Thursday, November 10, 2005


Had my monthly checkup this morning. Heard Hoss' heartbeat, which was nice and strong; I'll be getting a "level 2" ultrasound in a couple of weeks (this is a special targeted ultrasound that I get to have because my aunt was born with hydrocephaly. Just means they look for specific markers to make sure the baby is developing normally.) So all that was fine and good.

But the rest of the appointment ...

For most of my life, I've had low-to-normal blood pressure. Even as I've struggled with weight issues, my blood pressure has typically stayed pretty low. However, about a month and a half into my first trimester, my blood pressure started creeping up. And it's only gotten worse in the intervening time. (Currently it's averaging about 150+/90+, as compared to "normal" 120/80.) There is a condition called gestational hypertension, where the increased bloodflow triggers high blood pressure. But that shows up in the second trimester, not the first. So as far as my doctors can figure out, what I have is regular ole hypertension that just happened to show up after I got knocked up. Cuz I'm lucky like that. Anyway, the fun part is that hypertension puts you at much greater risk for fun things like preeclampsia, where your body starts to reject the fetus and if you aren't careful you can die and stuff. So my doctors are understandably concerned about the blood pressure issue, and are trying to keep a very close eye on it. Part of this means that I "get" to go into the doctor's office more often than I would otherwise, which as an attention-grabbing Leo I don't mind too much. And I'll probably have more ultrasounds than most expectant moms as well, which isn't bad. But it also means I have to do really pain-in-the ass stuff like the 24-hour urine collection adventure that I'm currently engaged in.

24-hour urine collection, you say? Tell me more! Ok, ok. It works like this: the doctor's office sends you away with a big fat orange jug in which you have to collect every drop of pee you excrete for a 24 hour period. To aid in collection, they also give you this collection thingy that balances on the top of your toilet and looks like a combination between a bedpan and something they torture nursing home residents with. Plus you get a big white bag to cart it all around in. Then, every time you get the urge to go for the next 24 hours (which, when you're pregs, is A LOT) you gather up all the equipment, pee in the container, pour it in the jug, rinse out the container, and put the jug in the fridge to prevent bacteria buildup. You can just IMAGINE how much fun this was to do at work today. Not only did I look like a total freakazoid carting a huge white carrier bag into the bathroom with me every time I had to go, but ... um ... we only have communal refrigerators at work. And I'm *pretty sure* most of my coworkers would be a little, um, nonplussed to find a large vat of urine sitting next to their yogurts and ham sandwiches. But it had to be refrigerated - so I wrapped the jug in about three Target plastic bags, and hid it in the bottom compartment of the least-used fridge on my floor. Hopefully no one got curious.

The second crummy thing about the appointment was that I failed my initial glucose-screening test, which is the first way they test you for gestational diabetes. Which means that I get to spend approximately 1/2 my day off tomorrow engaged in a 4-hour marathon version of the same test. I'm "high-risk" for gestational diabetes (read: fat) so I'm not really looking forward to tomorrow. If I really do have it, it will mean some major dietary changes and maybe even insulin shots. Bleh. I think I could cope with either hypertension OR gestational diabetes, but can I please please not have to cope with both? Please? If any of y'all know any normal blood-sugar spells or incantations, feel free to say them on my behalf.

And the third crummy thing about the appointment was that I've lost 4 pounds since I last went in. You're not so much supposed to lose weight while you're pregnant, as you are supposed to, you know, gain it. Doctors = not so much happy with that. Most of it, I think, was because I was on a crummy new acid reducing medication that was making me sick. as. a. dog. I'm off it now, so hopefully I can start putting a few pounds on (and you have no idea how weird it feels to say that), but the upshot is that I felt like pretty much a total failure at this checkup.

At least Hoss is OK. I mean, that's what counts, right?