34+ weeks: Training to be a Sumo Wrestler

Pretty much.  I eat, sleep, and then eat some more.  I’m doing my best to pack on the pounds.  😉

The week has been a doozy in terms of doctor’s appointments:

Monday, October 14th

This was my regular, every 3 weeks appointment.  The plan was an ultrasound and then consultation with the doctor.

I look forward to ultrasounds like Christmas.  Ultrasounds allow me to know the babies are alive and healthy, see their faces and learn more about them (size, etc.) However, I have a really hard time lying flat on my back!  I get dizzy, nauseated, breathless, and sweaty.  I turn on my side repeatedly but the ultrasound tech will constantly motion for me to turn back.  By the time I get up, I’m seeing dark spots and have to hold on to the wall to make it out of the room…and I’m dripping in sweat.  Luckily, this one was quick.  Baby girl is head-down, engaged and will be born first.  Baby boy is breach.  Baby girl is estimated to be 2.3 kg (5lbs 1oz) and baby boy is estimated to be 2.6 kg (5lbs 11oz).

Baby boy’s profile is the top image. Looks like he has quite the pucker.
The next two images are part of baby girl’s face.

The reason I mention being “supine-challenged” is about ten minutes after the ultrasound, the nurse took my blood pressure and it was 157/90.  (Too high.)  The nurse said, “uh-oh, if we can’t get it down…then we’re going to have to tell the doctor.”  (This made me laugh, It felt like warning a child that naughty behavior would be reported to their parent.)

The nurse had me sit down, drink water, and breathe deeply and re-test later but it was still high.  My OB/GYN ordered a urine sample which showed protein so pre-eclampsia was mentioned.  Then he referred me to a cardiologist.  The cardiologist sent me home with an ambulatory blood pressure monitor that took readings every 20 minutes.

This is the ambulatory blood pressure monitor. I wasn’t allowed to remove it, even while sleeping.

Tuesday, October 15th

I  went back at the hospital to have my blood pressure monitor removed.  Most of my readings were fine but 5 or 6 were concerning.  The cardiologist did an echo-cardiogram (ultrasound) of my heart.  I have a large pericardial effusion. The pericardium is a sac around your heart and mine is filling with fluid.  This can occur during pregnancy but the volume of mine is abnormal.  It’s squishing my heart and not allowing it function properly.  (This was actually very validating because it explained why I get out-of-breath while doing things as minimal as walking to the kitchen.)   The cardiologist gave me medication, re-recommended bed rest and minimal exertion, and sent me straight to the ER for IV medication.  D came to visit us and brought us my favorite treat:  Orange Dream from Jamba Juice.

My constant companion waiting patiently in the ER.

Thursday, October 16th

Follow-up with the cardiologist.  I felt calm, good…great! I was sure my blood pressure would reflect my serenity with a reading like… 90/50.  The nurse took my blood pressure and it was 158/115.  C’mon!!!  Seriously?!! However, my edema had improved and the doctor thought my heart sounded better.  Anytime my blood pressure is above 140/90 I’m supposed to take a drug called Norvasc and lay on my left side for 2 hours.  If it doesn’t improve then I go to the ER.

Friday, October 17th

Follow-up with my OB/GYN.  Again, my blood pressure was too high (155/86).  I gave another urine sample (tmi) and this time there was no protein so pre-eclampsia was ruled out.  And since hypertension can be managed with medication, there will be no emergency c-section.  Instead, a scheduled c-section will take place between 37 weeks and 38 weeks.

The doctor said during the c-section I will need general anesthesia (as opposed to regional anesthesia where you are numb only from the waist down, but are awake and hear the babies’ first cries and see them seconds old.)   He is concerned that the stress of the c-section is risky with my blood pressure/heart issues and can be better managed with general anesthesia.  I understand.  Then he said “since it’s general anesthesia your husband won’t be in the operating room.”  (Background:  In Korea, husbands are not present for c-section births.  However, a main reason why we chose this hospital is that they make an exception for foreigners and allow husbands in the Operating Room.)

I begged the doctor and said it was SO IMPORTANT to us that D can be present. (We have a myriad of reasons.  Not only does D really want to be there; but I will go from pregnant to empty and will remember nothing.  I need my husband to tell me the story and be the witness their birth as my proxy.)  My sweet, cute doctor said, “Maybe your husband can come in once you are under but he would need to leave at the same time the babies do.”  Deal!!!  Big smile on my face.   (Note: Although D leaves at the same time, he will not be able to watch them in the nursery.  In Korea, husbands are not allowed in the baby nursery.  It’s considered improper.)

Saturday, October 18th

D and the kids got flu shots.  I am SO PROUD of Kimchi and Tofu that they willingly got shots to protect their baby brother and sister.


9 thoughts on “34+ weeks: Training to be a Sumo Wrestler

  1. I can’t believe all you’re going through and it’s amazing how positive you are. You’re such an example to me. We pray for you and the babies every night. I know you three will make it through this and be strong and healthy in the end!

    • Thanks EC! Honestly, none of these things cause discomfort/pain so it’s much easier in that aspect…just worrisome. Thank you for praying for us! The prayers have worked already! Can’t wait for them to arrive! Love ya!

  2. ooh, sexy! you wear that blood pressure monitor well!

    Korea is ridiculous. Why do I have to convince them to let me in the delivery room? And why can’t I be in the nursery? It’s my wife and my baby, not yours. It makes absolutely no sense

  3. Wow! You are Wonder Woman! I hope everything works out according to plan and that everyone is healthy when the babies are here!

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