I’ve been seeing the midwife every week for the past few weeks so they can keep an eye on my swollen ankles and slightly raised blood pressure. It’s great that they are so attentive, but it does stress me out a bit.
At my 36 week appointment, Carol, my regular MW, found a trace of protein in my urine, which only served to make her more worried. Swelling (especially if it is sudden), high blood pressure, and proteins in urine are all signs of pre-eclampsia (along with headaches, visual disturbances and pain in your abdomen), which can lead to eclampsia, or seizures, that can be fatal to mother and baby.
I’m at a higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia because my BMI has gone over 35, and because my mom had it. She ended up being hospitalised and induced because of it when she was pregnant with me, but that was at 41 weeks and three days. I’m trying not to let it stress me out but it’s difficult, especially because it has Luke worried and because the health of our baby is at risk.
Last week (week 37) I saw Carol again and got a clear result from my sample, so I felt much more relaxed about going along to another appointment yesterday with Barbera, the head of the community midwives. I was so relaxed, in fact, that I forgot to take a sample entirely. Idiot.
I did one when I got to the clinic but, because I’d not drunk much during the night (or yesterday morning) I ended up doing a very small, very concentrated pee that showed + protein. It was only one plus (four is the highest) and it could very well have been an error because I was so dehydrated but, coupled with my puffy ankles and legs, Barbara had cause for concern. My blood pressure was fine, and I tried to reassure her that my swelling wasn’t sudden, and that I have been much more swollen than I was yesterday, but she wasn’t having any of it. After talking with the midwives at the hospital she booked me in to the hospital this lunchtime for blood tests, more urine tests and possible monitoring.
When it came to listening to the baby’s heartbeat, Barbara also commented that I seemed to have swelling and water retention under my bump too. I had noticed that it was feeling a bit bruised under there – which is exactly how my feet feel – but I hadn’t associated it with water retention…I thought it was just saggy belly fat. So it looks like I’ve swollen all over, not just in my legs, hands, and face.
I’m hoping that after drinking a buttload of water (and raspberry leaf tea) I will have normal urine results back this afternoon. The blood tests should help to get a more accurate picture too.
I’m just hoping that they won’t want me to stay in overnight or anything. If they say I need an induction (which I really don’t want) then I’m going to ask if I can have it done at Worcester hospital. I’m pretty sure that I have the right to choose where I go into labour, even if I am being induced.
…edit:…as predicted, after lots of sleep and lots to drink I had 0 protein in my urine (gosh, i hate the word urine)…and despite having an incredibly stressful morning my blood pressure was the lowest it’s been in weeks! Huzzah!
The lovely midwife there said that all my swelling was normal and that it was common to put more weight/swelling on on your dominant side, so no more worrying about my big fat right leg either.
I got sent home with a warning to call delivery suite if I had pain below my ribcage or a headache that wouldn’t go away with paracetamol. I was also told to drink more water…
I don’t think I could be more pleased right now!…