Sordid Stories at 8 Months

32 weeks and 5 days. According to my iPhone app, our son is as big as a honeydew, roughly weighing in at 4.5 lbs and 29 inches. He seems to be doing great flip-flopping in belly. Enjoying being heads up before he settles down for his hopefully undramatic arrival.

But it's not all fun and games in the pregnancy world these days. At my last appointment, which my mom was joyfully able to attend, my blood pressure was fairly elevated. Apparently, it wasn't the first time (though I don't remember a previous warning flag) so my midwife ordered a battery of blood and urine tests. This week I got some results and next steps that left me leaking a few tears as I pulled out of my "stork parking" spot at Kaiser. My blood work all came back normal. My urine tests needed to be repeated. My blood pressure was high again. After an unexpected conversation with the OB on call, she requested my blood work to be repeated and begin 2/week non-stress tests (NST) at the hospital until our son is born. She also dropped a bomb that bed rest may be in my future if my blood pressure doesn't start cooperating. WHAT?!?

With these added appointments, I literally have over 20 scheduled appointments between now and his due date. It's a part-time job.

I went for my first NST on Tuesday and what was supposed to take 40 minutes took an hour and a half. During the NST they are checking his movement and heart rate, my blood pressure, and I get an ultrasound every time checking my amniotic fluid levels and his breathing. We both faired wonderfully on Tuesday and I began reading Anne Lamott's latest book, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son.

Monitoring our every move....

All and all it was a great experience. The nurses are fabulous. The leather reclining chair was uber soothing. The reading was fitting. The extra peak at our son was beautiful.

Today I went in for NST #2 and within a few minutes she unplugged me and apologetically announced that after my ultrasound she was going to hand-deliver me to labor and delivery to be further monitored. My blood pressure was 142/100 and she did wanted me to be monitored by a doctor. Bleh. More blood and urine tests were run. My blood work came back normal. The "other test" requires 24 hours of gathering the evidence. Gross. My blood pressure was automatically checked every 15 minutes and vacillated from too high to normal. Baby Boy seemed to not notice as he rocked it floating obliviously in my belly. What I planned on being a 40 minute NST turned into a 4 hour detour in L&D today.

Tomorrow morning Brian and I head in for a 2 hour hospital tour, though I got the speedy version today. Tomorrow afternoon I get to hand in the "other test" and have another NST. And we'll go from there. A weekend at the hospital. Just what I was hoping for in the midst of the bathroom remodel. Who wouldn't want to spend their day off strapped to monitors instead of playing with little Ethiopians?!?

My BIGGEST prayer is that my blood pressure will stabilize in a normal zone and that I don't have to go on meds, bed rest, or any other terrible alternative (preeclampsia can be quite dangerous for mother and baby if untreated). The rest of my family also needs some prayer. Brian's pulling most all the weight at home and with our kids. He's always on, never off and getting oh-so tired. The introvert in him is screaming for care and I can't help. Judah and Addise are also starting to act out a bit. They are needy, whiny, and want their mommy. But mommy can't do what she normally does with them. I hate this the most. This weekend Brian and I are going to do some re-evaluating for these last 7 weeks and determine what must give for me and the baby to stay healthy. I need to listen to my husband and my limits more than ever...which is not my strong suit.

To leave this sordid post on a positive note, Brian and I determined over text messaging this week (the 21st century couple we are) what our son's full name will be!!!!!! Even after this week, his name means so much. We can't wait to share it with you after his safe arrival. Here's also a few pictures of the big brother and sister who get cuter and cuter by my assessment. Thanks for your love and prayers and help. We need them.

Making gluten-free oatmeal cookies together.

"Hurry up and cool down!"

My snuggle boy

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April L. Diaz

April has been a visionary activist her entire life. She has made it her mission to lead high performing teams and develop leaders in the margins of society while caring for our bodies, mind, and spirit. Secretly, sheโ€™s a mix of a total girly girl and a tomboy, and is still crazy about her high school sweetheart, Brian. Together, they co-parent 3 fabulous kiddos and live in Orange County, CA.