Blood Pressure Problems

I consider myself very lucky and grateful to have largely had an incident free pregnancy. I haven’t really had much in the way of morning sickness and little baby boy has been right on target with every scan.

Now that I’m in the third trimester, however, a chronic problem has come up to haunt me. Ever since my twenties when I had my wisdom teeth out, I’ve had a problem with high blood pressure. I’ve been on medication since then. It’s intrinsic hypertension and it runs in my family. My dad also has it.

During pregnancy my hair was falling more than I was able to accept. I was afraid my hair loss problem would be unattractive. So I began to study about natural ingredients to prevent losing more hair. Since I was pregnant I didn't want anything to disturb my unborn child. So I started to look some natural products to prevent further hair loss and I cam upon Provillus, a compound made from natural ingredients that prevents hair loss and even stimulate hair regrowth.

I decided to give it a try to stop losing anymore hair from my scalp so I went ahead and ordered Provillus. Surprisingly, after only a couple of weeks I started to realise my hair stopped falling and colour changed and looked healthier! I was amazed. I couldn't not believe Provillus natural ingredients can have such a strong effect to my hair.

Throughout this pregnancy I’ve been monitoring it carefully with my little electronic device. You guys remember when it went really low. Well, really low is better for baby than high.

I’ve been pretty busy so have been only checking it on weekends, and last Sunday got a bit of a shock to get 142/100. Phoned my mom and got into a bit of a panic. Decided to phone the emergency line for my gynae (who turns out to be away) and I get his replacement with a funny European accent (was it Russian?) that I’m trying to figure out. He says, not to worry, it could be isolated, rather take another reading in the morning and then see.

The next morning I got 129/89 (much better) so off I went to work. But this whole time I have been feeling really weak, so have been sitting down a lot. I kind of decided to leave things, was really busy so didn’t really have time to phone the doc’s rooms, and kind of left it. But my mother kept bugging me. Plus the news came through that my maid (who is on maternity leave supposed to be having her baby) lost her baby directly after the cesarean. I can’t help thinking it was a lack of monitoring that led to that horrible outcome. It is heart-breaking, and I can only be ever so grateful that I have a good medical aid and good care that I can take advantage of.

So on Tuesday I made the call and they said I could drop by in the afternoon and the midwife would take my blood pressure. Sr J was really great. The first reading was really high so she got me to rest up a bit in the waiting room while she saw another patient. Then she took it again and we got it down to 140. She wrote a note for my work so that I could work half days and said come back on Friday.

My boss has been great and even has a temp lined up for when I need to stop work. It also sounds like she is more open to me taking longer leave now. It could be a good option to stop, but I’m still trying to make all the right decisions. However we settled on me leaving around 2 which would be when school finishes anyway, and I would mark books at home.

In any case, Friday came around. She raced through the meeting and I actually left at about quarter to three. But the thing is, not knowing if I am going to be around or not, I have to be part of these meetings.

I get to the labour ward (Sr J had long gone home, but suggested I go there and then then phone her from there). 

I got there and they told me to go lie down on a bed so long. I thought this was good logic: let me rest and then the reading would be lower.

I didn’t quite count on them forgetting about me.

About half an hour past. I poked my head around the corner (this was a room right next to the reception area) and asked how much longer am I expected to lie there?

Poor old dolly had forgotten about me. She came and took my measurements. She got me to lie on my left side.  The first one was 149 and the second one was much better – 129/76.

So this was an excellent reading. I phoned Sr J and left a message.

I went to the car and phoned my boss. She is still pushing for me to stop and getting a replacement. I think she doesn’t understand why even when I have a good reading, I’m still feeling weak, and needing those half days. Is this all in my head? I don’t know. Still trying to figure this all out. Am I back in the infertility “just relax” zone again?

I phoned my DH and went over to his work where he was still busy. Had a nice chat to his boss’s wife who took a full month off before the birth. I think I finally understand why! I also got a phone call back from Sr J who encouraged me to keep going with the half days and see her again on Tues, and then I will see Dr K anyway on Thurs.

When I phoned my mom she was glad about the reading, but still pushing for me to stop work. She is a doctor and she is convinced I am going into pre-eclampsia and basically depriving my baby of blood. According to Wikipedia, Pre-eclampsia is diagnosed when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure (two separate readings taken at least six hours apart of 140 or more in systolic blood pressure and/or 90 or more in diastolic blood pressure) and 300 mg of protein in a 24-hour urine sample (proteinuria).

In any case we went home and skipped our normal Friday night grocery shop. Just got some stuff from Woolworths (like TV dinners) and I basically went straight to bed. And yes, I’m doing my best to sleep on my left side.

This morning I’m feeling a lot better and got another good reading 126/92.

I’m taking it easy. I’m having my afternoon naps and going to bed early. I’m doing what I can and I think it’s helping. The real question is: should I take the next step? Should I stop work now? At the moment I’m tending to take a “wait and see” kind of attitude, especially till my appointment on Thursday.

Oh and to end off on a lighter note – here is something B has been longing to do for ages…. making baby a Bulls fan before he is even born

Posted in pregnancy | Tagged Baby Bulls clothes, blood pressure during pregnancy, working during third trimestor | 3 Comments

Cute Baby Clothes and Important Events

My mom was visiting again this week (coming back from my sister) and she brought with her the cutest little baby clothes. I can really imagine my baby snuggling into these:

I am 32 weeks and getting bigger and bigger! The past two weeks I have been having heartburn and having been having gaviscon before each meal. Otherwise, I have just been feeling bigger, carrying this little baba around.

I just want to mention a few events that have been happening

-National Infertility Awareness Week ends today. Circle and Bloom’s 35% off special also ends today, so take advantage of their special offer. Enter code NIAW35 at checkout

- The Tapping World Summit is on – really amazing speakers.  You can listen to each for free within the time period, or order the talks (like the fertility summit).

Have a super week!


Posted in pregnancy | Tagged | 7 Comments

My blog got hacked / Second Antenatal Class

Last Sunday I was about to post about the second and last childbirth class, when I got a huge surprise.

When I went to my blog I was presented with a violation. It had been “Hacked by Ziqor” and was no more.

Funnily enough, I wasn’t as panic stricken as I thought I’d be. This was also due to my hubby telling me to calm down, and that things could be fixed.  Also, my site “” has been down for months at a time, and I’ve pretty much accepted its demise. Perhaps this was a sign to go in a new direction – with less of a focus on infertility, and more on this new life that is coming so soon. I enjoy writing, but am still figuring out exactly where that will leave me. However, to have this record of my infertility struggle and pregnancy so obliterated, was a knife to the heart.

However I am so lucky to have support and was able to get things up and running by Tuesday. Firstly, a mention to Jjiraffe,  who recently went through something similar and wrote a blog post about it. Also to Lynda, who is also a blogger, and picked up on my tweets with care and concern. Thanks ladies, you are stars.

Ultimately my ultimate savior was having a host that did back ups. They offered me a replacement of a monthly, weekly or daily backup. I went for the weekly one because it was before the hacking. So thank you serv hosting!   However they sent me a very technical attachment of all the things I could do to help prevent this again, which I did not understand. If anyone has some advice that is idiot proof / techie proof, please let me know! Otherwise, on with my original post:


Childbirth Class – Part 2

The second week of the childbirth classes went better than the first. I think that I was in a better place and more accepting that they were going to push the natural aspect. And I was more observant of how they were accommodating us. One thing our instructor said that I really appreciated was however the birth happened that was “the way your baby has chosen to come into the world”. And that feels very right to me.

We started off with a video extolling the virtues of natural birth. Just knew this was part and parcel of the course, so I sat and listened to this and just smiled.

We then continued on where he had left off last week on the hospital interventions.

-Artificial Rupture of Membranes (they showed us this crochet hook type thing they use to break your waters)

-Instruments used during birth: apparently the softer plastic vantouse (suction thing) is better than the harsher metal forceps. Apparently the forceps can also be used in a caesarean.  Eeek.

Some other interesting stuff they told us. Don’t shower with soap after the birth as the baby needs to smell your smell! The baby is born with “vernix” (that’s what it sounded like) which is absorbed and protects their skin. So you don’t need to rush and bath the baby. You can rinse off blood and take care of washing their bum and eyes, but there isn’t an urgency to bath the baby. You can even leave it for a week and then another 4-6 days.

They also spoke about using a chiropractor for yourself closer to the time of labour to get your pelvis all aligned and ready. You can also use it on the baby for colic in case he has pinched nerves.

We then went on to the part I had been patiently waiting for: The Caesarean birth.

This is what is going to happen to me: Apart from the notes they gave I have included what I saw on the video which took place at the hospital I am actually going to be at, although it was a different doctor (Dr N).

  1. Admitted to ward after paperwork. (I have already done the paperwork and I know I am going to the maternity ward and then theatre for the operation).
  2. Given hospital gown to wear.
  3. Intravenous needle inserted – which will be giving fluids and meds.
  4. Spinal block (they inject you in the back with the anesthetic)
  5. Lower abdomen washed and shaved (I’ll take care of this before I go)
  6. Catheter in bladder
  7. Incision made (about 20 cm)
  8. Baby is born
  9. They suck all the mucus out of the baby (since he didn’t have the process of vaginal birth which helps getting all of that out)

10. Clamp and cut the umbilical chord

11. Pediatrician gives the baby oxygen and cuts the chord shorter. The baby gets a nappy and a tag (well the video was sponsored by Huggies, so they have to make a point about the nappies every time!)

12. Back at the mom the placenta comes out.

13. They sew the uterus and it is on top! I.e. you can actually see it outside of the body! Seriously freaky!

14. They continue sewing you up and apparently the whole process after the actual birth takes about 45 minutes.

15. In this video the baby was all wrapped up and given to mom, but I am hoping we are going to able to swing the skin to skin thing and not worry about too much separation.

What was nice was the instructor gave me a booklet on cesareans and also a birth plan. The booklet turned out to be very anti, so I’ll skip that, but the birth plan was actually useful. If I look through all the points, these were the ones that seemed important:

1. Remove the screen so you can see what is going on.

2. Get baby delivered on my chest and leave it there while I am being sewed up.


There were lots of other things, which I will see if I can get, but I think that No2 is most important, and I’m not going to stress about all the others.


We then went through pain management and the hormones involved. The human body is amazing. They also gave some good hints about aromatherapy oils that can help. Some of these are also good for baby e.g. lavender, jasmine, lemon and orange. Clary Sage is only for labour. They demonstrated the TENS machine – there are two points on your back which help with pain, as well as massaging the sides and counter pressure on the two “wing” bones by your hips.


Medicated pain relief was gone through.

-Entonox is a gas which should be the first line of intervention. The person breathes it in through a contraction.

-Pethidine can also help, and has only slight interference with ability to push. But it can affect the baby’s breathing among other things.

-Epidural analgesia means you will be bed bound but it does completely eliminate pain. You also need the anesthetist for this.


The partner’s role during birth is largely to “love her, believe in her and praise her”, but mostly to BE THERE.

The bag for dads must have: birth plan, grooming supplies, drinks and food, sweater, change of clothes, pen and pencil, things to read, phone numbers, money for vending machines, camera, batteries, tripod, and rescue remedy. Dads also need to take charge when mom hits an emotional low and support her. Be calm, stay close and hold her.


We then went through some breastfeeding basics and also watched a video about the different types of milk and latching. There was also some demonstration of the various positions. You have to line up the nose with the breast and allow the baby to “root” which is like exploring, before it suckles. You can tell if baby is getting enough if they are making 6-8 wet nappies a day. Apparently you shouldn’t stress too much about the poop, but make sure you clean it up very thoroughly, apparently it is sticky at the beginning! You can start solids at around 6 months.


The subject of pets was brought up (this was B’s question). The one instructor did have a dog when her kid came home and she said the dog moved to the bottom of the bed to make room for baby. She suggested letting the dogs get a proper sniff when baby comes home, and then all would be well. Also don’t be paranoid about them licking baby, unless it really is all the time.


We also got a demo of how to clothe, put the nappy on and bath the baby. But I think I have written enough now!


The bottom line is I learned a lot and feel a bit more ready.


I know this C-section is going to be an ordeal, but I am determined to make the best of a bad situation. By having a better idea of what is going to happen, it can only help.


Posted in birth | Tagged antenatal class, cesarean birth, hacked by ziqor | 10 Comments