Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cardiologist appt

On Tuesday of this week, I met with my OB/GYN for a regular appt. During our appt, my blood pressure was low (90/60), and my pulse rate was high.

I was dizzy and had to sit on the chair vs. the examining table. The doc decided to send me to see a cardiologist to ensure everything was okay. At this point, he and I both think it is the same thing I had when I was preggers with baby D; hypotension (low-blood pressure).

This hypotension is what is causing me to pass out, and generally be a wuss! :)

I saw a cardiologist and went through all the same tests with Baby D, but my OB decided it was worth it to take another look.

So, yesterday, my sweet-tart and I got to the cardiologist's office a little after 8AM. I was basically there until around 3:15 PM (we did leave for lunch).

These are the tests we did:
  • EKG - they hook you up with about 10 stickers on your legs, arms, and chest. Then they hook up these "electrodes" to a machine for about 10 mins. It's painless, but annoying b/c I'm flashing my breasts for anyone in the room...for 10 mins :)
  • Echocardiogram - this is basically an ultrasound of your heart. You have to lay on your side for this exam, and also flash your girly bits to everyone in the room. I had to ask for a pillow to support the baby belly b/c I was so uncomfortable. They basically use the ultrasound wand on your sides, chest, and throat. This exam took about an hour the first time I had it done. This time it was about 30 minutes. But, there is always all this prep so I was in that room for about an hour.
  • Heart monitor - I am now hooked up to a heart monitor. Again, stickers on my chest all hooked up to electrodes leading to a pocket-sized heart monitor. I am allergic to the stickers so I've been itching like crazy! I keep this on for 24 hours and it records your heart during that time. I can take it off today around 2:30 and then I need to return it to the hospital; along with a journal of what time I went to bed, how many times I got up during the night, and if I engaged in any strenuous activity and for how long (please note that the nurse winked at me when she mentioned this one!)

I know it all sounds pretty weird; especially for someone in their 30s with no history of heart problems. Truly, it is all painless, but it makes me feel better to know that a specialist is looking at me and will give me the clear/go for the c-section on the 27th.

I asked the cardiologist, "Could my blood pressure drop so low that I die during the c-section?" He was kinda comforting...he said, "After they get that baby out, they will do everything they can for you. That means you can have all the medicine you need that we just can't give you now. Not good for you or baby right now."

He was a little vague on the not-dying thing, but somehow I was comforted :)

He also basically told us that we shouldn't have a 4th baby. As he pointed out, this hypotension seems to get worse with each pregnancy. He told us about a case where a woman had to have her baby early just to escape the hypotension since it got so bad.

So, this really bothered me. I'm so sad as I write this right now. We really want(ed) 4 kids, for multiple reasons. To hear a doctor, a specialist, tell me that I shouldn't have another baby, that I shouldn't be pregnant...ever again! a little heart-wrenching.

I will need to really think about this. My mind was looking for loopholes in his statement. He didn't say that I couldn't (or wasn't allowed to) get pregnant. He just said that I shouldn't. Again, lots of thought needed b/c I can totally rationalize this whole situation to suit my own needs :)

Anyways, here's how you "treat" hypotension when you're preggers:

  • if you feel dizzy, lay down immediately on your left-side
  • if you get heart palpitations, lay down immediately on your left-side
  • if you have shortness of breath, lay down immediately on your left-side

I often get all 3 of these in the shower, and my sweet-tart likes to tell me, "Just lay down in the tub immediately. Don't try to get to the bed." Okay, I just cannot picture me comfortably fitting with my baby belly curled on my left-side on the bottom of the tub with the shower running. I'm sorry, but this doesn't seem like the idea scenario to me.

So, everytime this happens I try to make it out of the bathroom and into my bedroom to the bed. This is invariably when I pass out; in other words, my ideal scenario generally turns into my wussy moment of the day :) Here are some recent incidents to prove how dumb I am:

  • had a contraction in the tub and was feeling sick - when I bent over with the contraction, I got dizzy and topped forward to hit my head on the faucet of the tub.
  • after the tub incident, I decided to make my way to my bed where I proceeded to pass out on the way to the bed. I woke up with my towel wrapped around my arm and head.
  • I managed to get to the bed and laid there for about 20 mins (note that I also got my cell phone and called Eric and my doc at this time to report my stupidity). I then got up, dressed, and started to walk down the hall. I passed out again through the doorway of Baby's R's bedroom. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

So when my hubby brings this up to cardiologist, he agrees with him! Yes, I should just lay down right in the tub when I start to feel faint. Great, now I have to do it his way. I mean, geesh...the cardiologist said the same thing. Grrr.

Anyways, on a lighter note I have to point out that I think my hubby and I were the youngest people in the cardiologist's waiting room, by about 30 years or more! My sweet-tart and I had a fun time making fun of the other inhabitants. Mean, I know! But, it was a great stress-reliever.

One woman came in and seemed pretty belligerent. The receptionist has to ask questions like, "Are you here because you were experienced an injury while working?" After each question this lady answered with a very offended, "No!" So, finally the receptionist said, "I'm sorry, but I have to ask these questions." The lady answered, "Oh, I know. No problem." And she sounded so understanding and nice. The hubs and I kept looking at each other with our eyebrows raised and chuckling.

To close, I should have my tests results by Friday. I'll be sure to post something about those; especially if it is good news.

P.S. Please be thinking of my sister this weekend. She is 6 weeks behind me in her pregnancy and Saturday is her baby shower. I totally wish I could be there with her and for her! Send good thoughts and wishes her way!


  1. Wow! It sounds like things are pretty serious if they are recommending no 4th baby. I know how difficult that must be. I had always pictured us with three and now, we aren't quite sure if we are going to have three. That's another story for another time, and another blog altogether! But, that is more of an us decision vs. a medical decision. But, I still stuggle with the dilemma every single day.

    Maybe you could do more research between #3 and #4...find other peopel who have experienced the same thing and what decision they came to and why.

    And you have to remeber that a doctor's #1 concern is his ass...not yours. He is more concerned that he "overly advises" you so he doesn't get sued. He could care less that you might be able to have another healthy baby and that you dream of having 4 is crumbling at your feet. He's out to protect himself.

  2. Good advice! ;)

    Eric didn't seem to be too upset by what he said. I think he basically ignored him. Ugh!

    I will definitely do some research and see what others say.

    We'll have to chat on your decision as well. I am definitely intimidated @ the thought of 3 babies...and the 3rd will be here so soon! Ah!

  3. Wow! You had one heck of a doctor's appointment. We are approaching the end of our firt tri-mester.