Rollercoaster ride: birth imminent

Holly, very pregnant, 23rd September 2009

Holly and I have had a bit of a rollercoaster ride the last six days. On Friday she woke up with a headache in the early hours that stayed with her until it was time to get up for work. On her visit to the midwives at the RPA Birth Centre the previous day, her blood pressure had been a little high and she'd been told to look out for the symptoms of pre-eclampsia. A call to the birth centre and the midwives told her to come on in.

When we got there, sure enough her BP was high and we rested for a while in one of the birth rooms. After some hours, we were moved up to a room in the post natal room, Holly's headache hadn't improved and tests showed some signs of pre-eclampsia. The cure for pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby, which meant a slightly early baby: 35 weeks, which means most of the development is done, so not too bad.

As it turns out we've spent the last six days waiting around with Holly being closely monitored and eventually stabilising. Her BP is stable and at a level to satisfy the doctors, the various blood tests have yo-yoed a bit so that yesterday one went up when it had been falling. Holly's got no headache and seems to have got used to the zonking effect of the BP medication. Last night we even went to our already-planned "Natural Birth" class, though our birth is now unlikely to be particularly natural.

The constant expectation that it was all gonna kick off fairly soon has been pretty taxing, and now that Holly's feeling good she's getting antsy about being in hospital all this time. One doctor even suggested she might be able to come home this morning, though subsequent blood tests seem to have put the kibosh on that.

So we watch and wait. The course of pre-eclampsia is usually a downward progression until the doctors insist on inducing birth. The longer we can safely put that off, the more our little Shlomo will get to cook inside. It's highly likely we'll have a baby by the end of the week: both an exciting and a somewhat terrifying prospect.

Thanks for all the support we've received from friends and family. Apologies for any of you who've wanted to visit that it hasn't been possible. Holly's pretty knackered from the drugs she's on, so I've been keeping her pretty quiet.

I'll be updating progress on Twitter at twitter.com/shermozle. Note you don't need to sign up to Twitter to read this: you just have to bookmark that page and go to it when you want updates.