The first time I ever had a higher than normal blood pressure reading was the afternoon after a job interview. It was my first job post-college, and I just so happened to have an endocrinologist appointment that afternoon. It was the first time that the nurse cited the reading back to me. "133/90." Ever since I landed that job, I have always wondered about my blood pressure at every appointment. It's been a struggle to keep my blood pressure at normal levels with a sedentary job and the overlying risk of diabetes. Throw pregnancy into that mix and handling blood pressure issues gets harder.
Before I got pregnant, I was on a mission to lower my blood pressure risks by losing 10 pounds. For months I attempted to lose the weight by limiting my calories and attending a spinning class in addition to my other exercises. Some of the weight came off, but I definitely saw an improvement in my blood pressure readings. Intense cardio seemed to help me keep my blood pressure down, but I have to keep my heart rate below 140 beats per minute during pregnancy. So I have to limit my exercises to brisks walks and pilates classes.
At every appointment at my OB, my blood pressure is measured. Only once have I had a normal reading, the rest have been higher than normal. The nurse always mentions it to me, which I'm sure makes my blood pressure go up even more. I mention to her that I've struggled with my blood pressure before I got pregnant. But my doctor always reassures me that he's not worried about it since I've never spilled any sugar or protein in my urine. And the fact that baby seems to be growing just fine gives me peace of mind.
This past Monday, I had an OB appointment that included an ultrasound. Baby girl is measuring just fine at 10 days ahead of schedule, right at 3 lbs. even in the 67% percentile, and her body is perfectly proportioned so there's no worrying about my diabetes beefing her up. Following some face time with my little girl, my "regular" appointment began with the same urine sample, blood pressure reading, and weight check. My weight and urine sample were fine, but my blood pressure was the highest it's ever been at 140/90. The nurse had me lie down on my left side for 15 minutes to see if my reading would go down. So my appointment go extended by a few minutes for me to take a nap. My blood pressure came down to 122/74, and I was free to see the doctor at that point.
My doctor once again reassured me that it was fine because my urine sample showed no signs of sugar or protein. I wonder if he'll allow me the chance for my blood pressure to go down if I have a high reading again or if he'll prescribe me something more drastic like bed rest. I try to keep up walking and good amounts of rest to keep my blood pressure and stress levels down, but it seems to all go out the window when I step in the doctor's office. I have severe white coat syndrome, and I have no idea how to cure it seeing as how my appointments are up to every two weeks for the next month and a half.