Okay, so the past day or so has been somewhat of an emotional roller coaster.
I had a great morning yesterday filled with an awesome maternity photo session and lunch with the girls. Then I was off to my OB appointment, feeling a little tired but not too bad. They brought me in and took my BP and didn't tell me what it was. 'That's odd', I thought, since they always announce it right away. 'Good or bad?' I asked the nurse. 'A little high but not too bad,' she replied. I was being nosey and tried to read the numbers over her shoulder and I think I caught a 140/86. Remember the 'goal' from my OB is 140/90 or less, so I figured it was acceptable. So the nurse left and in walked the other nurse for my doc, saying something like, 'Oh hi, how are you today?' while reaching for the BP cuff again. 'I'm getting the old switcharoo, I see?' I asked because no offense--but you can be as sneaky as you want but I'm still going to be that patient who demands to know what is going on. I'm thinking that will bode well during labor and delivery, too, and hope I can keep up my nerve to be an informed patient.
'Yeah, just a recheck,' is what the new nurse announced. And she did tell me the number which was 136/86, still not 'normal' but again, since I was holding onto that 140/90 standard as my goal I figured it was no big deal. Next came the waiting for the doc and a few relaxation breathing techniques on my part to stay calm and not let my mind run wild.
So doc comes in. Asks the same questions she asked at my first 'uh-oh' appointment last week, like 'How are you feeling? Any vision changes? Cramping? Do you have any reason to believe your water has broken?' You know, nice calming questions like that. Of course I replied 'no' to all questions but I realized then that my doc wasn't liking the higher BP no matter what she set as my 'goal'.
Then she asks how much more I'm supposed to work. I told her no more weekends but still scheduled for a full 40 hours during the week. She winced at that statement, then asked, 'What kind of maternity leave do you have?' I knew what she was getting at so I told her I only get 12 weeks, whether that is used before or after the baby it is just 12 weeks and that is that. So if she takes me off work all together, I start my maternity leave and have less time with baby boy after he arrives. She nodded her head and wasn't ready to completely pull the plug just yet since my numbers are still hovering on the borderline, possibly a warning sign to something worse but not bad enough just yet to completely freak out.
I stated that my boss thought they might be able to be flexible with my hours and if we needed to find a happy medium between me working on my feet for 40 hours per week and the other extreme of bedrest, we could probably find a way to make it work. So she sent me off with a script to work only 4 hours a day, then go straight home for 'modified bedrest' to do just that.....REST. No grocery shopping, no more prenatal yoga or the gym, no added projects. Just chilling out. She wants to see me again on Thursday when we will probably begin internals. I asked her what she forsees happening with these last 4.5 weeks of pregnancy and she has a gut feeling that I won't carry baby blueberry Carlos until my due date. She thinks I'll get to 38.5 weeks with *hopefully* the same type of BPs (not worse! please don't let it get worse!) and then she will consider induction. Ick, the 'I' word....definitely not a part of the whole 'natural delivery' thing. I picked her brain a bit more and she feels that once the baby reaches about 39 weeks the amount of growth he will sustain past that point may not be worth the risk he's putting on my body with high blood pressure, and therefore the pros for induction outweigh the cons. But who knows. Maybe the little bloob will be ready to come out even before then. Maybe my pressures will magically get better and she'll let me go until the end. Or perhaps they will get worse, she'll pull me out of work all together and put me on bedrest until 38 weeks then induce me. I felt the need to mention to her that my ultimate goal, aside from a healthy well-incubated baby boy, is to avoid a c-section. I told her I was worried that inducing may lead to one and she assured me that they truly only do a C if the baby is in distress during, if it's an emergency situation that needs to be remedied asap, or if I fail to progress all together during labor which puts baby at risk. I can handle that. I just wanted her to know where I stand with interventions and I'm willing to be a little more flexible on things like meds and possibly an epidural if it means I can avoid a C-section. I mean, after all, my pregnancy has taken a major turn and it's hardly 'normal' right now so I will pick my battles because my body might need more assistance than I originally hoped.
I'll spare you the details but after this appointment I called the 'Leave of Absence' coordinator at work and although I thought dropping my hours at work wouldn't initiate my short term disability and maternity leave, turns out I was wrong. She said that if I cannot work my full days then my maternity leave will begin for those missed hours, thus using about 2 weeks before baby boy is born and leaving me with only 10 weeks after. I was upset. I threw a pity party and cried to Nate about it and felt sorry for myself for awhile. But then I talked to my boss and my doc today and feel a little more realistic about the whole thing. I just had to mourn the loss of that 'plan' of having a full 3 months at home with my little blueberry.
Now knowing that my maternity leave will be affected, my doc has decided to let me TRY working full time but closely monitoring my BPs and stopping the day if anything goes above 140/90. So that's good but of course I realize there is a good chance I won't last full days for the next 4-ish weeks. My boss is going to meet with me tomorrow and we'll try to brainstorm ways I can still work without being on my feet for the full day. There are a lot of unknowns out there which totally freaks me out but I'm trying my best to stay positive and focus on what I DO have going for me instead of what is at risk.
So basically this is a huge, wordy post to say that my appointment was mediocre, then my day turned ugly when I thought I would burn through my time off, but then today I found out I might be able to stretch it a bit longer. Obviously the top priority is a healthy baby, even if that means going on full bedrest and losing out on time with him after he arrives. I don't want to push my body past it's limits all in the name of saving a week or two off work after delivery, but at the same time I don't want to be overly cautious if it's not warranted.
I guess that's why I have an OB---to make those decisions for me, and I just need to roll with the punches a little bit better. Relinquish control, focus on the positive facts (ie baby boy might come even sooner than I thought! And I will still have a good chunk of time with him after. And I am blessed with a job that provides for my family...see? lots of good things in there), and chill out. Those are my goals right now.
If you've made it through this rambling, I'd like to ask a favor. Can I hear some good stories about being induced that resulted in a vaginal delivery? I feel like I've heard so many women talk about failed induction leading to a C-section that it's hard to know if that risk is truly founded. Of course I Googled a bit and found conflicting research on the subject, so I figure hearing real-life success stories might ease my mind. I did find 3 girls at my work in the last day that assured me their inductions lead to 'fast and furious...and painful' vaginal deliveries. That pitocin stuff man, it sounds like no joke but if it does it's job and gets baby out safely I'll deal with it. I just might look like I got hit with a Mack truck for the post-delivery pictures, that's all:)
We shall see what happens tomorrow at work and at my appointment on Thursday. Never a dull moment around here lately!