First of all, I want to thank Michelle for not letting me blow off her concerns about the possibility of preeclampsia developing. You are a true friend!
Last night I got a call from a dear friend of mine who knows a TON about pregnancy and birth. She had read my Checking In post on my blogspot blog and called in the midst of an extremely busy and stressful time to check on me because my symptoms raised a lot of red flags for her as well. This was followed a few hours later by a terrific informative email from another dear friend who was alarmed by what was going on with me. They both were concerned about preeclampsia and had some super practical suggestions on how to head it off.
Sometime between yesterday evening and this morning, I realized that when I talked to my midwife about the tingling in my hands/arm, I didn't mention the swelling. I called her this morning to round out the information I'd given her and she too was very concerned.
So, here are some changes I'm making. Some are specifically to head off the preeclampia possibility, some are things I should have been doing anyway and have been lazy about . . .
~ I am boosting my protein intake Bigtime. I have not been getting nearly enough protein in my diet and this is probably why I'm having such trouble. My goal is to get between 125-150 grams of protein a day for a while and see what this does to my symptoms.
~ I'm serious about charting my food intake now!
~ A cucumber a day.
~ I will be having my BP checked once a week for the rest of this pregnancy. What I learned last night is that often BP doesn't do a sudden rise with preeclampsia, but it rises in smaller gradual steps. Tracking it weekly should help me keep tabs on where it's headed. Today it was 112/62, which is right along what it's been throughout this pregnancy.
~ I'm being faithful in taking my vitamins - duh!! I have been really bad about this this pregnancy.
~ Though I'm usually a strong advocate of moderation, which for me includes allowing myself a cup of coffee per day in pregnancy, I'm dropping the coffee for now. It interfers with calcium absorbption, and hubby's research last night found a connection between low calcium levels and preeclampsia. I should be drinking my Red Raspberry Leaf tea anyway. :-)
~ I have also been waaaaaaaaay lax about exercise this pregnancy, and I'm going to keep working on getting back into that habit, though not so aggressively as I was on Monday and Tuesday of this week. I'm going to plan on two 10 minute sessions of non-intense exercise each day. Reasons? 1) The exercise I got Monday and Tuesday does seem to have made a significant difference in the swelling. 2) Hubby found several studies last night that found that exercise did not have a negative effect on moms dealing with preeclampsia. 3) Two brief periods of gentle exercise should not offset the huge boost I'm making in my protein levels.
Note - I'm open to more input and research on this.
There are probably other things I'm working on, but that's what I can think of at the moment. And I need a nap. :-)