The unknowns (34 weeks)

As I get closer to my due date, I’ve been thinking about how things might play out. One of my least favorite things about lupus is how little control I have over it. Outside of keeping stress low and eating healthy (you know, the stuff everyone should do,) lupus is completely unpredictable. One week I can be considered stable and the next week I could end up in the hospital for six days (this has actually happened). My lupus being unpredictable makes my pregnancy unpredictable.

There are so many unknowns with my pregnancy. I know I’m at a high risk for delivering early, but what does that mean really? It doesn’t mean I actually will go early. I will most likely develop preeclampsia at some point in my pregnancy, but when? I could be past my due date without an issue at all. The pressure on my kidneys could get to be too much and my lupus could start affecting those again. The stress of the pregnancy and the extra weight could make my lupus flare towards the end. I have been sore lately, but I wouldn’t call it a flare just yet.

With all these unknowns I really try not to think about them too much (emphasis on “try”). I know that it’s out of my control and stressing over them does not help my health or the baby’s health. I am very thankful that everything has gone as smoothly as it has. Only a couple minor hiccups that turned out to be nothing serious.

I’d like to say that I’ve stayed fairly calm during this pregnancy, given the circumstances. I did have a freak out moment a few weeks ago where I decided that we HAD to go get a car seat immediately. That was the only thing that we didn’t have that we would absolutely need if the baby came. Pete stayed calm and assured me that if the baby came and we didn’t have one, we would just get one. I insisted we go get one anyway. We did, and I felt a lot better.

This week, at my 34-week appointment, I asked my doctor at what point in my pregnancy, would she no longer stop premature labor. I have heard the normal can be about 36 weeks. But what is normal anyway? She said that for me, at 34 weeks is when she wouldn’t stop it. I was 34 weeks on Monday. I’m at a point where I could have this baby at any time. It’s an uneasy feeling knowing that I could have my baby tomorrow or I could have my baby seven weeks from now. Again, it’s another thing completely out of my control. It’s an uneasy feeling, but exciting!

Kristie Bauer

About the Author:

Kristie Bauer is a long-time Lupus Foundation of Minnesota supporter, Walk/5K attendee and volunteer and founder of the Leaf for Lupus event fundraiser. Diagnosed with lupus at the age of 17 and now 26, she and her husband Pete were exploring the possibilities of starting a family, but Kristie was frustrated with the lack of information available regarding pregnancy and lupus. As she LIVES this big milestone, she’s graciously agreed to share her personal story.
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