38 weeks & gestational hypertension

So at my second appt last week my BP was high again at about 140/80, and the doctor diagnosed gestational hypertension. The basic urine tests were coming back normal but because of the hypertension they requested a 24 test to rule out pre-eclampsia. The results came back as normal – Phew.

That appointment Thursday wasn’t with my regular doctor, so I had a follow up Monday with my OB. We knew that since the results from the prior Thursday confirmed hypertension, he would want to induce before my due date.

Since we have been preparing and hoping for a natural birth, we aren’t taking the decision to induce lightly. Induction usually means constant monitoring instead of intermittent, which means less ability to move around and use some of the natural pain management techniques that we practiced. It also means they give you pitocin, which is a synthetic form of oxytocin and can cause contractions to be stronger and more frequent.

Hubby was working so he joined us on speakerphone to talk through the risks and benefits. The Dr said that gestational hypertension often gets worse and can change quickly, which is why they recommend induction. The primary concern for the baby is related to the placenta and cord providing nourishment properly with the increased pressure on the blood vessels.

At the appointment Monday my bp was slightly better, so the doctor agreed to push the induction/delivery from Sat (today!) to the following Thursday, which is the day before my LMP-based due date of Jan 10 (I’ve been going by my ovulation-based due date of Jan 13 for my posts here).

So I left the appointment on Monday with another appt and an ultrasound scheduled for Friday, still feeling a little unsure, but glad that we’d gotten a bit more time before an induction.

Next post I’ll tell you how the Friday appointments went. Right now, this pregnant mama needs a nap!


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