One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Doesn’t it always seem like for each step forward, you end up taking two steps back? No? Just me? Ah, well. Given the solar eclipse happening + the fact that I seem to attract drama where’re I go (see: blizzard wedding), I guess I can’t really be all that surprised.

Since my last missive, I’ve successfully managed to negate all the previous good news regarding my high blood pressure diagnosis. Woo-hooooooo. Despite my sonogram + checkups last week indicating that the blood pressure medication and modified bedrest was working, they seem to have hit a bit of a wall. My blood pressure is climbing again, and I’ve also had a few incidents of vomiting and upper righthand quadrant pain, both of which are potentially bad signs.

The good news? Baby Foxlet herself is still doing great. She certainly seems like a content little high-blood-pressure-inducing monster, happily bumpin’ and dancin’ around in my belly while mama over here gets to suffer continual needle-pricks, cold ultrasound jelly, and peeing into ALL OF THE CUPS.

The not-so-good news comes from the fact that my blood pressure was unfortunately reading high again this weekend (getting back into the 140/90+ range), so I called my OB Sunday night and they advised me to come in the following day (my next regular appointment was scheduled for this upcoming Thursday.) Alas, it also read high at the office, so my doctor sent me back over to the hospital for to get my labs checked again, as well as do some continuous monitoring. Though not before recommending we officially schedule my induction for next Wednesday — 37 weeks on the dot — as things are clearly getting worse and not better for me.

I was really hoping to make it closer to 38 weeks or beyond (I mean, really I was hoping to magically have my blood pressure issues resolve and not need to be induced at all! Ha!) but I trust my doctors and know that they ultimately just want to do what’s best for both me and this little nugget. And 37 weeks is “full term,” by many doctor’s standards, or at least “early term” by the rest, which means that her odds of being practically perfect and ready to go (aka hopefully needing no NICU time) are quite high. ::crosses fingers::

However, there is still the possibility that, should my blood pressure spike up too high (160/100 is now the danger line, she said) or should I develop any of the additional signs of preeclampsia (vision changes, protein in my urine, acute headaches, additional vomiting, etc) I might need to be induced even sooner than that.

So in order to help combat any potential issues with her respiratory system that might come from prematurity, I also received a steroid shot that should help speed her lung development in the event she isn’t quiiiiite done cookin’ by the time she makes her way into this here world. And I actually have to go back to the hospital later today to get a second shot (it’s done as a series of two shots, 24 hours apart), and I’ll also get my BP, vitals, and her vitals monitored again for a bit. Le sigh.

And then it’s back to the doctor’s office on Wednesday or Thursday for another BP check and to drop off the 24-hour urine collection they’re having me do…. which is, yes, exactly what it sounds like. -_- Soooo yeah, I basically live at the doctor’s office / hospital now. It’s not so bad, really, I just wish they were schnauzer-friendly.

In the meantime, I’m still on bedrest which provides this not-super-awesome Catch-22 with the sciatic pain that I’ve been experiencing in my back. See, the sciatica definitely feels better when I’m able to move around and not sit or lie in one position for too long. But my blood pressure definitely goes down when I do lie around. Womp womppppp.

Anyway, not to end things on a down note — obviously I’m more than willing to do any and all the things I need to do to continue to ensure that both Foxlet and I make it to the end of this thing. It’s just kind of crazy to think that the end is officially like, uh, next week now. Unfggghghhghh just typing that makes it seem soooooooo real and sooooooo soon. WE NEED TO PICK A NAAAAAAAAME.

I’ll update you guys again once I have the latest and greatest updates from the rest of this week’s hospital/doctor’s visits, and just keep sending positive thoughts and unicorn dust our way! You know, so that we can hopefully make it these final 8-9 days without, I dunno, my blood vessels exploding or me having a stroke or whatever it is that happens when your blood pressure gets too high.


  1. Lynsays:

    Thinking about you and praying that your pressure is relieved.

  2. Hey there! I hope everything goes well for you. Hope I’m not overstepping but I’d recommend checking out the Preeclampsia Foundation website for resources and info especially about HELLP syndrome. Maybe this is all old news to you but wanted to pass along the info. Glad baby Foxlet is OK. Names are hard. Only our first was easy and it took forever to come up with names for the other three. My second I named after he was born!

    • Definitely not overstepping – I have been voraciously devouring all info I can find about pre-e and HELLP online lol, so I have stumbled upon their site already, but always appreciate being told about resources and things to look out for! HELLP is super scary so I definitely am trying to stay in tune with my body and watch for signs.

  3. Lisasays:

    I am sure you are scared and rightfully so but I can’t help but feel like I also want to shake some perspective into you (in a friendly way I promise)! You are almost to 36 weeks. My lo came at 29 weeks. Many other babies in the nicu with us came at 24, 25, even one was a 23 weeker! Your lo will be totally fine, especially with steroid shots. And some full term babies have to go to the nicu. We have no control over what happens, and it is only going to get worse from here. I suggest you get some mental health counseling to deal with all of this. Being a mom is here 1000 times harder than being pregnant. This isn’t meant to be mean or hurtful. I am in therapy now to help with my anxiety. I hope you and your sweet girl are healthy and safe from here on out!

    • I appreciate the perspective check always – my anxiety has definitely increased with my pregnancy in general and I can only imagine how much more intensely I’ll feel things once she’s actually out in the world haha.

      I really am fully aware and have mentioned before that I know things could be very different and much worse. I think it’s just been tough feeling like things have/are continuing to escalate so quickly after so many weeks of complete and total normalcy. You know, just how everything was 100% fine! until it just… wasn’t anymore. So wrapping my head around that has been somewhat challenging and I definitely know I’m fixating on thing unnecessarily like my whole fear about NICU time and everything. Doesn’t stop me from thinking it, but at least I know when I’m being ridiculous most of the time, eh? Ahaha.

      I’ll say this at least — everyone who told me from the beginning that you can plan all you want but kiddos are gonna do whatever they wanna do are certainly going to have the right to tell me “I told you so!”

  4. Christinesays:

    I had the same exact experience with my first pregnancy, even with the 24 hour pee collection! They induced at 37 weeks (on the dot!) and my son was just fine (6 lbs 13 oz and did fine on the apgar). The birth went smoothly, even my water broke on its own. With my second, the blood pressure came at 34 weeks like with the first one, but we were able to manage it, and I had my daughter at 40 weeks. Hang in there.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Christine! It does help to know that others have gone through the same exact thing — although obviously I’m not happy that you’ve had to deal with these issues as well, misery still loves company! Ahahaha

  5. Roxannesays:

    Gretchen, You have been on my mind so often! I’m sorry you are struggling with these issues…and thankful for modern medical technology! Praying for you and baby (and Sean) that all goes well. Love you! Roxanne

  6. Lori Renner Larssonsays:

    Maybe if you tell her her name, she’ll leave your blood pressure alone and stop standing on your sciatic nerve. 😉 Thinking of you and sending love.

    • Lol, well amazingly today the sciatica is not as bad so maybe she is appeased by the fact that I think I’ve at least got it down to a Top 5?! Ahahahahahaa

  7. Shannonsays:

    Going to echo Lori’s comment about speaking to her now, using her name. I had Pilot at 36 weeks (super tough pregnancy) and I remember one especially sad cab ride home from the hospital, just a week before he came. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted…and an unhealthy level of fear sat on top of that head mess. We had not decided on a name yet, but had options. I was in the cab and just looked down at my belly, rubbed it and spoke to him….using what would become his name. After everything “we” had been through together, I just needed to hear myself say his name so that we could, together, find the strength to get through the rest. For me, there was power in knowing him that much more…and I had instant peace. Not saying that has to be your course, but it felt like the one thing I could control in a circus of doubt and fear that had nearly silenced me.

    Sending you strength and calm.

    • Thank you SO much Shannon. 🙂 I took your advice yesterday and tried talking to her using a couple of the names at the top of my list, and while it hasn’t resulted in a 100% definitive name choice, I agree that it did instill a really nice sense of calm in me. Like, I dunno, just affirming that she’s real, she’s in there, and she’s gonna be here soon… and that we really are in this together!

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