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Monday, February 4

Puffy Paranoia.

My ankles looked swollen at the end of the day on Friday. Dun dun dun.

I walked to and from work, to and from a doctor's appointment, around Home Depot, around my parent's house looking at baby stuff, and up and down our stairs multiple times, but I was still super shocked to see puffiness when I pulled my boots off.

After that, I proceeded to spend most of the weekend drinking lots of water with my feet elevated on the couch, because hell no.

(Except, maybe, yes. My rings are normally really loose in the winter, and this morning they are suddenly, ahem, not. I can take them on and off, but they're not slip-sliding all over the place. What is happening to me?!)


I'm not trying to go all Lady Sybil on you, but as I was Google-researching this stuff (always an excellent idea for medical questions [sarcasm]), I started getting a bit paranoid. Mild swelling is nothing to worry about, but excessive swelling can be a sign of preeclampsia.

Do you know what else signals preeclampsia? Rapid weight gain and a rise in blood pressure.

Um.

Of the 18 pounds I've gained since getting pregnant, 1/3 of those pounds rudely arrived within the last three or four weeks. Six pounds, yinz! Unless this baby is going to be a massive 10-pounder, I'm pretty sure I can't blame the "little one" here. My doctor didn't say anything, and anyone else I've talked to has said that baby needs to pack on some weight now, but still. Growth spurt? Or menacing harbinger of doom? (Or the result of my so-called calcium binge, which has mainly consisted of ice cream every night for the past three months?)

And my blood pressure, which is normally low (like 100/60) has gone up at the last few appointments. Nothing crazy, but still. Natural side effect of pregnancy? Or scary-serious sign of a bedrest-y, blowfish-y future?


Now, the rational side of me knows that, if there is any condition to be noted here, it's hypochondria.

First of all, there's a reason the doctors and nurses make you pee in a cup before every single prenatal appointment -- so they can check a billion different functions and levels of internal stuff, including protein. The number one sign of preeclampsia is excessive protein, so since I haven't gotten an urgent message from my OB, it looks like I'm out of the preeclamptic running, for now.

Secondly, my "symptoms" are way more severe in my mind than they are in reality. Slightly puffy ankles and fingers are, it seems, a pregnant reality. As is weight gain... which, I mean, duh. But still. I'm keeping my swollen fingers crossed that it doesn't climb much over 20 pounds total. There are urban legends that some women don't gain anything at the very end, so here's hoping! And my blood pressure being 112/68 last week does not signal impending delirium and drama, a la Lady Branson nee Crawley.


But gosh, I am ready for this magical experience to be a very fond but VERY distant memory.

8 comments:

  1. Although preeclampsia is definitely something to take seriously, I wouldn't count your weight gain as rapid. It seems to all average out for most people, but you gained so slowly at first, that it makes sense you'd have to catch up at some point. I bet your ankles aren't used to all that extra weight!

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    1. Agreed. I'm still going to double-check with my doctor, but I don't think I have it. My ankles are definitely puffing in protest :)

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  2. As long as your pressure is within normal limits and you're not dumping protein into your urine, you're safe. In the ER, we sometimes see women with preeclampsia, but they are usually extremely swollen with systolic pressure over 180. Certainly there are less extreme cases of this, but your signs do not scream preeclampsia to me. :-) just be in touch with your OB often.

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    1. Yes, I think I got a little carried away by Downton Abbey last week -- that, combined with sock lines on my puffy ankles -- made me a little bonkers ;) Thanks!!

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  3. This is pretty much how I looked all third trimester. Preeclampsia free too. Maybe it will make you feel better :)

    http://i49.tinypic.com/eq5gnm.jpg

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    1. Haha, if I even attempted to wear strappy heels now, that is exactly what would happen -- pregnancy is a beautiful thing, huh?

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  4. Of course check in with your doctor if you get really worried - nothing wrong with being cautious! - and everyone is different, but I swelled up a bunch with both girls (my rings were off at the beginning of the second tri!)and put on most of my weight in the last month (super fun getting weighed each week and seeing an additional 5 pounds #sarcasmfont). It was all just water weight that came off in the few days after each girl was born. No preeclampsia - just lots of water retention that made weight loss super easy. Just take it easy, put your feet up and call your doc to check - if for no other reason than calming your racing thoughts. You are so close - so exciting!!!

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    1. Thanks! I'll definitely ask him, but I'm not too worried now -- it's reassuring to hear from everyone else who went through this! I think it's just the shock of getting a bunch of symptoms late in the third tri. I thought I was getting off scot-free on a lot of this stuff :)

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