I have had two battles with preeclampsia. The first was with my son, who
I have had two battles with preeclampsia. The first was with my son, who was also my first pregnancy. I went along with a fairly normal pregnancy. I did have a lot of swelling and weight gain, but my Dr kept telling me that was normal. It was at my 38 week check up that they couldn't get my baby to move during the NST and my blood pressure was high, so they sent me over to another office to have an emergency ultrasound to make sure the baby was ok. He looked good, but my BP was still high, so they sent me to labor and delivery and said I was being induced. Being my first baby, I was scared to death. The induction went fairly well, but then they found out that I also had low platelets. I was hooked up to the magnesium, which was miserable. I was induced at 8 PM on the 24th of October, 2006. Around 12 AM they came in and talked about doing an emergency c-section if I didn't progress further. They also told me I couldn't have an EPI due to the bleeding issue I had (which was just discovered that day). I got the EPI eventually and my son was born at 9:44 AM on the 25th of October. He was fine, but I couldn't even enjoy the experience because I felt horrible from the magnesium. They kept me on it for 24 hours after he was born, which meant that I couldn't get out of bed and do anything. I couldn't see straight because of the magnesium and felt dizzy when I tried to hold my head up. I was miserable, but thankfully my baby was healthy and ok.
I became pregnant with my second child in January of 2009. I was scared for sure, knowing what I went through with my first, but I was assured by my OB that it probably wouldn't happen again and also sent to a maternal fetal medicine specialist to monitor the baby's growth and my health. This pregnancy went by so smoothly. Not a lot of weight gain, no swelling and I felt pretty good the whole time. Then I went for my 35 week check up and NST and that's when it went bad. My blood pressure was really high again and it wasn't going down. They checked me 3 times in the OB office and sent me to labor and delivery to be monitored. I think I was even more freaked out this time, than with my son because I was only 35 weeks and I knew my baby was not ready to come out. I was also scared because I hadn't told my son that I wouldn't be coming home that night and I just didn't know what was going to happen to me. So, I get to labor and delivery and they hook me up to the monitors and tell me to relax. My husband came and sat with me the whole time. My BP wasn't going down because seriously telling someone to relax when they are scared to death about what's going to happen to their baby is pretty ridiculous. My OB said that if my BP went down I could go home on bed rest, but it didn't, so I had to spend the night and do a 24 hour urine test to check for protein. This was on a Friday, so I spent that night and did the urine test all day Saturday. The Dr told me that I would probably go home that evening once the results came back. At around 6pm on September 19th, 2009, the nurse came in my room and I was ready for her to say get dressed you're getting out, instead she told me, "you want to have a baby tomorrow". WHAT! My urine test showed protein, so I was being induced again! It all happened so fast, they moved me to another section of the hospital and the new nurse I had was less than pleasant. She was barking at me to get off my cell phone, when I was trying to call my husband to let him know what was going on. She inserted the cervadil and told me that I would have to stay in bed for an hour and then I could get up. Of course, with my luck, my OB demanded that I be put on the magnesium again, so that was started and I was bedridden. Laboring in bed when you can't move is miserable. I would have been ok for awhile, but they insisted on putting a bolus of magnesium in, which I guess is just a really large amount, really quickly, so I instantly felt like garbage. Then she inserted a catheter and I don't know if she did it wrong or what the problem was, but I was left with the feeling that I had to urinate, but could not get it out of course. It was terrible, laying there, all along, not being able to see straight, feeling all dizzy and then having to pee, but I couldn't. I think they started the pitocin in the morning and also broken my water, I was dilated to 2. After a little while the Dr came in to do my epidural. The Dr was horrible. He numbed my back and that was a quick prick, but then he went and stuck the needle in and it didn't feel like I was numb at all. I screamed out in pain and he said, ok, let's try another spot. So here goes the numbing again, pain, pain, pain. By this point I am sweating and seeing tunnel vision, so I tell the nurse I have to lie down because I was about to pass out. I lie down, get on the O2 and get a wet rag on my head. He puts the epidural in lying down and I finally had some relief. I have no idea about times because I could hardly see straight, but at two separate occasions Emmalyn's heart rate dropped down to the 50's and I was turned on my side and my bed was tilted to have me lying on my head. The Epi guy was called in and he dialed down my epi and inserted ephedrine to raise up my blood pressure. I guess the epi was causing my pressure to go down to a normal level, but since my placenta was used to the high blood pressure, the baby was not responding well. I think I was dilated to a 4 at this point.
The nurse started talking to me about the possibility of a c-section, so I decided to let them know that my epidural had completely numbed my left side, but I could still feel the right side. I didn't want to risk being cut open and not being totally numb. So the Epi guy came in again and tried pulling the Epi needle out a little bit. It wasn't long after that when I started feeling the contractions again. Whatever he did pretty much stopped my Epi from working. So, he was called in again and inserted a huge amount of the numbing stuff. I was told it would take 10 minutes to work, well, it never did. I was in pain and just about ready to just give up and say cut me open, when my nurse decided to check me again and I was dilated to a 9. They started prepping the room for delivery and my dr was called.
Each contraction was worse than the last. The nurse asked if I felt any pressure and at the time I didn't, but pretty soon it started and she told me to push. So I pushed maybe 3 times with each contraction and I guess the baby was right there but my Dr wasn't, so the nurse told me to stop pushing. That was almost impossible and some of the worst pain I have ever felt. Finally the Dr got there and I pushed through I think 2 more sets of contractions and she was out. They placed her on my chest and she was perfect. Matt cut her cord. She got 9's on her APGAR and needed no intervention with breathing or anything. I didn't tear at all, which was great for me considering it was a pretty natural delivery because my Epi wasn't working at all then. The baby took right to breastfeeding which amazed the nurse because I guess most preemies have trouble knowing how to suck. We switched her to the other breast and I started feeling sick and then proceeded to throw up everywhere, 3 times.
The rest of the night was a blur. I was still on the mag and they kept pumping me with some other blood pressure medicine in my IV. I just felt horrible, so Emmalyn stayed in the nursery. Matt got to go and watch her get her first bath and then he stayed with me that night. The next day I was still on the mag which made me sick still, but I convinced my dr to at least lower down the mag to 1 and start me on oral blood pressure meds. All IV meds ended at 7 that night and I was finally moved into the mother baby unit to recover.
By Tuesday I was feeling better and so glad to be off the meds. It was a nonstop flow of people into my room with forms to fill out and doctors telling me different things. Emmalyn's pediatrician had come in during the night to let me know that since her bilirubin levels were still high, they would be putting her under the lights for 24 hours. It was hard to see her like that, but I did get to take her out to nurse. The Dr said that I was ok, so I was kicked out Tuesday night and Emmalyn had to stay to have a repeat bilirubin test in the morning. It was so hard to leave my newborn baby and I felt empty coming home with nothing. The nurse called the next day at 6 am and said that her tests were good and she would be allowed to go home. We went to pick her up and after a few repeat tests her levels have stabilized and she is doing great.
After dealing with preeclampsia twice, I am so scared to have another baby. I would love to have one or two more, but with my second delivery worse than the first, I am scared. I wish that there was a way to control it early on, but my preeclampsia has just kind of appeared both times. I felt completely fine and no signs of sickness both times, but my blood pressures were in stroke range. I wish there was some sort of cure or treatment for this horrible disease, so that labor and delivery could be enjoyable for us moms that have to deal with preeclampsia. My OB said that I have the same chance of having it again with a 3rd as I did with my 2nd, but I'm still scared. Maybe 3rd time will be the charm?