High Blood Pressure And Frustrating Doc

11 Replies
gro1974 - May 23

Has anyone experienced a natural childbirth despite chronic hypertension? I'm so frustrated with my OBGYN that I just feel like crying. I'm 31 weeks into my first pregnancy, and throughout my whole pregnancy my blood pressure has been elevated when I go to my prenatal appointments. This would also occasionally happen to me prior to my pregnancy, at my regular checkups. I tend to stress out when I go to the doctor and have bp readings that aren't exactly accurate (“pre-hypertension” to “mild hypertension” level). My doctor has tested me by every means possible to make sure I do not have preeclampsia and everything has come back normal. She decided that it must be chronic high blood pressure, and prescribed blood pressure medication, which has everything under control. Other than the high blood pressure, I have never had any other symptom of preeclampsia (no swelling, headaches, blurred vision, etc.). The fact is, I feel great! My weight gain is normal and my fundal height indicates my baby is growing right on track. So, here's the frustrating part. I really want a natural childbirth (drug and intervention-free), but my doctor is saying that she won't "let" me go past my due date without inducing me, and wants me to have a weekly ultrasound to make sure the baby continues to be okay. What I don’t understand is this: if my baby continues to be okay, why shouldn’t my pregnancy be allowed to continue normally, as well? At today's appointment, she found out that I was taking Bradley Natural Childbirth classes and she hit the roof! She said there's no WAY I'll be able to move around during labor, or use a birthing ball or pool, etc. because she considers me a high risk pregnancy, and even if I never show ANY signs of preeclampsia, I will be strapped to a table throughout the labor ("strapped to a table" - those are her words). She said that moving around during labor is a natural coping mechanism for the pain, and since I won't be able to move around during labor, I shouldn't be opposed to taking the drugs to cope instead. She also asked me if my Bradley instructor was making me feel like a failure if I didn't deliver naturally. My doctor was very adversarial and condescending. The fact is, she is the only one making me feel like a failure, since she seems adamant about taking away any control I have over my own body. My main goal is, of course, a healthy baby. However, if there continues to be no indication of any problems with me or my baby, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be allowed to at least try a natural birth. The only person raising my blood pressure right now is my doctor!


3babies - May 23

Hi, I feel pretty experienced to answer your question as I have a medical background and this is my third pregnancy with pregnancy induced hypertension. In my first pregnancy I too had had borderline high bp beforehand but it started to climb around 24 weeks, with me commencing medication. I was closely monitored, and as the bp would climb they would bump up meds. I too had no swelling, h/a,protein etc. I felt fine BUT around 32 weeks the doc sent me for u/s to measure bubs, it came back as small but within normal limits. I continued seing the doctor. When my doctor went on holidays at 34 weeks he got me to see another doc who thought bubs was small and wanted another ultrasound even though I hadnt long had one. At that appt my BP was very high and I was admitted for bedrest anyway. The ultrasound showed the babys growth had dropped right off (in the lowest 10%), blood flow to him had become abnormal, my CTG showed he was very stressed and my BP wasnt well controlled. I am not kidding you... I felt FINE! Looking back I had swelling in my face but at the time not obvious. He was delivered by emergency c/s at 35 weeks, as an internal showed I wasnt ripe for induction and they didnt want to stress the baby. I was told later that my placenta was terribly infarcted and bubs would probably not have made another 24 hours. I dont want to scare you but high bp is really serious. On the other hand my last pregnancy went to 38 weeks with a healthy baby delivered c/s even though I had the high bp again. Whether you like it or not you really are high risk for placental insufficiency, pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, stroke etc. I would personally do whatever it took to get you and bubs here safely. I swear to you, the excitement I felt when my son was born (I got them to drop the drape ) ... I cant imagine I would feel any differently about him because he was born vag or c/s. Sorry this is so long, I just had a scary experience and hindsight is a great thing.


gracie - May 23

Hi, I am now dealing with fluxuating blood pressure. I have no other symptoms, and feel great also. I am 31 weeks and at my appointment today my doctors my doctor was very concerned. She let me know that my chances for an earlier delivery and another csection are very likely for my safty and my babies. She was very honest and said this could quickly escalate and become lifethreatening to my baby and myself. Sorry to say this, but natural birth is the furthest thing from my mind, just having my baby healthy and me is my priority. good luck


ashley - May 23

well I know she can't force you to be induced. What I want to know is does she check your blood pressure at the end of your appointment to see if its gone down? I wouldn't take the bp medications unless you can confirm its always up. My mom always has higher blood pressure at the beginning of her appointments and they take it after she's relaxed and its normal. Go to walmart when you are relaxed nad take it on the automatic machine by the pharmacy. Just my humble opinion don't rule out medication etc, because what I have learned from the OB nurses I worked with is that the one's who have a strict plan and have thier hopes up for the natural always end up with complications. So try to be open-minded. Just say I want to do a all-natural birth, but I want what is best for my baby and will deal with what ever comes my way. Otherwse you may be upset or disappointed. :-)


lindsay - May 23

wow, that sucks... i saw you posted on one of my threads, but hearing your whole story, i feel for you! personally, i agree w/ 3babies BUT if you want to go unmedicated and use the bradley method , or any other kind of coping method, YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY plan for that, and just take it a step at a time from there. my concern w/an induction is just that the pain may be harder to cope with if i am able to handle an unmedicated birth, but am certainly not objected to being induced if it is what is best for my little girl. but i think it is horrible for your doctor to talk to you like that! are you able to sign a waiver to not be induced or something?? i think it is really premature for her to be telling you there is no way you can move around... if it comes down to it when you are laboring, i'm sure you would comply to bring a healthy baby intto the world, but it is unfair for her to write your "birth plan"!!!


gro1974 - May 24

Thanks for all your replies. Delivering a health baby is definitely my main concern, and I know that they are high risks where blood pressure is concerned. I’m sorry, 3babies, that you had such a harrowing experience! I’m so glad your babies came into the world happy and healthy. : ) I just don’t feel like the way my doctor has handled the situation is reasonable or even kind. I know that my blood pressure rises when I’m anxious and I’ve told the doctor and her staff that many times. Despite my telling them this, they always treat me as if I could drop dead at any second which, of course, raises my anxiety! Ashley, in response to your question, my blood pressure used to go back to normal when they took it again at the end of the appointment, but they have me so worked up now that it no longer makes a difference. When I take my bp at the pharmacy, when I’m on the medication prescribed, it’s normal to slightly low. When I am not on the meds it’s usually right around 138/89 (pre-hypertension level). The only time it’s extremely elevated is when I’m at the doctor; it jumps to stage two hypertension (like 159/100). I intend to let the cards fall where they may, so to speak, when it comes to how I deliver. I just don’t like my doctor treating me like a diseased specimen rather than a human being with my own choices to make! Anyway, my husband and I spoke last night and we’ve decided to switch pract_tioners and hospitals. We’re consulting with a hospital midwife on Friday, and if the midwife department can’t treat me, then the OB dept. is right across the hall. Besides, I’ve heard this new hospital has nicer rooms than the one where I’m currently scheduled to deliver. Priorities, priorities! : ) Gracie, good luck to you as well. Let’s both hope for the best! Thanks for listening! --Greta


gro1974 - May 24

Lindsey, increased pain from stronger contractions is my main reason for not wanting to be induced by Pitocin, as well. I’ve also read that it doesn’t cause your body to release it’s own pain-releaving hormones, like natural oxytocin does, potentially causing more pain. Anyway, besides the castor oil, I learned that drinking Rasberry Leaf tea in your last trimester also helps "move things along." : )


ashley - May 24

gro1974-I would never encourage you to put your life or your baby's life in danger. If you really feel strongly about this I would seek a second opinion. I personally am against taking meds unnecessarily in pregnancy. I have heart palpatations and they offered me beta blockers (also used to regulate bp) and the risk to the baby is a slowed heart beat and labor could be slowed... I said NO thank you. He was okay with that decision too. What medication are you taking for your BP? 150/100 is pretty high. They worry more about the bottom number (your heart at rest) more than the top....I'd be more concerned if you were having edema in the face and extremities (pretty severe) where you are just puffy every where, having a headache, having "floaters" in your vision and felt cruddy. However it could very well be the early stages of eclampsia and I know they scared the hell out of me in nursing school when we covered OB and all the possible complications. (HELLP syndrome and DIC) I would seek a second opinion and see if they can recommend anything other than meds. (some times normally weith pre hypertension they recommend diet and exercise and relaxation) Good luck to you! I am 32 weeks today and my BP is 108/68. I feel that mine gets to low some times. weird how that is! Especially since I get so stressed out easy.


3babies - May 24

Hi Greta ... yep I'm glad my boys are here and healthy too (a bit quieter would be nice but cant have everything :>) ... Anyway I think it's great you are getting another opinion just for your own peace of mind. I hate to say though, that sometimes the midwives wont take you on with anything they regard as complications like high bp, but good luck anyway!!! The other thing about white coat hypertension, is that there is a whole school of thought that it doesnt exist, so I guess your doctor falls in with that thinking. I dont know though I have seen plenty of people who only have an increase in their pressure at the doctor. Unfortunately for me, mine is actually a bit lower at the docs, so I cant blame that! Also, Greta our BP is at a similar level. I am on 250mg aldomet 3x day at the moment and my BP is sitting between 140-150/90-100. We will probably bump up the meds again within the next week. I dont feel worried about the affects of the medication on the babies because both my boys have been perfect, and the one that had my bp better controlled was a better size. Be prepared for them to try to talk you into an epidural if you go v____al because it lowers bp and they usually try to get you to have it if you have bp issues. I wish it was going differently for you ... I can understand how frustrating it is to not be able to control this one mechanism of our body. I'm not overweight, dont smoke etc ... just inherited bad genes! Good luck with you switch of hospitals!


gro1974 - May 25

The medication that I am currently taking is Labatalol (sp?) 100 mg, twice daily. I'm not crazy about taking it, but they baby seems to be responding fine and if it keeps me off of bed rest, that's good enough for me! I know many doctors dismiss the "white coat hypertension" theory, but to me it makes perfect sense. The body reacts the same way to mental stress as it does to physical stress; it doesn't know if it's gearing up to fight a lion or get bad news. If mental stress can cause an ulcer, it certainly should be able to raise your blood pressure! I have an appointment tomorrow with a midwife, and I'll let you all know how it goes. I'm kind of expecting that they'll transfer me to the regular OB department, but we'll see! --Greta


gro1974 - June 2

Bump to Third Trimester Board


Traci76 - June 2

Wow, I didn't realize just how bad my blood pressure was. I'm on 3 medications, twice a day! -- Aldomet 500mg, Labetalol 200mg, and Nifedipin 30mg. -- My doctor is not letting me go past 39 weeks because she said I'd giver HER chest pains. LOL I'm ok with this, and just hope my body is ready. Will be spending lots of quality time with DH before then. Making up for now. haha



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