Friday, February 29, 2008


It's not even March and the redbuds are blooming. They look like handfuls of candy floating in the air.

My dad was here for a couple of days and he brought with him a blood pressure cuff so I've been taking my blood pressure every 10 minutes. Craziness—it turns out that here in the comfort and peace of my own home, my blood pressure is nothing like it is in the doctor's office. I find this very interesting; it goes along with my general anxiety about giving birth in the hospital w/ the doctors, etc, but I had no idea my body was reacting to these emotional responses. Perhaps I should have known... our bodies respond to everything we think and do, and it's so odd to me that we don't suspect. We are IN our bodies after all, and you'd think you'd know if your blood pressure was shooting through the roof because you're nervous about the atmosphere.

So I'm much less stressed. Enormous amounts of anxiety have lifted, in fact. I didn't know before if what I was so nervous about was the doctors' being too nervous and reacting prematurely or my truly having a condition to fear, but now I believe it was the latter. Discovering that things are not as bad as they seemed makes me giddy with relief.

Frances is hilarious. She makes me laugh all the time. Yesterday she was tired and grumpy, and I said, "I think someone's a little grouchy," and she stopped, looked at me, and pointed at herself and nodded. She's talking now in sentences and paragraphs, though we can't understand anything she's saying. She walks up to me, looks at me with grave intensity, and says, "Blok mblig blik klib lib clik gok blok blig blik klib bnlib clik gok?" and then waits for an answer, blinking her big blue eyes. She knows all her colors now and can hand you the blue block or green shape when you ask, but the only color she can say is 'yellow'. She loves to say this word, and points at every yellow item in the room and says it: "ye-ow". When I ask where her baby brother is, she pats my belly, which is very cute but probably indicates little about what she understands of the situation.

I plan to fully enjoy the next two weeks with her, these last days before her life is altered in a permanent way.


Brian S. said...

I thought it was common for people to have higher blood pressure when visiting a doctor than they do ordinarily. It even has a name - "whitecoat syndrome" - or something very close to that. I'm surprised your doctor/nurse didn't ease your mind a little bit by telling you this.

Cali said...

Yeah, I know about white coat syndrome... I really didn't think I had it! But high blood pressure in pregnancy can indicate a very serious condition called preeclampsia that is life-threatening to both mother and baby. And they don't really know whether you have it until you HAVE it. So they watch signs like this one and my practice is rather conservative about acting on it.

Coen Family said...

If you get the chance, you should watch "The Business of Being Born". It's a documentary done by Ricki Lake about the US maternity health care system and compares doctor/hospital births against midwife/home births. I already knew a lot of the info, as will you, but it was filmed very well.