As Mark Twain didn’t actually say: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” What began as a routine check-up at the midwife’s office turned into a 6-hour saga complete with hospital visit, much like our 2002 experience with Bernie.
Bernie was born three weeks early because Jen had to be induced due to complications from preeclampsia — a pregnancy-only disorder that results in dangerously high blood pressure.
This time around, Jen’s blood pressure had been normal for the first eight months of her pregnancy. Recently, though, her blood pressure has begun to creep up, and today it really spiked. Our midwife called a doctor, who sent us to Highland Hospital. The doctor said that a reading as high as Jen’s was almost a guarantee that they’d induce labor — tonight.
I scrambled to get someone to watch Bernie — first our friends Pamela and Dan, who took him for a couple hours, then my sister Gretchen, who took over from there. I had met Jen at the midwife’s office, so we were driving two cars. Jen and Bernie headed over to Pamela and Dan’s, and I followed close behind. About a half-mile from their house, I was stopped at a red light … and I got rear-ended by a minivan! It was unreal. Luckily, the guy didn’t do enough damage to my car to make it impossible to drive, so we exchanged information and he left. I called the insurance company to file a quick claim, and then met Jen at home so we could head to the hospital.
Off we went to Highland Hospital, where we waited for about three hours while Jen had blood work done and had her blood pressure routinely checked. Her blood pressure was high, though not as high as the initial reading by the midwife. When her blood work finally came back, it was perfect, and the doctor diagnosed gestational hypertension — high blood pressure caused by pregnancy, but not as serious as preeclampsia. We have to keep monitoring it, and Jen has to reduce her workload (read: Bernie) around the house.
The weird part of it all is that I was psychologically prepared to have the baby tonight. The initial opinion of two different doctors was that we’d be giving birth to Crane Baby #2 before we left the hospital. At first, that was a shock. We quickly calmed down, though, and prepared ourselves for the process. Then, three hours later, we were sitting at the kitchen table as if nothing had happened.
That’s all for the best, of course. It’s better for mother and baby to get closer to the due date (March 17), and it’s still our plan to do a home birth with our midwife if that’s possible. One nice element of the hospital stay was that Jen was hooked up to a baby monitor for about 90 minutes, and the baby’s heartbeat was rock solid at 140 beats per minute, or as I like to call it, Techno Tempo.
So now we’re home. Jen is fine, the baby is fine, and we’re proceeding toward our expected delivery date. I’ll keep you posted.