My husband and I just found out a few weeks ago that we are expecting. I am right at 10 weeks right now, and we are trying to decide what we want our birthing process to be like. Both of us want a very natural birth, unless something is to go wrong, where we would need medical intervention. I have had mid-high blood pressure since 5th grade, and I am now 23. Since I found out I was pregnant, I've been writing down everything I eat, including the calories, sodium, and sugar content. The doctor's have run every blood test, urine screening, and heart scan, and found nothing abnormal about any of it. I carry some extra weight, and so I've been very proactive to document all my exercise and food consumption for when we do visit the midwife/doctor. My mother and both my sisters gave birth with no medication, and I know my body can do it! We originally wanted a home birth, and met with one a week ago to see if she would accept me as a patient. She said there were herbal remedies she could try to get my blood pressure down a bit, and seemed very confident that things would be fine. I got a call from her today telling me she had changed her mind. My husband and I are both confused. We are wondering why she got our hopes up, and even sent me an e-mail saying she was excited to work with us, and then call to tell us she wouldn't accept me as a patient. She doesn't even know what my blood pressure runs, I only brought it up to make sure she was aware of it beforehand.
Now, we don't know what to do. I have contemplated trying to use a birthing center, but I'm scared it will be the same outcome, and I don't know how much more I can take. I just want what is best for me and the baby. Clearly, if my blood pressure is complicating things with the baby, then I'm willing to be overseen by a doctor, but otherwise I don't get why it's so alarming. I've been checked for everything under the sun, and even the past doctors are unsure of why my blood pressure runs high (other than genetics). Does anyone have any advice on a midwife who might accept me, a birthing center experience that might give me hope, or the name of a midwife or OB/GYN within a practice that will respect our wishes to have a natural birth?
Well high blood pressure in pregnancy is a sign of pre-eclampsia which can lead to premature birth and maternal fatality, so sometimes doctors, midwives and other medical professionals freak out about it. That said, I had high blood pressure prior to becoming pregnant with my first (like 145/90 maybe — not super high) and was on medication (HCTZ) prior to getting pregnant and the pregnancy hormones actually made the high blood pressure go away and I came off all blood pressure meds. It stayed low while I was nursing my first and throughout my second pregnancy and didn't creep back up until my second child was a toddler. (I was disappointed it came back, but oh well. It runs in my family, too, and I am not overweight and am fairly fit and eat fairly well.)
I was seeing the midwives at the birth center in Chapel Hill for well woman care for years after my pregnancies and eventually my high blood pressure came back and after awhile it got fairly high (like 165/95). The midwives were completely scared by that—I think because they had seen pre-eclampsia in pregnant moms and that's so serious. Now, I wasn't even pregnant nor thinking about getting pregnant, but they suggested pretty strongly that I go see an MD about it instead of continuing under their care. I was ready to leave by then anyway (I think I had already weaned when it was that high and was not really in pregnancy/nursing mode any more anyway). My new doc put me on a small dose of Lisinopril and that has done the trick just fine ever since.
So, your midwife may have backed out because of pre-eclampsia concerns. But, that may not be an issue for you at all. My blood pressure dropped a lot in response to pregnancy. Before we realized I needed to go off my meds it got down to 90/60 and I was having trouble gathering up enough energy to make it to the mailbox. You will need to monitor your blood pressure carefully during pregnancy, but there's no reason that you should have any complications, but it is something to definitely keep an eye on.
I'm sorry I can't recommend a Doc or Midwife in the Charlotte area, but maybe someone else on the board can. You might ask a mod if you can put "Charlotte" in the title of your post so folks will know where you are.
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