Gender Reveal + Preeclampsia Diagnosis

         In a few weeks, our little angel will be in our arms. I can’t imagine anything more perfect. Especially since we AND the doctor were convinced our little princess was a prince at first. I’ve always prided myself on having some pretty elevated psychic skills. It’s a well-known fact amongst family and friends, so when I started having dreams early on that we were having a little boy, we were all convinced. It was an almost identical dream I had right before we found out my sister was having a boy. The dream, plus all the similar symptoms we were having only further convinced us our little angel was a gentleman in the making. We had a boy name picked out (to be fair, we’ve had it picked out since high school. lol) and I was already working on my boy themed baby registry. 

           With Christmas a few days away, we were eager to get gender confirmation. While at our appointment, we asked if there was any way we could find out before we left town. The lab downstairs was already closed for the day, BUT they had an old ultrasound machine in the office they were willing to trot out. Guys, it had a VHS recorder attached to it! I’m not kidding! It was dusty and squeaky, but at that moment, it was the most beautiful piece of equipment I’d ever seen. We were bursting to see our little boy. The ancient quality combined with a camera-shy little one wasn’t ideal, but after 10 minutes of searching, our doctor said she was 80% sure it was a boy. Our suspicions were right! To be safe, she warned us not to buy anything until our anatomy scan in January. 

        When we left, I felt like something was off. Was it the archaic machine or could it be something else? For the first time, my heart was telling me something different, something new. So we decided to go to an independent ultrasound place to get confirmation the day before we left town. So there we were, early in the AM, bags packed, ready to hit the road with our baby boy when the ultrasound technician, with her fancy schmancy machine, asked “Are you ready? Look at the screen!” She didn’t have to ask; our eyes were already plastered on the giant screen perched above us. A second later the letter “B” appeared on the screen. There it was — a big ole B for our little boy. And then the letter “U” popped up. I was instantly confused. I could feel Justin’s hand squeezing mine. With our eyes glued on the screen, she continued to type...Y...P...I...N...K. 

          You would have thought she typed a foreign language on the screen. We stared, trying to make sense of it. I looked over at Justin with my jaw on the floor. A million questions rushed through my head... what are we going to name her? What is she going to look like? Within seconds, she was becoming a real person, a little human... our little girl. When we got in the car, we both had tears of joy. It felt right... It felt perfect. Our little angel in pink. 

               As for the health update! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to post. I was blessed with a relatively uneventful first trimester. Around 22 weeks, things started to take a turn. The general “not feeling great” intensified significantly overnight.  It’s hard to explain, but I woke up knowing something was wrong. My heart was palpitating and racing, I was having severe migraines and dizziness paired with seeing spots. I went to our regularly scheduled doctor's appointment, and my doctor checked my blood pressure which was high and even though it was early in my pregnancy for preeclampsia she had me do a 24-hour urine collection at home -- oh, the joys of pregnancy. They gave me a jug and Justin and I both looked at each other with the same thought: with my water consumption, I’d definitely need a second jug! These girls love their water! :)  

            After spending one lovely Sunday collecting a jug and-a-half of urine, my results came back with elevated levels of protein. It was then I was officially diagnosed with preeclampsia. Worry took root quickly, and while I’ve been trying to keep my fear at bay, it’s been tough. No one in my family has had preeclampsia or has been diagnosed this early. I quickly learned that being diagnosed with preeclampsia for a few weeks at the end of your pregnancy is very, very different from being diagnosed with it early on. Once you’re past 37 weeks and diagnosed with preeclampsia they usually consider it safe to deliver you at the time of your diagnosis, but with it being so early, we have to try to prevent/delay the dangerous side effects of preeclampsia so that our little girl can continue to grow. The pressure is on!

          Every day is a struggle and every day I try (and sometimes fail) to fight the urge to read all the stories online. It’s a daily challenge but a necessity. Trying to prevent myself from fully freaking myself out is a constant battle especially being someone who has always suffered from high stress and anxiety. I’m trying to find peace in the fact that early detection is a blessing and that I am being monitored so closely. We recently started weekly BPP ultrasounds and nurses visits to check my blood pressure. It’s a revolving door of lab tests, multiple times a week. 

       Because of my early diagnosis, our doctor requested that we not leave town. Sadly, this meant we had to cancel our scheduled baby shower. But thankfully, my mom and sister are amazing and to cure my baby shower blues, they came to visit with a car full of gifts. The hardest pill to swallow was having to pull out of one of my best and oldest friend’s wedding. Both events were out of state. Many tears were shed over missing these special moments, but I know it’s important to take care of my health and our baby’s health. 

         A few weeks ago, we were told if my increasing blood pressure gets out of control she would need to be delivered immediately and that we need to be prepared for her to come any day now. Every week she stays in is a blessing. Every day is a tiny miracle. We have complete faith that God will make sure she comes at exactly the right time. And if she’s anything like me, the “right time” will be twenty minutes late. :)

xo, Anna