Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 NIV)
Starting last Friday, I was having some weird TMI issues* but ignored them because we were leaving that evening for Oklahoma and I didn't want to miss our short trip! Saturday morning, my TMI issue* continued and so I decided to google my symptom to see if it was a big deal. A few possible causes came up:
- The first google result was for preeclampsia. Since preeclampsia is something that happens late in pregnancy and normally involves swelling, I knew this wasn't the cause.
- The next results included a bladder infection or UTI. Obviously neither of these would be fun, but a few antibiotics would clear it right up.
- The next group of results said the baby (or even babies) is sitting on my bladder causing the discomfort and it is totally nothing. This honestly seemed the most likely since I only had one UTI or bladder infection symptom, so I went about my day.
|Jill and I at her baby shower (Jill is 37w. I am 19w2d.)|
My TMI issues* continued after we got home and through all of Sunday and so Monday morning I sent a text message to my OB, Dr. H. She told me to head up to the office to get checked out. My appointment wasn't with her because she was in surgery. Instead, I was seen by one of the midwives in the practice.
Just like every appointment at the OBs office, it started with a urine sample, checking my weight (back up a bit after this post - protein shakes must be helping!), and then getting my blood pressure checked. The nurse who was checking my blood pressure immediately told me to roll onto my left side and wait for a bit. My blood pressure (BP) was too high (160/90) and she wanted to retest. I lay on my left side for a bit waiting and wondering what all this meant. When the nurse came back, she retook my BP and the result was no longer scarily high, but it was elevated a decent amount above my normal range (I traditionally have very low blood pressure).
Ummmm?? Midwife say what??? Going to the hospital for what???
The midwife was concerned I was displaying signs of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is incredible rare before 20w (on Monday I was 19w4d) but does happen. I had two symptoms of early onset pree, decreased urine output (my TMI issue) and the high blood pressure. Early onset pree is associated with increased morbidity because the only cure for pree is delivery. Labor is induced before viability because pree can be life threatening to the mother. It can cause her liver, lungs, and kidneys to fail. It is also bad for the babies because it causes your blood vessels to constrict, reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to the baby and can lead to low birth weight. With 4.5 weeks until viability (24w is when a babies odds of survival outside the womb are above 50%) I was terrified.
The decision was made that I could go home and do a 24 hour urine collection and use a home monitor to watch my BP. I needed to come back in 24 hours to bring my collected urine and get bloodwork done. For that 24 hour period I was put on strict bedrest. This means only getting out of bed (where I was to lie exclusively on my left side) to collect urine.
The next 24 hours were awful. Their were lots of tears, worry, praying, bargaining with God, and stress.
The next day I headed back up the office for labs. They drew my blood, took my BP (elevated but not high at 135/85) and I was able to speak to Dr. H. She didn't say anything different than what I had heard previously (basically nothing can be diagnosed or done until the labs come back but lots of prayers it isn't preeclampsia) but I felt so much better after talking to her.
This really reinforced that our decision to stick with an OB who was further away but we know and trust was the right choice!
Sadly, this appointment didn't yield any answers. I was waiting again. I kept repeating Romans 12:12 to myself: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. I was once again faced with the harsh truth that I am not in control, He is.
Let me repeat that (more for myself than anyone else):
I am not in control of this pregnancy at all, God is.
Overall, I do feel at peace that God has blessed us with two healthy boys thus far and I know that God has a plan and this is all part of it. I know that He is a God of love and abundance and wants what is best for me. But, I also know that what is best for my eternal salvation is not always what I want or what I pray for. I know that being a Christian is not all happy and shiny. It is no guarantee of a struggle free life and in fact, the opposite is true. Being a Christian IS a struggle many days. I was left once again crying out to God and praying for Him to protect me and protect my babies.
Since Tuesday afternoon I have continued monitoring my blood pressure at home (ranges from low to high - my BP is all over the place!) and waiting and praying.
Today, we got the first results back. My urine does not contain an overly high volume of protein! This means I don't have preeclampsia!
I do not have preeclampsia!!
What this means exactly I am not sure. I have elevated blood pressure. I have my TMI issue*. They probably mean something, but at this point I am just ecstatic it isn't preeclampsia!
* TMI Issue: read at your own discretion.....
I am a heavy water drinker: 3-4 24oz Camelbak bottles of water each day, plus at least 24oz of something with each meal (typically tea, milk, or half apple juice half water). This means I typically have good urine output. No, this doesn't mean I go to the potty a lot, because I have a fairly large bladder to accommodate my heavy drinking. Starting Friday, I was having to urinate with the same frequency as normal (no more or less), drinking the same amounts as normal, but my output per potty break was very low. I wasn't swelling or feeling any discomfort. No pain when I urinated. No kidney infection type constant need to go. Just low output.