I had a rough start to my first pregnancy with hyperemesis severe nausea/vomiting and constant
I had a rough start to my first pregnancy with hyperemesis (severe nausea/vomiting) and constant diarrhea (caused by Crohn's disease, then undiagnosed). So I thought pregnancy was pretty rough. I kept looking forward to that middle trimester everyone talks about, but it never seemed to arrive!
Around twenty-seven weeks I went shopping with my mother and bought some slippers and pyjamas for the hospital. I remember thinking it odd that I needed medium size slippers (my feet are usually small/extra small!) but thought it was just that the shop stocked smaller shoes than average. I knew I was a bit swollen, but didn't think it was that bad, and put it down to an early third trimester. (Now those slippers fall off my feet ...)
I'd also started to feel sick more often again, and now eating didn't help. I'd hoped to avoid swelling up all over like some women do during pregnancy, and was disappointed to notice that my face was puffing up. Again, my extremities have always been very petite, so it was hard to notice any significant swelling. I thought it was just normal third trimester swelling.
At my twenty-eight week check I had high BP and +1 protein. I thought they were just being cautious when they sent me to the Maternity Assessment Unit for checks. In the next week I was in and out of hospital daily for BP, blood and urine checks.
I remember asking the midwife whether I had any chances of laboring in water now! I remember her face ... she looked so confused. I obviously hadn't grasped how serious the situation was.
At twenty-nine weeks I went into the hospital at night because I'd hardly felt the baby move that day. As soon as she put the machine on me he started kicking! But as we drove in, I'd started to experience agonizing pain in my chest and stomach. Antacids helped a little, but when I told the midwife I'd had pain in my upper back for the last few days she got really cross with me for not telling anyone. I had no idea it was significant - I thought I was looking for pain in my stomach.
I still thought the doctors were just being cautious. But after four days in hospital my husband woke to find me convulsing in the bed. Miraculously my BP dropped and they didn't have to deliver me, but three days later, at exactly 30 weeks, my son was delivered by emergency caesarean, weighing 3lbs 5oz.
I was in the hospital for a further ten days, on labetalol for blood pressure. I was also severely anaemic and required two blood transfusions.
My son spent five weeks on the neonatal unit. He just went from strength to strength. It was so hard to leave him there, especially as I was so weak I could only spend about half an hour a day with him at first. I tried so hard to breastfeed but had to give up in the end.
It took me about a year to process the whole thing. On the anniversary of his birth I had flashbacks in the form of nightmares. It was very difficult. I still feel like I missed out on the real birth experience, and still 'grieve' for that. But most of all I am just so thankful that my son and I came out the other side, alive and well.