Friday, September 2, 2011

the week of terror

Well, my OB was able to calm me down a good bit today.

After weighing (down a couple pounds again, I think this puts me -6 for the pregnancy. I swear I'm not trying!) and peeing, she came in and asked how I was. I said "okay, I guess. Anxious." She seemed a little surprised. I just said "the labs."

She sat down and went through them and essentially said they're not that bad. She doesn't think protein of 279 is that bad, and particularly because I was at 220 at 12 weeks, she thinks that's a normal amount of increase at this stage of my pregnancy. They didn't test my ALT at 12 weeks, but prepregnancy, it was 36. The difference between 36 then and 47 now also isn't that big, and she added that my prepregnancy labs were run at the hospital lab versus Quest. The range that the hospital considers normal is actually up to 52, which I would still fall into. So not that bad.

She added that my AST (another liver enzyme) was completely normal and my uric acid was actually down, showing improved kidney function. If things were bad, she would expect both of those things to be up as well. And my BP was 116/70, which she said was about as good as it gets.

I asked her about the people who present with HELLP but normal BP and she said no, she wouldn't expect that from me. I asked if I was likely to present the same way as last time, she said she can't say I'd have epigastric pain, but she'd be shocked if I didn't have high BP. That was actually a relief, because I can (and do) check my BP multiple times a day, just as reassurance that I'm doing alright.

She did feel like I should be watched even closer, wanting me monitored each week. I told her that the peri center had revised their stance to every 4 weeks instead of 2 and she shook her head. She said that when I see the peri at my next appt on the 19th, he would absolutely say I should be seen every 2 weeks and if he didn't, to call her because she wants me seen every week and she'll just bring me in to her office every week if she has to.

I told her that they wanted a complete set of labs on Tuesday. She said that was great. We talked about timing with labs & results and which lab to use for consistency and ultimately decided that I would take a pee jug with me for the weekend, go to the peri lab on Tuesday for the orders, then take everything back to her office immediately after (the buildings connect) and have everything drawn. Works for me.

David had actually juggled some things at work to be able to come to the appointment with me, so he got to hear the whole thing first hand as well. We talked about his agreement to have a vasectomy, which pleased Dr. G. And at one point we talked about the people who have 4, 5, 6 babies with a history of preeclampsia. I said that I didn't know if they had more faith than me or were just crazier, but I was definitely not one of them. Dr. G said crazier and nodded. As much as she encouraged us to try again, she's also relieved this is it for us.

I walked out of the office feeling immensely better. There is no way that I'm going to relax until this baby is healthy and in my arms, but at least for the time being, I'm not quite as stressed. That is a relief because today starts what I not-so-fondly think of as the week of terror.

Looking back at Robbie's pregnancy, my first sign of trouble really appeared at 25 weeks 1 day. It was a Friday (just like today) and I was in the middle of a mess at work. There had been a huge error that had deleted dozens of orders and no one seemed to know how to fix it. My department had neither caused the problem nor could solve it, but somehow were spear-heading the push to get it fixed. I'd spent several hours on a conference call trying to get it sorted out and after it was over, I was exhausted. I'd gone to my boss's office to have a post-mortem of sorts about the futility of the whole thing. I was sitting there looking at my sandaled feet and thought they looked kinda puffy.

I asked her if she thought they looked weird. She looked worried and said yes. I just laughed. I hadn't had any swelling at all, and I thought it was an amusing pregnancy symptom. She suggested that I should called the doctor. "Nah.. I'm fine. Just 6 months pregnant. It's to be expected." She looked doubtful. I went back to my desk a while later thinking what a worry-wart she was.

That weekend I kept my feet and my hydration up and my sodium down. They improved and I felt like I'd been right. It wouldn't be until Tuesday that the epigastric pain hit. And still, I just thought it was yet another pregnancy symptom that had caught up with me. On Wednesday, I was especially miserable and considered calling in sick. But the error with the missing accounts was still being muddled through. There were only 2 of us working on the problem and my partner was already out sick. I couldn't leave my boss in the lurch. Just finish throwing up and get ready and go. Man up, Trish. 

On Thursday I finally went to the doctor. I hadn't been able to keep anything  (even water) down for a few days and I knew it couldn't continue. I was going to need some meds, for sure, so off to the doctor I went. I was admitted just an hour after that. Robbie was born 2 days later.

As I sit here at 25 weeks 1 day, it's hard not to see those images in my mind again. Much of what happened between being admitted and Robbie's delivery is blurred because of time, the drugs I was on, the overwhelming nature of what was happening and just plain exhaustion. But the days leading up to the day I was admitted, they're etched into my mind.

As much as I try not to focus on what can't be changed, it's hard not to wonder if things would have been any different if I'd listened to my boss that day. Or if I'd gone the day my stomach started hurting, or even that second day. Nothing can stop preeclampsia, but maybe it would have bought Robbie another day or two in the womb. Certainly it would offered him a little longer for the steroids to work. And maybe that wouldn't have changed anything, either. Maybe he'd still have been vented for 5 weeks. Maybe he'd still have asthma just like now. But maybe it wouldn't.

I know that there are only so many things I can control, but buying this baby as much time as I can is something I'm determined to do. I hope that my prayers and yours will give this baby 37 weeks baking time, but even if that is not in God's plan, I want to do everything I can to make sure that I don't rob this baby of a day or two that might help. I've lived with those questions and that guilt for more than 3 years. I don't want to add any more to it than I have to.

I realize that that makes me even more neurotic, but I suppose that's some of the burden of motherhood. We sacrifice not only our physical selves, but our emotional selves as well, in the journey to protect our kids as much as we can. That's the way it should be.



Bridie said...

a) YAY for "not as bad as you thought" news!
b) there's no shortage of guilt when it comes to parenting. the fact that our bodies failed at the one thing we are built to do adds so many layers. i read an interesting blog post on regrets the other day, from a mother whose child was diagnosed with leukemia at just a few months old. I hope you find it helpful.

Searching said...

This time WILL be different. You know more. You also know that right now, things are good. Nothing to be alarmed about, you will be closely monitored, you know when to go in. Praying!

A and W mom said...

(((HUGS))) Lots and lots of prayers ... relieved with you by the OB's words and continuing prayers for that healthy, full-term, fully-developed Thanksgiving baby!