34 Week Pregnancy + Condition Update

Hello, Friends.

First of all, thank you so much for all your messages and prayers regarding Baby Brown. They mean so much to us! A lot has happened in the last week that I want to document so let’s get right to it. I haven’t done a bumpdate in so long!

How far along? 34 weeks

How big is baby? Baby is the size of a butternut squash

Symptoms? High blood pressure, headaches, swelling, fatigue, achy back, pelvic pressure, contractions, frequent urination

Cravings? Still ice.

2 weeks ago, I woke up feeling not so great. I was nauseous and dizzy and felt like I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I was supposed to work later that day so I texted my mom and asked if she would come and pick up Sawyer a little early so I would have time to rest and hopefully feel better before work. She asked if I have any preeclampsia symptoms and if I had taken my blood pressure. I hadn’t yet but I was starting to develop a headache as well so I figured I should. I got out our cuff and took it and it was relatively high. It wasn’t in the “dangerous” zone (anything above is 140/90 is very dangerous), but it was much higher than it had been throughout my pregnancy thus far. So I called the Kaiser advice line and told them what was going on and she said given my history I should head to the hospital to be checked out. This was really emotional for me, but long story short, my parents took me to the hospital (Kurtis left work and met us there), and I was monitored for a few hours.

My blood pressure went down while I was there and my urine sample came back normal so they sent me home but told me to always keep watching for more symptoms, given my history. I still wasn’t feeling well so my parents took Sawyer for the rest of the day while I slept.

A few days later, I had a routine checkup. My blood pressure was decently high (although still not “dangerous”), and this time there was protein in my urine, which was concerning. So they took my blood and another urine sample to run further tests and sent me on my way. My blood came back normal, although there was still slight protein in my urine, they weren’t diagnosing me with anything yet.

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I continued to monitor my blood pressure and symptoms at home, and while my blood pressure remained slightly high, never entered the danger zone that week. Then, last weekend happened.

Friday through Sunday of last week was really bad. My blood pressure readings were very high, even reaching the danger zone a couple of times. My head was constantly pounding and tylenol did nothing to help. We knew the hospital routine too well. My blood pressure would be high at home, we would rush to the hospital just to be safe and after a few (insanely expensive) hours of monitoring, it would lower and they would send me home. Whenever we had a reading in the danger zone, we would start taking my blood pressure every 20 minutes for an hour or two. As long as it went down, we would stay home. My next door neighbor is a nurse and she came over to check on me and take my blood pressure at one point too.¬† Luckily, it always went down after an hour or so, so we didn’t go to the hospital at all, but we did make an appointment with my doctor’s office for first thing Monday morning.

Bright and early Monday, I went in. They took blood and urine, monitored the baby with an NST, and I talked with my doctor. Once again my blood pressure was higher but not in the danger zone. I told my doctor my concerns and that I hated to be paranoid, but I also knew ignoring any symptoms could mean death, so I wanted to be as cautious as possible. Luckily, she was very understanding, told me I wasn’t crazy, and that I did the right thing by coming in. She told me she wants to see me once a week from now on which makes me feel a lot better. At least now I know I’ll have a professional checking my symptoms every few days. She said she’s not diagnosing me with preeclampsia yet, but that it definitely looks like things could be heading that way so we need to be extremely careful. She also told me I needed to be taking it as easy as possible and spend a lot less time on my feet. My next door neighbor had said the same thing to me the night before. The more active I am, the more likely my blood pressure is to rise, so she suggested a modified bed rest. Basically meaning, sure I can get up and move around as needed, but I should be sitting/laying down pretty much whenever physically possible.

So I cut back on shifts at work for the next few weeks and after my obligations with them are complete, will be starting my maternity leave early. When I’m home, I try not to do much, and if I do have chores/blogging to do I rest in between every task. I work as much from my bed and the couch as I can. My mom and MIL have been helping a lot with Sawyer and packing (oh yeah, did I mention, we’re in the middle of moving too?), so that I can rest as much as possible. They’ll play with him or take him on a little field trip while I work from bed or take a nap.

I really think it’s helping. I’ve been feeling a lot better this week. Much less headaches and nausea and my blood pressure hasn’t reached the danger zone at all (that I know of). I go back to see my doctor on Tuesday and I’m hoping for good news. Although they already said it looks like I could be starting to develop preeclampsia, it still doesn’t mean I have to get it, and I’m hoping with enough rest, maybe I can still have the normal, full term delivery we’ve been praying for.

So, there’s the update! Things are hard, but not unbearable. I know I can make it through and I’m really really hoping to get this baby to term and still have a VBAC. I’m just a few days away from the point in my last pregnancy where I delivered, so I’m nervous about that but trying to stay positive. The Lord has a plan for me and this baby, I’m choosing to trust in Him. Please keep us in your prayers, for health and strength. It’s down to the wire and with my symptoms, he could truly be here any day now!