Belly Casts and Blood Pressure

Centering was on Wednesday this week. And the reason I didn’t write about it on Wednesday is because there was knitting afterwards. And I didn’t write about it on Thursday because I had to work late (more on that later). And I didn’t write about it on Friday because it was family dinner. And I didn’t write about it yesterday because I didn’t feel like it. No good excuse for yesterday.

So Centering… We made belly casts. It is pretty cool to be able to see what size your belly actually is. I have no clue what I’m going to actually do now that I have a belly cast. For the moment, it’s sitting on top of the bookcase in the nursery. And then we watched a video that I love: The Happiest Baby on the Block. I highly recommend this. I’m looking forward to his latest, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, as we’re approaching those years. Have a crying baby? These techniques work. We used them on my nieces. At times, they are absolute magic. And while we didn’t have enough time to watch the part about the fourth trimester, it was nice to have a refresher of the five S’s. (Get used to the concept of the fourth trimester because I’ll probably be bringing it up after the baby is born.)

The medical part of Centering, on the other hand… Let me take you back to four years ago. Four years ago September, we were working on our accreditation self-study and I went in for my annual. And you know what? My diastolic blood pressure was elevated. The nurse’s exact words were that it was “kind of high”. The midwife wasn’t terribly concerned when I told her that work was pretty stressful at the moment, and she also said that some people do show elevated blood pressure at the doctor’s office because it can be a stressful place to be. She suggested I check it at Meijer while I was doing my grocery shopping one day. (Right, ’cause that’s less stressful than the midwife’s office.) I opted, instead, to wait until the next time I was at a doctor’s office. I had never had high blood pressure before, so I knew it was because of the stress at work. No point in worrying over it. And you know what? I was right. The next time I was at the doctor, accreditation was taken care of, and my blood pressure was back to normal.

Well, my diastolic blood pressure was elevated at Centering this week. Just the diastolic. The systolic was high for me, but not high enough to be considered “elevated”. I had Andrea take it, and she got pretty much the same measurement. Lori looked closely at my ankles and fingers and checked my reflexes. I really should have remembered to explain that I have really wide feet, so even when my feet aren’t swollen, to the layperson, they may appear that way. And by layperson, I of course mean “person not familiar with the fact that I have short and wide feet”. And then summer comes along, and they do swell by the end of the day. Anyway, she didn’t see anything physical that screamed pre-eclampsia, and I haven’t had any headaches, so she had me schedule a BP check for Monday morning while I was scheduling an appointment with her for Thursday. (That would be the 12th, not the day after Centering.) And as Centering was winding down, she had Andrea take my BP again, but there was no change. So Lori wrote up a lab order from some blood work and urinalysis.

Fortunately, the main lab opens at 7, so I decided to go in before going to work on Thursday. And despite that fact that I was there by 6:45, there was still a line. Mostly octogenarians. I swear there were only four people of working age waiting. And we had to wait for the old people who weren’t trying to get their labs done before heading in to work. But I digress. My mom graciously came to hang out with me while I waited. And I wound up being only an hour later for work than I’d planned. (Yes, that does mean that I was there before 7 and didn’t get my blood drawn until almost 7:30. That would be why I got there before the lab opened. Imagine how much later it would have been otherwise!) And when I got to work, everyone was surprised to see me. They figured I wasn’t there because I had a baby. I said I was late because I had blood work. I ended the explanation with a loud “because someone is stressing me out!” for Dr Z’s benefit. He was the only person who didn’t laugh at that remark… At any rate, Lori called to say that my labs were fine, and she’d see me next week, unless, of course, I have a baby before then. She asked once more about headaches. (Well, yeah, now that you keep asking about them, I’m paranoid about every twinge I sense above my cervical vertebrae.)

And that’s why I had to stay late at work. I wanted to make up the time I’d spent at the lab. Plus I was almost done with our performance-in-practice files, and I wanted to get those finished before I left. And if I’d gone straight home, I might have written about everything from Wednesday and Thursday then. But I didn’t go straight home. I went to check out a daycare that’s fairly close to where I live. It seems like it will be a good fit, and the location definitely can’t be beat. They aren’t completely positive they’ll have room for me starting the middle of March when I will start needing full-time daycare, so I don’t know for certain yet. And I do still want to check out other options. Or more specifically, the YWCA. I know the Y would be more affordable, and I like the diversity it offers. I’m just not sure if single mother or middle class will win in their assessment of whether or not I really need the Y. Nicki tells me that her daughter is still on the wait list after two years. But Nicki is married, so that might be a factor that keeps moving her daughter down. But it was too much like work to deal with more than one daycare this week.

I was hoping to get a pedicure on Friday (thanks, Amber!), but there were no appointments available. I briefly had one scheduled for early Saturday afternoon, but the spa called back to say that the nail tech couldn’t be in that early, so how did I feel about the end of next week? I explained that I’m 39 weeks pregnant, so I really didn’t want to make any appointments that far in advance. But I have an awesome mommy. She cut my nails and repainted them for me yesterday. And, using my dad’s electric razor, she shaved my legs. I could wear a skirt to work tomorrow if I wanted to!

One thing about working up until you deliver is that everyone has a comment of some form. Mostly this week they were just “when’s your due date again?”, but several of the older women gave me a very concerned, uber-maternal “how are you feeling?” The former question got a response of the number of days left. The latter? Fine. I feel great, except for the morning sickness, and as long as I take my pills, even that’s not terrible. Sure, I’ve had some random contractions, but I really do feel fine.

But Wednesday, after everything with my blood pressure, I did look down at the bump and tell it that I really don’t care anymore. If it wanted to be born on Thursday, I was fine with that. Yes, I did want to get more of accreditation taken care of first, but whatever. It could wait until after I got back from maternity leave. If I remember correctly, the bump gave me a few friendly kicks in response. And since I’m still pregnant, it obviously opted to let me get more of accreditation taken care of instead of being born. I know I won’t ever be ready-ready, but whenever the bump decides to stop being the bump and start being a baby is fine by me.

Except for one thing. If we make it to work on Wednesday, then people will ask, “When’s your due date again?” And I’ll be able to say, “Yesterday.”

P.S. Opened the fridge this week and realized that my milk’s fresh date is my due date.

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