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High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby deerhart » Sat Dec 13, 2003 07:57 pm

by deerhart (3282 Posts), Sat Dec 13, 2003 07:57 pm

My gosh, this sounds just like BOTH my pregnancies. My BP would do some pretty screwy things that just confused some doctors.

1st, you do not need a particularly high BP to have a stroke, while generally a bp of like 140/110 will cause worry about sdtroke, some woman can go to 180/150 and never stroke while some woman can still be in the 130/80's when they do. It can be a very specific thing to you, and the lower your pre pregnancy BP the greater the differnece is to your body (if your normally like 110/60 and know your 130/90 thats a 20-30 point jump which is alot, if your 130/80 a 20-30 point rise would be 150/110!)

2nd, any rise in your BP will mean that either you or the baby is suffering a deterimental environment. Oxygen and blood supply can be limited to the placenta and thus to the baby. This can result in slower growth or growth stopped completely. In my first pregnancy I was diagnosed with PE at 24/25 weeks at which time my baby was estimated to be 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. Over the next 13 weeks, which is the time they gain the most weight, he only gained 3 more lbs. From week 34 to 37 in which babies gain on average 1/2 to 1 lb a week, he gained 1 lb. This was due to the fact that the blood supply getting to him was much lower then it should be. I was on bed rest and while lying down my BP's would clock in at 135/85-140/90 and standing up I was 150/98.

3rd
quote:
After reading several articles on the research database Lexis-Nexis and Eric, I have come to the conclusion that no long term studies have been done on how medicines affect the baby.


There are almost NO studies done on any medications on how they affect pregnant woman and the babies they carry. Almost everything that has been tested as either been tested on just woman, not pregnnat, or on pregnant test animals, usually rats. The issue that comes down to is that you need to address YOUR medical problems, and while it may run a risk to your child, you have to realize what the risks of not taking the medication maybe to your child as well.
I have heard from a lot of woman that stop taking their allergy medications while pregnant becuase its a type c drug (most meds are b or c drugs). They choose instead to be miserable through their allergy season instead. I've even been chewed out by some woman because I chose to take my medications instead of forgoing them, telling me how bad a mother I was. The difference is that if I don't take my allergy meds, then I have trouble breathing, and if I am not breathing, then neither is my baby. The possible effects of the medication, of which most are fairly rare, must be weighed against the dangers that occur by not treating whats wrong. Things to consider would be IUGR, prematurity, developmental delays, etc.. caused by the problems.

personally, my OB did not believe in giving the BP meds for my situation even when my BP was 150/105 because she felt that all it would do was mask my symptomns and prevent her from getting a true reading, thus limiting her ability to make a sound decision on when the pregnancy should end. She felt that even with the BP meds, what was going on internally to the baby would still be occuring.
You are looking at a fairly constant BP rise of 15-20 points on the top and 10-20 points on the bottom, this is an indication that something may be going on, further with the fact that most BP's drop in the 2nd trimester, you could easily be looking at third trimester readings of 140/90.

4th, I too wanted a natural child birth (almost made it but didn't) the first pregnancy I was on so many drugs it wasn't funny. I had the drugs for the induction, then the mag sulfate (if your BP goes up over whatever level your doc sets you'll get it) and then finally 24 hours into the induction and having hour long contractions ofr 6 hours an epi. My second pregnancy was much easier as my BP could be controlled via positioning and it wasn't until I started having asthma attacks that I got the epi (and he was born 3 hours later). Not to say you can't do a natural child birth, but you also need to be prepared for lots of intervention. Not just medication, but c-section as well as that is very common with PE patients (as the baby typically needs to be delivered NOW and they don't want to risk an induction failing, nor the fact that your BP can rise quickly when under the drugs for the induction and the pain of labor)

My blood work always came back perfectly normal and my urine tests were always in range. I think i tested +1 for protein maybe 2 times through 2 pregnancies, yet while that was good news, it did not mean everything was okay. My oldest son was born at 5lbs 10 oz (5th % in weight) have jaundice, blood sugar problems, etc at birth and now has language delays, which we will never know if it was caused by his rough start. I suffered with PE for 13 weeks and rising BP's since my first OB visit with him. My youngest son was born 4 weeks early, spent 4 days in the special care unti, but got a much easier start in life then my oldest. He has rarely been sick *knocks on wood* versus the 7 months of ear infections my oldest had his first year, he was a 1lb heavier at birth, and while also had some jaundice everything else has checked out.

While I personally don't think that BP meds help much if your suffering from PE (I also feel they mask one of the easiest symptomns and thus hide just how bad it may be getting), I feel that you have to weigh the risks of the medication versus the risks of not taking the medication and this goes for any medication. I am suprised though that your OB went for meds first versus trying bedrest. Though some OB's do not think bedrest works, it did work fairly well for me and since you showed a 10 point drop by lying on your left side, that may indicate that bedrest on your side would help control your BP as well as the medication, the only problems is that you do HAVE to stay down as your BP will rise back up within 1-3 minutes of sitting up and can take up to 15 minutes to drop back down again once you lie down. Also, some woman (like me) get no benefit by lying semi prone or by lying on their back (always had to be on a side, but didn't matter which side) I was able to control my BP through my second labor this way and thus avoid mag completely (I would be 120/70 on my side, 140/90+ on my back, sitting up, or standing)
My doc did weekly blood tests, urine tests, and NSTs which all came back normal. My symptomns ranged from the high BP, headaches, spots, blurry vision, and heart palpultations. Finally, we know it was truely real (and not a figment of my imagination like so many times I was starting to think it was) as I do have a blood clotting disorder which most likely caused my problems.

You will never get concrete data because it simply pretty much doesn't exist. Most woman who get PE delviery within the first 2 weeks. In fact, those that have it for a long time seem to be in the minority. Its also very difficult to seperate out what is causing the problem as it could be this med or that med, it could be the lack of blood, or it could be the age at which the child is born. One thing to also note is that with BP problems you do have a risk of having an abruption. Also, stess is typically not associated with a rise in your bottom number, but rather a rise in your top number. A general rule of thumb is your top number reacts to outside influences (stress, weather etc..) and your bottom number reacts to internal influnces (foods, illness, problems within your body).

Oh on the Low BP's, unless they are dropping like below 100/50 they really shouldn't cause you any problems. The preferred BP is between 110-120/60 so anything in that range is considered ideal. There can be problems with low BP and there are treatments for that, but usually people on BP meds do not hit BP's in an area that would even be considered low BP.

GL with the next few months
Erin

Mommy to Alex and Mason
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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby deerhart » Sat Dec 13, 2003 08:10 pm

by deerhart (3282 Posts), Sat Dec 13, 2003 08:10 pm

I wanted to add, my post was not about trying to get you to change your mind or anything, but rather just to prepare you for what might happen.
When it is all said and done, it really doesn't matter if you take the meds or not, if you have a natural child birth or not, etc.. what truely truely matters is that both you and your baby get through your pregnancy as best you can. While it may or may not go the way you want it too, 6 months later, 1 year later, 3 years later etc.. it doesn't seem to matter as much. I am just happy to have both my boys and it no longer matters how they got here.

Erin

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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby joanne » Sun Dec 14, 2003 07:40 am

by joanne (25 Posts), Sun Dec 14, 2003 07:40 am

Erin

Good post - I totally agree.


Sasha

I was on methyldopa and my son was not affected. It enabled me to hold out for a further two weeks. I didn't get a natural birth but at 31 weeks a natural birth (induction would be necessary) is risky.

Jo

Jo 30
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Kit 31 weeks
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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby catherine » Sun Dec 14, 2003 10:18 am

by catherine (2832 Posts), Sun Dec 14, 2003 10:18 am

Hi Sasha, I hope that you don't feel like we are all jumping on you when all you want is a happy healthy pregnancy and a natural birth. Not at all unreasonable things. We're, as a group, just a bit more wary than most of fluctuating blood pressures in pregnancy. I would extend the advice that the Foundation's director usually gives, talk to your doctors, that's what they are there for. Ask about effects of the medication, whether bedrest might be appropriate, suitable surveillance etc. If you feel that they aren't willing to listen to your concerns, now might be a good time to find someone with whom you can work better. There isn't necessarily any reason why you can't try and manage your pregnancy with rest, nutrition etc., but please find a way to do it in a context where, if further problems arise they will be recognized and appropriately treated.

Lots of best wishes

Catherine (37)
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Finn (6)
Lucy (2)
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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby sasha » Sun Dec 14, 2003 11:07 am

by sasha (38 Posts), Sun Dec 14, 2003 11:07 am

I have a normal bp in the 120's. I enjoy reading the experiences addressed on this board. I have spoken to my family, husband, and prof. in the health field....I am going to wait until to begin the bp medicine. Also, I have scheduled a second opinion from a diff. obgyn.

I will update after my growth scan, bloodwork, urine testing, and follow up consultation next Mon.

I have had good results this weekend:
128 83
133 77
121 68
133 77
135 72
128 71
127 70

(not bad when you consider my normal bp is 120/70...)

I am serious about my diet too. I have started a food journal and really cut down on my bad eating habits i.e. salt, soda, sugar, etc...

I wonder if my bp is affected by the fact that I was a casual, yet heavier than most, drinker before pregnancy. Has anybody heard any info about this?

Also, I was about 30lbs over my ideal weight when I conceived. I was working out 6 days a week and losing weight, but still I was overweight. So far, I have gained 15 lbs and am 23 weeks today. I believe that most of the weight is in my boobs since I can still wear some low rider slacks.

I will report back Fri. evening unless I hear something sooner.

I am going to post some of the articles that I researched. Including some that influence my decision slightly.

Comments?


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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby deerhart » Sun Dec 14, 2003 04:43 pm

by deerhart (3282 Posts), Sun Dec 14, 2003 04:43 pm

One thing to really check you BP and it will also show you your natural rise and fall over a day is to take your BP at the same time (multiple times) a day. Take it sitting up and after 5 minutes of rest and always in the same arm.
In addition to that, you should note any foods, the weather, stressful situations that occured between that reading and your last reading. This will help you start to see a pattern on how your everyday life (stress, what you eat, the weather, activity level) really does affect your BP and can also give some good insight into what is going on. For example if your BP is very high right when you get up in the morning, this is typically not normal as you have been laying down all night thus it is typically low.
Also note any symptomns you have like feeling dizzy, headaches that don't go away etc.. Dizziness can be a sign of your BP falling suddenly (I had that a ton in my second pregnancy). Also headaches that aren't cured by tylonol or sleep are problematic.

Otherwise, just keep an eye on you and the baby. If you feel unwell (even if its that nagging feeling that something isn't right) don't be afraid to push the issue A TON. It is common from most of the stories I have heard for woman just to sya they feel unwell and not able to put a finger on what it is. Also doing kick counts will reassure you and the doctor that the baby is active.

Finally, things can change very quickly which is why its imparative that you keep an eye on yourself. Your doc cannot be there 24/7 but you are. Keeping your doc as informed as possible, even for the smallest things you might think is unimportant can in some cases be the difference.

Now off to stop my oldest from zipping himself up in a suitcase *sigh*
GL!
Erin

Mommy to Alex and Mason
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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby sasha » Sun Dec 14, 2003 06:18 pm

by sasha (38 Posts), Sun Dec 14, 2003 06:18 pm

Thanks for the bp checking advice! I will use the methods you suggested.

I have been reading more about pre-e today. It is hard to sort out all the information. My blood pressure was high from the initial visit at 6 weeks and has stayed higher. I almost hit my normal pre-preg marks today.

I have seen so many peaks and valleys. I have also been reading alot about mild hypertension and have read enough to realize my dr. rationale for instant prescription of meds. Hypertension can lead to pre-e. Today, I am registering weird marks. Specifically:

128 71
127 70
137 77
136 76
141 73
143 69

I had some sodium in my Italian dressing for dinner, but have had lots of fluids all day long because I have a cold. I have not felt dizzy or had headaches, but I frequently space out. I forget things on a daily basis. Oh well, we shall see. I really dislike having company when I have to do my urine test. I especially dislike the fact that we just have 1 bath off the living room and my husband has football buddies over. Till next time....



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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby mada » Mon Dec 15, 2003 06:53 am

by mada (4081 Posts), Mon Dec 15, 2003 06:53 am

Sasha,
Just a little funny pregnancy thing, I was the biggest space cadet ever when I was prego with both my kids[:D]. One time I couldn't find my purse and I was pretty much yelling at my hubby(hormones) that he put it somewhere because I know he doesn't like clutter....Then he said"Hey babe, what;s around your shoulder?" It was my purse!! Anyway, it's what I call pregnancy amnesia[:D]. ALso, I am sure someone has mentioned that typically pressures will go down in the 2cnd trimester...Your readings look good. My friend who is a Chicago public school teacher said being pregnant and teaching was like the most stressful thing she's done...SO try to stay relaxed and I don't know if you have it...but the whole nutrtion thing, What to Eat when your Excpecting is a great easy book with some wonderful recipes...That my help you[:)] Let us know how your 2cnd opinion goes!!

Mada Harpster

Sam 6-29-00 36weeks P.E.
Ben 11-03-01 No P.E.
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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby sasha » Sat Dec 20, 2003 03:46 pm

by sasha (38 Posts), Sat Dec 20, 2003 03:46 pm

Good news. The ultrasound revealed that baby is 23 weeks 4 days. Which is right where he should be for growth. I still don't have the results of the 24 hour protein/urine test. I am still not on meds, but my bp is still elevated and flucuating. I get everything from 120 to 149. My bottom number once reached 89 and then was later recorded at 70. I will most likely go on meds after my appt. on monday. We'll see. I feel fine and this little boy is kicking away. I have a pretty bad cold and cough though. I am off to buy a humidifier so I don't awake in the middle of the night with dry throat.

Thanks again for the the help and information.

Sasha
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Re : High Blood Pressure 22 Weeks

Postby julie f » Sat Dec 20, 2003 04:51 pm

by julie f (7993 Posts), Sat Dec 20, 2003 04:51 pm

Sasha,

So glad to hear that your baby is measuring right on target, that is great news!

Hope you're feeling better, I had a horrible cough/cold when I was pg and it was no fun[xx(]. I bought a humidifier as well and it did seem to help quite a bit.

Let us know how your appt goes.


Julie
Zachary James, 7/22/03-7/27/03, born at 26 weeks due to severe pe
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