Thursday, July 10, 2008


No one had ever counseled me to not get pregnant.  When I asked at the pediatric cardiologist at my last appointment when I was 18, he said, "Oh, no problem."

We learned I was pregnant after C and I had broken up (once again, not a very stable marriage).  We reconciled and were ok, but not great through the pregnancy.  Early on I had a lot of weight loss, about 15 pounds the first trimester, that I gained back throughout the pregnancy, so at the end I weighed almost what I did when I got pregnant.  I was overweight, so no one was worried about it, least of all me.  
Second trimester went well, regular doctor visits, an echocardiogram to see how my heart was doing during pregnancy.  I had a LVEF of 70% at 16 weeks pregnant.  (That's good for those not addicted to echo results.)  My mitral valve looked OK, some regurgitation, but that had always been there, no other signs of problems. 
 I started having preterm contractions around 21 weeks.  I was working a stressful job at a travel agency and my doctor took me off to lower my stress.  I also started having higher blood pressures around then as well.  My anemia was worsening and I felt really, really tired (even moreso than the first trimester bone tired just pregnant feeling).
My doctor ordered more rest,  more red meat and relaxation.  We were vegetarian at the time and I remember C going out and buying the fixings for beef and barley stew.  It was hilarious to watch him cook the meat, like he was touching, well, dead meat.   I think that is my favorite memory from pregnancy.
9/11 happened while I was on bedrest.  I remember laying shocked, cradling my belly, wondering what hell I was bringing this new baby into.
Around 25 weeks, I started having edema.  Not too bad, but at the end of the day, no matter if I'd laid around my feet were HUGE.
The edema worsened to where it didn't go away overnight and I'd wake swollen.  My wedding ring didn't fit any more.  My shoes didn't fit anymore.  My skin felt tight and stretched.
My BP started inching upwards.  130/85, 135/85, 135/90.
I started feeling shorter of breath and blamed it on the baby pushing on my lungs.
I started sleeping elevated in the bed.  My body pillow wrapped around my side and three pillows under my head and back.
I started having more contractions.
I kept asking my doctor about all these things and he said, "oh, it's all normal, the baby is pushing on you, you're getting closer to delivery, no big deal."
I started having headaches at 30 weeks.  No visual disturbances yet, but headaches that would almost make me cry.
My feet and legs were continuously swollen now, my face was swelling, my BP was going up, but I wasn't having protein in my urine yet.  I was always at 0 or +1 during my pee tests.
At 35 weeks I was taken off any modified rest/relaxation plan.  Now it was time to regain my life, get moving again and get ready for the birth of this baby.
(Interesting aside,  my original due date was January 20, 2002, but it was adjusted to December 25, 2001 at the 20 week ultrasound.)
At 35 weeks, 1 day I made eggplant parmesan for my good friend Frank who came to visit with me and C.  We had a great time.
At 35 weeks, 2 days at 6 am, my water broke.
We went to the hospital, Kaiser Vallejo.  They confirmed it was amniotic fluid and not just me pissing myself. 
And so begins the delivery tale:


Becky said...

Edge of my seat! I don't think I've ever heard/read your birth story.

Rachel said...

Very interesting... There is so much that I don't know about your family.

Picara said...

I'm working on the rest, so it'll be up soon hopefully.