Friday, December 20, 2013

Pregnancy Complications and the Current State of Things (+ Wild Eyes Giveaway Winners)

 Pregnancy Complications and the Current State of Things

I'm going to try to keep this reasonably short, but I wanted to take a few minutes to update my blog readers as to what's going on around these parts.  There are a lot of unknowns happening right now, including whether I'll be delivering the baby sooner than planned (which obviously will affect the blog and my posting schedule).  I have some great guest bloggers lined up for my 'maternity leave' after our daughter arrives, but I was expecting a couple more weeks before that would be necessary.  Right now, there is a lot up in the air.  

On Tuesday morning, I went in for my routine weekly OB appointment and my blood pressure was dangerously high - out of nowhere.  My ankles, feet, and hands were also very swollen, and I had some pain on my right side.  I was told that I was being immediately sent to the hospital for more intense monitoring and testing as these were all symptoms of Preeclampsia - a very serious pregnancy complication that if left untreated, can be fatal for the baby, the mother, or both.  I was also told that I should probably contact my husband (who was in Mexico for work until the following night) and tell him to get on the soonest flight back, as there was a good chance that I would be induced that night.

I was terrified.  Thankfully my mom was able to leave work and drive out to be at the hospital with me since Robbie was out of the country. I won't get into the details, but after about six hours of being hooked up to various monitors, my initial lab results came back to show that it didn't look like I had Preeclampsia.  (THANK GOODNESS.)  I was, however, diagnosed with Gestational Hypertension (also serious, though less so) and sent home on strict bed rest.  (Basically, I was instructed that I could get up to go the bathroom - nothing more).  I also had to do a 24-hour urine collection (sorry if that's TMI) to double check for protein since they couldn't completely rule out Preeclampsia until further testing was done.  And I was told that regardless, I will be induced at some point before my due date.  Robbie was able to get on a flight back and arrived home Tuesday night.  I'm pretty sure I cried for a good half hour when I saw him.  I have never been so relieved.

Yesterday, I had to go back for a follow-up.  There was no protein in the urine tests (yaaay!), but my blood pressure was even higher than the day before (boooo!).  So I have to go back today to have it tested again, along with more blood work (one of my liver values is elevated) and another nonstress test to make sure baby is still okay.  I will continue to go in daily, and if any of the lab work is off or my blood pressure continues to rise, we will schedule the induction.

I know a lot of people who have experienced complications at the end of their pregnancies, and everything usually works out perfectly fine.  But I will be honest and tell you guys that I am a hundred times more scared of labor and delivery now than I was a few days ago.  I was really at peace with the experience before - even looking forward to it.  Now I have anxiety bordering on panic.  I wake up several times a night shaking and sweating. I know that this isn't good for the baby.  I know that fear is not a productive emotion.  I get all that.  It's not something I can help though.  I'm doing my best to remain calm, and my best is all I can do. No one's birth plans ever go exactly the way they think they will, and I never expected things to be even close to how I imagined them in my head.  (The top of my birth plan even states that I am fully aware of and open to the possibility of things not working out as planned.)  But I feel a tiny bit traumatized by the whole incident of being rushed to the hospital the other day with the chance of induction without my husband in the country, and now that there are complications that could turn worse at any moment, I'm a little freaked out.  Being forced to lie on the couch all day on bed rest is also the perfect setting for over-thinking and obsessing, FYI.

All fears aside, I am so, so grateful that things aren't as bad as they could be, and that Robbie is home now and will be here for the birth of his daughter.  And although having to suddenly shut down my Etsy shop way ahead of when I'd planned, put my employee in charge of everything with the clothing line, and rearrange my blog schedule has all left me frazzled, I am making as much of an effort as possible to relax.  This is one of those life lessons where you have to somehow find the strength to relinquish control and accept things as they are.  I didn't get everything done (or even close) that needs to be done before baby is born.  I didn't finish my Christmas shopping.  My house is in shambles and we have guests staying here in a few days.  I don't like the way it feels for so much to be left undone, but that's just the way it has to be.  And all that really matters is getting our little bean here safe and sound.  Everything else will have to wait.

If any of you who have been pregnant have experienced any kind of end-of-pregnancy complications and feel comfortable sharing, I'd love to hear.  I could especially use stories with positive outcomes to put my mind at ease!

P.S. And on a totally different topic, the winners of the Wild Eyes Giveaway (as chosen by are:

Congratulations!  Please contact me at bubbyandbean(at) so we can discuss getting you your prizes.  And if you haven't yet, be sure to enter the Viesso Giveaway for the chance to win a gorgeous handmade flow jug (worth $85!).

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  1. I wont get too specific, but My wife had a whole slew of complications with our first, and also found herself on strict bed rest too. I remember quite well how hard it was for her to stay calm, and relax (which is what the doc wanted) but eventually she was able to. Just STAY OFF WEBMD!!! In February, Ashton will be 10. Despite all the craziness, and even a week in the NICU, everything turned out just fine. Glad Robbie was able to get back! We will keep you in our prayers for a smooth birth, and a healthy happy baby. :)

    1. Hello! this is Heather, Mitchell's (J.Crabbit's wife)....He is right that our first pregnancy was scary, but we made it! We have even chosen to go through the whole process 2 more times. We would both tell you that our 3 boys are 210% worth every worry, unexpected moment, and unknown moment we have had. Best wishes to you and your sweet girl! xoxo

  2. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Melissa.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about the complications you're facing. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way and hope you feel comfort soon.

  4. Praying that everything goes okay! I'm sure it will all be fine... deep breath, and know that even though our bodies can act up sometimes, you are in good hands with knowledgeable doctors and family support :) Hang in there!

  5. Thinking of you Melissa! I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time right now. Focus on you and don't worry about the shop or blog, we'll all still be here when you return. :) *hugs*

  6. Oh my goodness! Sending many thoughts for a safe and healthy delivery! I'm glad Robbie got home and will be there when your little girl decides to make her appearance. As hard as I'm sure it is, stay on that couch and follow the doctor's orders!

  7. Melissa,
    First of all, I want to say that you're doing a GREAT job! Hang in there. Fear is not always a bad thing. I'd probably worry if you weren't scared. It's OK to be scared and anxious, especially with the complications. Just don't let the fear overcome you. Remember: You are stronger than your fears.
    I'm so glad that your mom was able to drive there to be with you, and I'm glad that Robbie's home and by your side now. Even if you have to welcome baby girl a little sooner than expected, she will come when she's ready. Thoughts & prayers are with you, sweetie!!!

  8. sending good vibes your way! I know how stressful it can be, hang in there girl everything will be fine :)

  9. I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time right now, but it sounds like your doctor is doing a good job monitoring you. A couple weeks before my due date I went in for a check-up and ended up having a c-section THAT day….surprise! But everything turned out great. Hang in there and stay positive. I'd say don't worry but you're a mom (already) so that just comes with the territory…just feel the worry and let it go. Love and light to you.

  10. Hi Melissa, I am a long time lurker but just had to comment on this. At the end of Feb I went to my 34 week check up and ended up being admitted with what was originally suspected to be pre-eclampsia but turned out to be gestational hypertension. In the 10 days since my last check up I had gained about 9lbs and because I had consistently lost weight in my pregnancy it was all water and swelling. My partner left work immediately as I was in the hospital hysterical and there was a question of induction immediately. When all my tests came back clear for protein and that baby and the placenta was okay things began to calm down. I was kept in hospital for a week and started medication for my BP. I was discharged on bed rest and had to go to the hospital twice a week. At home I was monitoring my own BP 4 times a day and my urine too (I am a nurse so they were happy to let me do this). From 39 weeks, I was in the hospital every morning for a CTG and my doctors were happy to let me go to 10 days over before discussing induction.

    The night after my due date I became really unwell and my BP spiked. I was having headaches that were coming out through my eyes and pains in my right side. It began about 10pm and it was a Sunday night and as I was in the hospital at 8 the following morning I went to bed. When I went for the CTG I told them about the previous night, they checked my BP and admitted me for induction. I was in labour for 12 hours and my little man arrived safe and sound and I was fine too. I was on medication for 6 weeks after the birth as it takes that long for the BP to return to normal. My little man is 8 months old now and both of us are completely fine.

    I know how frightened you are now, as I was too, but hopefully the bed rest will help you and baby get another few weeks before birth. I found it really difficult to stay in bed but after a few days of checking my BP every time I moved I realised how high it was getting so I began to rest more. I read a lot of books in those 5 weeks.

    I hope everything turns out okay for you xxx

  11. My son turned breech *a month* before he was due. I was planning on a home birth and my midwives asked how I felt about having a breech home delivery. I naively said "fine" and they looked very uncomfortable. I was very set on having my baby at home. Once I learned more about breech natural births, I realized it was very important to try to correct this problem. After many upside down evenings (imagine an inversion board of sorts) and one miraculous acupuncture appointment (he turned back into the correct position after that appointment), we had a successful natural home birth. In conversation with the acupuncturist, he suggested that it is pretty natural for a baby to turn breech when it senses a lot of anxiety from the mother. I can even recall the moment when I think he turned breech. So I believe if you keep a strong mind and stay determined you can overcome perceived complications.

    Also, keep in mind that conventional doctors are hyper-sensitive. Even if they reveal news in a very urgent, this-is-an-emergency, pressing manner... you do have time to digest it all and make your own decisions. Successful births have obviously been happening for a very long time, before we had every tool under the sun to micro-analyze every single change, so keep in mind that your body is designed to birth a baby (even with complications).

    With complications aside, two weeks before the due date the "how am I going to manage labor and birth" really set in. And at that moment I decided I was going to meditate through my labor. I know meditation is different for different people. For me, that turned into picking a focal point and not wavering. So I literally stared at a knot of wood in our bed frame for most of my labor. Any time, any thoughts of uncomfortableness tried to creep in, I went back to the knot of wood. Doing that made a huge difference for me, especially considering that I was in labor for a very long time. Toward the very end, things changed, as I was moving around more. But with my husband as my rock we made it through the entire birth at home.

    That's really only a fraction of my birth story but I hope it helps you or one of your readers! You're doing a great job and just remember you have everything you need to successfully bring this baby into this world. :)

  12. Oh my gosh how scary!!!! You are strong and you can do it!

  13. What a scare! Praying for a safe delivery for you and your precious Baby Bean.
    All the rest is small stuff. Really. In the big scheme of things -- small stuff. Hugs.

  14. Keeping you, baby, and your husband in my thoughts and prayers! I don't have any kids yet but I have so much admiration for anyone who goes through childbirth, especially with complications. You are going to do great. =)

  15. I just had my daughter 10 weeks ago, and went through this exact thing including being admitted for blood pressure monitoring at the hospital one day following a regular check up at my ob. I also had to do the 24 hour urine collection twice. It was very stressful at the time. It was important to me to make it to at least 37 weeks. I was induced in my 39th week. Besides a VERY long labor that turned into a c-section, there were no further complications from the high blood pressure I had at the end of my pregnancy. My daughter was fine, and my blood pressure went back to normal immediately. Try to stay calm. Your doctor and the nurses will take good care of you!

  16. Thank you all so much for your comments (and all of the emails you sent as well - I will do my best to respond). I ended up back in the hospital for more tests today. At first I was told we'd induce Sunday. Now we're waiting. I'll keep you all updated. Thank you again for sharing your stories and for your kind words! xo, Melissa

  17. Sending many positive thoughts your way. I hope everything turns out fine and you and the baby are safe. Don't worry!

  18. Many hugs and well wishes coming your way! I didn't have blood pressure problems, but went into pre-term labor with my second at 27 weeks. I was going through an exceptionally stressful time in my life - we were suddenly and very unexpectedly homeless after our apartment was discovered to be infested with black mold. The owners played down and dirty and tried to cover it up...when we called them out on it, they threw us out. I was 6 months pregnant at the time, and my anxiety went through the roof, which probably lead to my labor starting so early. They were able to get the contractions under control, but I remember being so worried and anxious all the time. I was put on a bed rest regime similar to yours, and it was almost like lying there in bed with nothing to do, just kept me focusing on all of our issues. It's such a catch 22. I would suggest trying to keep occupied with something you can enjoy doing from bed - sometime kinda mindless and "easy" that you can sort of lose yourself in. My mind runs wild when left to its own devices sometimes and that just compounds my worrying. I hope that everything will go smoothly for you and that your test results come back good each day. Hang in there, mama! You've got this. :)

    Lots of love,
    Jessica @

  19. I had high blood pressure in my last few weeks too and I also had to do the monitoring and pee collection and bed rest. It sucked! Childbirth was almost a breeze in comparison. You will do great. I had an induction at 38.5 weeks and all went well.

  20. I totally understand how freaked out you must be. That is a lot to handle, especially when it all comes at you at once like that. I am currently 30 weeks, and recently had to go straight to the hospital after my blood pressure was extremely high. I went through the same tests as you did and fortunately everything came back negative for Preeclampsia. I am now being monitored very closely, and I'm sure bead rest is in the near future for me. What keeps me positive is knowing that my little guy is very healthy and he will soon be with us. This is my first pregnancy (like you) and I am trying to not let these things bring me down. It sounds like you have a great support system with you - I'm sure everything will turn out great!

  21. hey lady-i won't go into the details of our bug's birth-but needless to say, our 70 year old midwife told us on a scale of 1-10, my pregnancy was a 9. Her birth didnt go as planned either, but in the end, (in regards to labor and delivery) its only 1 day of your life. 1 day. somehow that mantra and meditation got me through. And even with all the issues with our pregnancy & birth, it wasn't really that bad! Even a c-section recovery was easier than a dental extraction a year prior. No matter what happens during the process of birth, you get a beautiful baby out of the deal! As impossible as it may seem, staying positive, and relaxed these final days are key. Quiet your mind and spirit and all will be as it should be. She will come when she is supposed to-you are blessed with Robbie and all your family so close by. Ask for the help you need with life's details. This is a momentous time! xoxoxox

  22. I was happy to see that you had a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I had end-of-pregnancy drama myself. My water broke 3 days before my due date and it was obvious that Maddie had passed meconium. My water broke at 8:30pm on Tuesday, and I went to the hospital at 5:30am on Weds. My contractions got slower, so I was put on Pitocin (ouch). I tried for a med-free labor, but after about 22 hours I needed pain killers. I slept from about 8pm to 11pm on Weds, then pushed from 11pm to 2am on Thurs, and after 30 hours of labor Maddie was born. She didn't cry and was immediately rushed to the lung specialists. She had inhaled a tiny piece of meconium and it caused her lung to collapse. She was blue and took tiny gasps of air. They rushed her into the NICU and she got a chest tube to inflate her lung. She was there for three days, and now she's 2 and fully healthy. Have fun with your new love! she is beautiful.


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