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Thursday, October 2

Things Are Getting Positively Stagnant Around Here

Boy-oh-boy… if you thought things were getting lame around the Kimono household, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

So last week, I presented myself to the good folks at Yokosuka Naval Hospital’s Labor and Delivery. At the end of the appointment, the doctor indicated that I was being upped to weekly appointments… “to keep an eye on things.” I balked. I mean, with seven weeks to go at that point, it just seemed a little absurd. But I am not one to disregard orders. Usually. *ahem*

Keeping with the program, I returned for my appointment yesterday. This time, the Kimono commander joined me to make sure that I spilled all the beans and not just the finer points I felt were worthwhile for sharing.

As you are probably guessing, things didn’t go well. With six weeks left to go, I have not been put on bed rest, per say, but I have been seriously restricted in activities. After checking my protein and sugar levels, multiple blood pressure checks (done manually after the absurdly high numbers they were initially getting from the machine), being hooked up to the fetal monitor to check the baby’s heart rate and fetal movements, and even an impromptu ultrasound (the baby is about 4 pounds 11 ounces right now!)… it has been deemed that I am pretty much on my way to preeclampsia. As the doctor put it, you don’t have it yet, but you will likely have it soon and definitely before you make it across the finish line. These were truly not the encouraging words I was expecting to hear.

I asked if I had done something wrong that caused this. Thankfully, that isn’t the case. It seems that it affects 5-8% of all pregnancies and they don’t really know for sure why it happens. It could be that I had some undiagnosed problems with my blood pressure before the pregnancy that are exacerbated with the strain that pregnancy puts on a woman’s body. And then it could be something else entirely.

So what is it exactly? Well… high blood pressures, sudden weight gain, changes in vision, headaches, swelling… pretty much all of which I have. According to the Preeclampsia Foundation website, it is “a rapidly progressive condition” that affects both myself and my poor bambino. While I am staying relatively calm about all of this because the doctor is being so watchful, reading statements like this off that website do establish frequent freak-out lapses: “Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.” I do hope those statistics include third world countries where the care is lacking more than in civilized societies. The Mayo Clinic website has a lot of information on this too, with many of the same comments. On both, words like “seizures,” “brain, liver and kidney damage” and “placental abruption” are going to stick with me until the end.

What can be done about it? Well, since I technically don’t have it yet, I am remaining on the excessively monitored list. I know have to drive my cookies in to the hospital biweekly for checks. And… small bonus… I get another ultrasound next week to continue monitoring the critter closely and make sure he is not being adversely affected by momma’s problems. If, or I should probably say when, my symptoms continue to impede the path to improvement, I will have to go on some sort of medication to bring it down. The whole medicine thing, well, I have felt really bad about it. I really did want to do this pregnancy as drug free as possible and yet I am constantly encouraged to take this or that to get things back in order. It pains me because I fear that something will adversely affect my precious little boy. Then, if I don’t do something, that could hurt him just as well. Ugh.

There is one more thing I have to do. And that is just stay the hell at home. Anyone who knows me well, know that this ‘sit still’ thing has never been my strong point. I’m an antsy kinda gal! I like to move it, move it! My specific instructions rule out not only any more substituting, but also even trips to the grocery store, mall or any other shopping facility. That’s too long for me to be on my feet apparently. My longest walks are to be from upstairs to downstairs or from the car to the door of a restaurant. Before we even left the hospital, Kimono Hubby had snatched the grocery list out of my hands to do it himself tonight. God help us… you never know what he will interpret from my list and bring home with him.

Don’t get me wrong… I will do anything to deliver this baby healthily into the world, which will keep me following the doctor’s orders. But it does pain me that it has come to this. That’s six weeks of pretty much only going to the doctor’s and lying around the house.

So, if you thought I was really letting my lameness show in my lack of fun outings lately, it is about to get worse around here. I hope you will stick with me! I swear I will get back out and about in Japan… in, oh, say six weeks… plus a few more for recovery time on the opposite end.

So much for having a to-date textbook pregnancy.


Anonymous said...

Hang in there, you're almost there and you and Ethan will be absolutely fine!!

Anonymous said...

Hey you,

You're such a trooper. My sister had preeclampsia when pregnant with my little nephew and my mom had it with me. ugh. I think Kimono hubby needs to head to the nearest video store and find you some awesome dvds. You could also do what I have been doing while I've been stuck at home...browse the anthropologie web site and pretend you could buy all of the pretty clothes and housewares! :) Thinking of you...

Lisa said...

You're doing a great job with this and with keeping a level head about it all. (Stay off those "informative" website though. They'll only drive you insane with worry. And it's crazy what we Mom's worry about when we suddenly have another LIFE to think about.)

So try to look at this as good news, or helpful news at least. You can't fully appreciate it now but after Ethan is here, you'll look back and be grateful for the opportunity to relax and focus only on yourself.

As for KH handling the shopping, etc, yeah that's a good thing too. This gives him plenty of time to get in the groove of handling the things that you normally do. Because again, after Ethan is here, you'll need all the help that you can get from him and at that point you won't have to worry about whether or not KH is buying the right produce or not. It also gives you a jump start on learning to deal with the fact that KH won't do everything exactly like you would, but that's OK! If things get accomplished at the end, then that is all that matters.

So hang in there! Even if things aren't going as you had planned, it will feel perfect later on.

Anonymous said...

I had my baby at the yokosuka naval hospital, back in 1992. Just listen to the doctors and everything will be all right!

Lulu said...

Oh you poor thing. I hope all goes well and that the extra rest will assure you a healthy, quick birth.

Thinking of you.

Ginny said...

Get some good books and dvd's and enjoy the downtime! You will be busy again very soon!

Anonymous said...

Not much fun, but my mum and I survived it - and that was in England in the early 60s! So the omens are good - relax and enjoy being pampered!

Good luck,

Kimono Karen said...

Thanks for all the positive thoughts here and in my email inbox, all! I'm hanging in there just fine. There should be more news after today, so I'm just chillin' until that time. And it has been kind of nice to let people take care of me for once. I guess I shouldn't get too used to it though. :)

Amy said...

Hang in there! Tell KH he better spoil you rotten for the next few weeks :) We can't wait to meet of baby Ethan!

My Bambino said...

Great Post.....

I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

Thanks for sharing....