I was 23 when I had my first child. I started swelling up early in
Posted On Thursday, June 20, 2002 by Candace
I was 23 when I had my first child. I started swelling up early in my third trimester. When I started gaining 8 pounds in two weeks and had to stop wearing shoes because my feet were so swollen, I talked to my doctor, who told me to cut back on my work schedule.
Christmas at a large retail store is not the time to tell your manager that you can't work as much. Luckily, they were understanding. Of course, I was showing up to work in my slippers because my shoes didn't fit.
The morning of December 15, 1995 I was 37 1/2 weeks. I woke up, throwing up, something I hadn't done since the 18th week. I had severe chest pains and a headache. I called my doctor's office. The nurse said that it was probably the flu, but I should come in anyway. I called my mother, who took me to the doctor's office. When I got there, I had gained 4 lbs in one week, and my blood pressure was 165/100. Normal for me is 100/60. I had +2 protein in my urine and I was hypertensive. The doctor said that I was to go across the street to the hospital to be induced immediately.We called my husband from the room. I was given magnesium sulfate and Demerol immediately.
Everything that happened next, I have been told by family members. I have vague memories, mostly of throwing up, but I have been told that my blood pressure was going up with the contractions, even through the Demerol, so they gave me an epidural. I do remember pushing. I also remember being in the middle of a push and falling back on the bed screaming in pain, even with all the pain medication. The doctor immediately ordered a C-section and I was wheeled in to the OR. Dakota was born at 4:45 in the morning. Perfectly healthy. My blood pressure went back to normal and the 50 pounds I had gained was gone in two days. Four days later, I took my beautiful son home.
Then, two and a half years later, I get pregnant again. Nothing I could get my hands on said that there was any increased risk of developing preeclampsia again. My doctor, a different one this time, never mentioned it.
My second pregnancy was rougher. I threw up until I was 18 weeks and didn't gain any weight until 22 weeks. But once I started gaining weight, it came on.
At 28 weeks I was in an auto accident and spent a few hours in L&D under observation. Not a hint of a problem.
Then at 35 weeks, trouble set in. I started getting Braxton-Hicks contractions. They didn't hurt, but they were often and getting closer. I called my doctor's office. They told me to take Benedryl, since it's a muscle relaxer, and if that didn't help in a hour, go to L&D. Well, while I was in L&D, my blood pressure was up and the BH were dilating my cervix. Still no pain. They got the BH to stop, and my BP down. There was no protein in my urine, so they sent me home with instructions to see my doctor in the next day or two. When I went into my doctor's office, my blood pressure was up again and this time there was protein in my urine.
After a quick sonogram to check the position of the baby, she sent me across the street to the hospital, no detours. My only question was if I was going to remember this labor, she said yes. At 4:30, they started the pitocin. The contractions weren't that bad until they broke my water. Then they were hell. I was asked if I wanted an epidural and before they finished asking, I said yes.
My beautiful daughter was born at 10:30. I got to hold her as soon as she was born, but when they started cleaning her up, they noticed that she was a little lethargic from the magnesium, so they sent her to the special care nursery. I didn't get to see her again for 12 hours, but as soon as she was hungry, they came and got me. 4 days after she was born, we went home.
My children are now 5 and 2 and they are going to have a new baby brother or sister in November 2001. My doctor has already said that I will probably develop preeclampsia again and she will be keeping a close eye on me. She's concerned that it is showing up earlier in each pregnancy.
I am just thankful that both of my children are healthy and showing no ill effects of my problem.