Friday, April 15, 2011

And So It Begins

Little Asher Brighton Dunn is due June 13, 2011. We are quite sure he won't be waiting that long to meet us. One of my medical assistants commented that she thinks he's just impatient...and then said that he must get that trait from his mother. Apparently, I am not an intimidating enough boss.

As of today, we are 31 weeks and 4 days along. It has been a long 31 weeks and 4 days, complete with just about every annoying pregnancy problem known besides morning sickness. Thankfully, none of it has been serious at this point, just a drag to deal with. I've managed to get over my needle phobia (believe me, doctors like needles going into them about as much as you do--it's different when you're the one wielding the needle), as I have been stuck in more places than you can imagine...and I haven't even gotten my epidural yet! As much as I would like to be done with it all, more than anything, I really, really want him to stay inside to grow a little longer. The longer he is in, the less time he spends in the NICU.

Last night I was put on bedrest by my partner Dr. W. Here's how we got to this point:
I have underlying high blood pressure, which has been very well controlled without medication since the first trimester (BP often drops during pregnancy). Though I have never had any visible swelling, yesterday my fingers felt a little tight, so I checked my blood pressure and found it was all over the map--definitely higher than it had been running for all these months. The first reading was 180/120, which definitely got my attention! Fortunately, I think that was a spurious reading. After that it settled down to 140-150/100 and then was actually completely normal after I'd been at bedrest for a little while. It's unclear right now if this represents the normal rise in blood pressure that occurs in the last couple of months of pregnancy, or if I'm starting to develop preeclampsia. Part of the way to tease this out is for me to collect my urine for 24 hours to see how much protein is leaking from my kidneys. If it falls above a certain level, then it's preeclampsia. Either way, it looks like I'm in for a lot of close observation, repeat testing, and, probably, bedrest until the little guy has to come. If it's not preeclampsia, medication to control my pressures might be sufficient, but I'm having to think long and hard about whether going back to work is really the best thing for us at this point. I'm thinking the answer is no.

For those of you unfamiliar with bedrest, it is pretty much exactly what it says it is--resting in bed, on the couch, etc. No going walking, shopping, or doing the dishes. For someone who is used to doing a very active job full time, running miles a day, and doing construction projects around the house, this is bit of a shock to the system. Crockett has been a major help the last few weeks (I had to stop a lot of this stuff a few weeks ago because of frequent contractions, though I had managed to continue working through it). He's learning to cook and does a great job--any failures have been the fault of a bad recipe! We also have had a wonderful meals-on-wheels service provided by various members of the Marki family (Mom is the cook, Dad and Robin, my sister-in-law-to-be, the delivery people). We are also fortunate to have the world's best cleaning lady, Susana, who keeps the house and our laundry in check. I'm also glad that I got the manual labor in the nursery done a few weeks ago (we still need the crib, but I've been assured that it should be here momentarily).

I am hoping that this time off gets me into the habit of blogging so that this is not yet another blog that gets abandoned after a few posts. I'm sure that Asher will continue to amuse with all the mischief he gets into.

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