There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.-John Lennon
November 22, 2019 arrived VERY quickly. My mother had driven up to join me for the big appointment as she knew I was very nervous about it. My first appointment was at 9am with the Maternal Fetal Medicine department who was going to do another anatomy scan with their more advanced equipment. Baby girl was, yet again, in a terrible position, but the tech seemed to get what she needed.
The doctor came in shortly after and reviewed what he saw with us. He said since I had an appointment with a cardiologist later, he wasn’t going to talk about the baby’s heart at that time. That didn’t bother me. I wanted for the latest and greatest technology to perform a fetal echo first anyway….I wanted to be sure we had definitive answers.
My next appointment immediately followed a floor away. I was going to meet my new OB who would be the one to deliver my baby and take care of me when the time came (only 12 weeks and 2 short days away at this point!). The nurse took me and my family back to a room and started asking questions about my medical history. The doctor came in and introduced himself. He started taking some measurements while the nurse brought in the mobile aneroid machine. He cuffed me up and started to take my blood pressure. At the end of the machine’s reading, he immediately looked worried and started asking me how I was feeling.
“Do you have a headache?” “Are you feeling okay?” “Are you worried or anxious?” I was fine. Felt like any other day. “Your blood pressure is 195/117.” WHAT?! How was that possible?! Every single appointment with my OB showed excellent blood pressure readings. CONSTANTLY in the 120s/80s. I looked at my husband and we were both in disbelief–no really–neither of us trust those electronic machines. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME one is used on either of us, it says we are extremely high. This is one reason I am so thankful we live in a small town where every single office uses a manual cuff for bp readings.
My mother knew what we were thinking and asked the doctor if he could please find a manual cuff and take a manual reading. He was more than willing. He proceeded to take a manual reading and said it was the exact same. He said he needed to stop the exam immediately and I needed to be admitted into the hospital at that very moment. They needed to get my BP down ASAP. He said he was hoping it was just nerves about not knowing what was wrong with my baby, but he was worried it might be pre-eclampsia. “But what about the fetal echo that was scheduled for after lunch?! Im supposed to find out what’s wrong with my baby!” The doctor told me he’d reschedule it for me. He didn’t think I’d be receiving one that day.
After he stepped out to allow me to get dressed, I cried. My mom calmed me down and said my health was important to make sure the baby would be okay. She said this needed to be done and everything would be okay and to not worry. But I wasn’t just worried about the baby or myself, I had pets at home that I was supposed to be getting that night…I was supposed to be traveling to my hometown – 6 hours away – in preparation for Thanksgiving…my mom had to go to work! She continued to insist that everything was fine as we made our way to triage.