It seemed like every few days something happened that made them start talking about delivery. But we would work it out with medications. Or they would be okay with whatever symptom because it was “just ____.” I was wondering how many “just” whatevers we could stack together before the pendulum swung. I had had headaches off and on that could be explained a million ways, but were making us all nervous. But they would eventually go away. I was never under any assumption that we would make it to 34 weeks. In my head I made 32 weeks my goal.
The fact that my labs were coming back normal was the main thing that was keeping me pregnant.
The morning of April 28th, right after I ordered my breakfast, the nurse came in to say the doctors didn’t want me to eat anything until after they talked to me. There was no reason for this that was going to be a good thing, that much I knew. The doctors finally came in. They said my labs had gone downhill. Not significantly, but enough to be concerning. He admitted that none of the answers were clearly the winner. We could do a c-section at noon (8 hours since I last ate). We could let me eat breakfast, then no food or water that day, then redraw labs that night. The fact that my BP was stable was the main thing making him feel like the answer wasn’t clear cut. After a lot of discussion, we decided to redraw labs that night. I ate as much as I could for breakfast. Then started yet another day of hunger. At one point I was getting really whiny about being hungry. Charlotte pointed out it had only been three hours.
At this point we knew it was only a matter of a couple of days, no longer were we going to measure the future of this hospital stay in weeks. Midday I started to question why I chose to wait, because I couldn’t keep fasting, then eating, fasting, then eating for days on end. We were getting to the point where the scales were shifting.
The whole thing about preeclampsia is that it is really a constant assessment of who is at more risk. My health is put against the potential health of the baby. If we didn’t care about me, we’d keep me pregnant as long as the baby looked good. If we didn’t care about the baby, we’d have delivered immediately when I was diagnosed with severe pre-e. But since we wanted us both to get through this safely, we had to find the right time to deliver.
Over the course of the day my BP started creeping up. The labs came back the same. But we were losing the buffer of “well, your BP is stable.” After shift change, the new attending doctor asked “what exactly are we waiting for?” And I knew she was right. At this point we weren’t going to buy Rowan more than a day or two, and at 31 weeks each hour and day wasn’t as critical as it had been earlier. We had had two rounds of steroid shots. And my own health was slowly going downhill. So I agreed. It was time.