to that date.

Sorry for the long post! I'm looking forward to hearing updates on your pregnancies.

Re: Anyone due in January/February 2017?

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 01:23 pm
by laney_p
Yeah, it's so tough when you go into another pregnancy after such a traumatic first one! But it sounds like you are really knowledgeable about what happened and can make sure to share that with your care providers as you go along. They might even be able to make some suggestions on how to cope with the mental anguish, which is very natural considering all that you experienced! Take care of yourself and send us regular updates on how you are doing. <3