I so far had a normal pregnancy. All my prenatal visits went well and I never got sick during my pregnancy (though in the beginning I did get carsick). And then this happened...
I was 28 weeks pregnant and it was 1 o'clock Wednesday morning. IÂ had only slept for an hour or so.Â I woke up with a feeling of nausea and what felt like severe heartburn.Â I had experienced these same symptoms only 2 nights before, but thought it had been something I ate (maybe bad chowder) and I was ok the next day. But this was much worse than that.
I could not lie down in bed. I tried to lay on the couch, nothing could make me comfortable.Â I felt like I could not breathe.Â I could take only quick, short breaths and tried taking showers or a bath to help. It felt like something was pulling on my rib cage (little did I know that it is causedÂ byÂ having fluid in the lungs)Â By early morning, I had taken 3 showers and 1 bath... tried drinking several glasses of water and some apple sauce (which I vomited all night and everything that went in, went right back out).Â
I had to leave the house for work at around 7am (andÂ again I hadÂ only 1 hour of sleep).Â I told my husband that something wasn't right and I can't go to work.Â He told me that I should see a doctor to make sure everything is ok, and then go in.Â I was in tears, hoping that this was not a pregnancy symptom... because I could not survive another night like that again.Â I called my boss, and told her I was up all night and could not come in.
My husband and I headed to the nearby medical art center and I told them I was 28 weeks pregnant and could not stop vomitting.Â They immediately took me back and took my blood pressure.Â Is was 140/80.Â They told me that they spoke to my OB and ordered blood work and urine tests.Â I had protein in my urine and my blood pressure continued to rise... 160/90, and even as high as in the 170's.Â They prepped my arm for an IV and said I had to go straight to the nearest hospital (and that we could not stop or anything, not even breakfast)... and the hospital is expecting me.Â They did not tell me what was wrong. So off my husband and I went to the hospital, not knowing what we were headed into.
We arrived at the hospital and waited to check in.Â Once we were attended to the woman at the desk said that she had been expecting me and that I must sit down in a chair, and she came back with a wheel chair.Â I was shocked as I had no idea why I needed a wheel chair, or why everyone is flustered and I am in the dark.Â They wheeled me into a room and my OB doctor was there waiting for me.Â She then explained that I had Preeclampsia and that I may have to deliver today or tomorrow.Â My heart almost stopped.Â I hadn't even prepared myself for this moment.Â I hadn't taken child birth classes yet, I didn't have a car seat, hospital bag,Â or even had a baby shower. I had read What to Expect When Your Expecting... and I did not have any idea what is was or why I had it.
So... I was in shock and all this information was sinking in.Â I got undressed and into a gown and in went the IV's.Â I got magnesium sulfate and had gotten a steroid shot that was to help develop and mature the baby's lungs.Â They placed a catheter, and was wheeled into an ambulance.Â My husband was not allowed to ride with me since a nurse from the hospital was also riding with me.Â I really wanted him to be with me, and I was worried on how he was taking the news.Â So I went to a hospital about 45 minutes to an hour away (which deals with High Risk and has an excellent NICU). My husband followed, calling family members along the way.
Everything happened so fast.Â I arrived at the hospital and they brought me right into a room on the 6th floor.Â My husband was there and many nurses and doctors in and out.Â They were trying to get my blood pressure to go down and kept giving me medication... but it wasn't touching it. Then I started to feel as if I was going to vomit and blackout and the same time.Â I started sweating bullets, and they said when that happens, that it is my blood pressure dropping very fast.Â They put monitors on my belly andÂ the sound of my baby's heartbeat filled the roomÂ Family members starting arriving very quickly.Â My father was just down the road at a different hospital, having surgery then same time that I was rushed to hospital.Â Everyone was going back and forth between the two hospitals, making sure we were ok.
The doctors came into my room to tell me I had severe preeclampsia as well as Hellp syndrome.Â They told me that I had to deliver today, and discussed options of anesthesia.Â Luckily, my platelets were just at the point where they could give me a spinal, so I would be awake for the emergency c-section.Â Everything seemed like almost a dream to me.Â I had never been in the hospital for surgery, and this was the first time I was admitted, and the first time I rode in an ambulance.Â This was my first child and did not know what to expect.
They gave me something awful to drink before the surgery for any reflux, and brought me into the operating room. I was switched from my bed to a table and had me hang my legs over the edge (waiting for the anesthesiologist).Â I looked around and it felt like something I had seen on T.V.Â Bright lights, sterile instruments, doctors and nurses scrubbed up. Finally the anesthesiologist came in and had me lean forward, and said I would feel some pressure (which boy did I feel pressure!).Â Before I knew it I was lying on the table doctors drawing on my abdomen, and a nurse putting a hair cap on my head. They held my hand and kept asking me if I could feel them pricking me with a very pointy object.Â First my feet felt warm and then numb.Â It started working it's way up my body until I could not feel anything from the rib cage down.Â Just before they started, my husband came in, scrubbed up as well, and sat beside me.Â It was so nice to have him there, and we talked most of the time that I was getting operated on.
Then I saw the anesthesiologist that was next to me look over the sheet they put between my face and the incision, and heard them say, "the baby is out"... and a loud cry.Â It was my baby boy, crying out for the first time.Â They told my husband that he could look over to see him, and he did.Â He said that he was very red and tiny.Â They had a team ready for when baby was born (which was at 5:02 pm) and I saw them take him to the room next to me and were getting him ready to go up to the NICU.Â I asked how much longer it may be, and it was another 30-45 minutes before my c-section was complete.
They moved me from the table, back into a bed, and to the same room that I came from.Â They told me I will be onÂ bed restÂ for 24 hours, so they can monitor me.Â My husband was able to go see the baby, and handle all the business of bringing in the family to meet our little Joseph.Â Myself on the other hand wasn't able to see him until 8:00 pm the following day.Â My husband slept next to me in those chair/beds the entire time I was in the hospital (which was a total of 4 nights).Â When I first saw my son, I cried.Â I was happy that he was alive, could not believe that he was the baby that was kicking inside me, and that I have never seen a baby so small before (He was under 2lbs).Â
It took a couple weeks for my blood pressure to settle down. It is an emotional roller coaster to have a baby hospitalized. You go through periods of depression, anger, guilt, and sadness. I cried everyday, and outburst of tears I could not control. I couldn't holdÂ my babyÂ until he was 11 days old.Â I had to learn to change his diaper in an incubator with wires andÂ tubes.
Not being able to have him home and spending my entire maternity leaveÂ going back and forth (1 hour one way) to spend time with him is very hard. But the time I spent there is priceless. I did Kangaroo care with him, talk to him, rock him, and still be able to see his little first's.Â I keep a journal which I record everything that happens for every day he is born.
Premature babies have their good days and bad days. But I couldn't imagine losing my baby, or worse, losing myself and the baby.
I thank God everyday that my little boy is alive... that he has no physical or mental handicaps, and that he is a fighter. No one could have predicted that this would have happened. I had no history of high blood pressure in the past, nor at any of my prenatal visits (and I never missed any prenatal visits).Â The doctor did say one thing I will never forget.Â The 2 things that saved my baby were #1: I did not smoke and #2: I took my prenatal vitamins.
He is now a healthy 2 year old little boy. He is actually above average in height for his birth age, which says a lot... and he has since graduated from his NICU developmental Follow-Up Program with flying colors. He is a social butterfly and is always interested in how things work... and challenging his mind. He brightens every life he touches. It is a blessing that we are both here today, and I thank the heavens every day for that.