My goal for this blog is to be honest and real, so this is part of my story.
I love being pregnant! I realize that not all mothers share that same feeling, but I loved it. The joy of knowing my daughter was growing and thriving because of me filled my heart. Every kick, every hiccup, every time we heard her heartbeat brought an overwhelming emotion that is indescribable!
We moved towns and switched providers just before my third trimester. At my final appointment before moving my provider told me to be aware and keep an eye on my blood pressure because it was slightly elevated the first reading we took and normal with the second reading. This was the first time I heard the word "preeclampsia" as she cautioned my first reading was "pre-preeclamptic," a label that I refused to wear for fear of interventions where they may not truly be needed. (My birth plan highlighted as few interventions as necessary *so long as baby and I were both safe* more on this at a later date).
The first time we met our new midwife I was 34 weeks pregnant and to say the least, we were thrilled! She was exactly who we prayed would be on our birth team. Her calm and loving demeanor made me melt with trust and thankfulness that she would be caring for our baby girl and me. I shared our previous providers concern with my blood pressure and she reassured me that it was well within normal (110/72) and we would continue keeping an eye, but she had no concerns. We left feeling confident about my wellness and the upcoming birth of our daughter.
Fast forward to December 27, 2017 - my 37 week appointment with our midwife. The 4 days leading up to my appointment I had felt pressure waves and a few other signs of my birthing time approaching, so we were excited to hear what she would think! The nurse that took us back to the room took my vitals and noted my blood pressure was elevated higher than the was comfortable with, a commonality when it was taken at the beginning of my appointment, so we decided to have my midwife take it at the end and didn't think twice about it.
Our midwife shared in our excitement that our daughter was getting ready to make her appearance and validated all the things I had been experiencing. We talked through how we could get a hold of her during my birthing time and the room was joy and excitement.
*Bubble of peace* (Not sure what this is, learn more here)
Then came the time for her to take my blood pressure, her face was blank as she looked at the numbers, this time it was higher than when the nurse took it at the start of my appointment. She told me to take 10 minutes, sit, and be at peace - a nurse would come back to take it a third time. I turned on my hypnobabies tracks and visualized my safe special place and felt fully at peace. I remained in the eye-opened hypnosis state as the nurse took my blood pressure for a third time that day...the reading was the highest yet. My heart sank, I knew that we were about to have a not so fun conversation with our midwife about what this meant.
The nurse left the room and our midwife walked in with a sad look on her face and asked "Honey, have you heard of preeclampsia?"
Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and usually the presence of protein in the urine. (Source) The only symptom that my body was showing was high blood pressure. It escalated suddenly between my 36 and 37 week appointments with my midwife, I was blessed that we caught it before it affected my organs or I had any further complications. Jumping to the end of the story, our daughter was born that day, healthy and oh so wonderful, and I was safe.
*End bubble of peace*
I'm proud of my birthing story, even with the change of plans that we had. My daughter and I were both healthy and safe thanks to our wonderful birthing team.
The month of May is preeclampsia awareness month, something I would have over looked every year before this one. I share part of my story with you to spread awareness and bring light the symptoms to tuck in the back of your brain, during pregnancy and the initial postpartum period. Find a list of symptoms at this link. No matter your birthing story, I pray you find peace and joy within it, knowing it was exactly the birthing time for you.
(This post uses hypnobabies language. Learn more about hypnobabies on their website)