Two-time survivor and now 2013 Dallas Promise Walk Mission Family
Posted On Monday, February 04, 2013 by Christine
I hadn’t been feeling well for a few days. I decided I would go in to work super early and give directions to the staff and then go home and go to the doctor. I got home and lay on the couch until 8 am when Dr. C’s office opened and then called in to see if I could get an appointment. I gave the receptionist my symptoms, upset stomach, no appetite, back pain, gas and she said to come in right away to see the nurse practitioner.
When I got in the room with the NP, I went over my symptoms again with her and she said it might be something with my gall bladder. Then she took my blood pressure. She remained calm, but told me she was going to take it again. After the second reading, she told me to lie down on my left side for a minute and she would be right back. She hadn’t told me what my BP was but, I started to get a little worried.
When the NP came back into the room, she took my BP one more time. She still didn’t tell me what it was but, proceeded to tell me that they were going to admit me to the hospital downstairs for observation. A nurse came to wheel me down there because they don’t let pregnant ladies walk around when they’re under observation. When Mark called during all of this, I told him that I was being admitted and that it would probably only be a few hours. WRONG!
After all of the admitting, changing clothes, and getting into bed, they got me hooked up to a BP monitor and told me to be quiet and not stress. By this time, it was about 1 pm. Dr. C came in and told me I had something called Preeclampsia and that I needed to keep my BP down. If my BP didn’t come down by Friday we would have to deliver via emergency C-section.
DELIVER?? C-SECTION?? What about classes? Forget classes, what about the house? What about me, I’m not ready?? I still have 4 days of work left. I was going to buy a book about babies on Monday!
It was Wednesday, December 10. I was due February 20. At that point I was 29 weeks and 4 days pregnant.
So, the next 24 hours went like this, from what I remember… catheter, unpleasant, but, I didn’t have to pee anymore. Then getting hooked up to magnesium sulfate drip, worst experience ever. They also gave me two steroid shots to boost Christopher’s lungs in case we did deliver. They also told me to let them know immediately if I had a headache or blurry vision because that meant I was either about to have a stroke or a seizure. At this point I didn’t know anything about preeclampsia. I knew that I had read somewhere that it only affects 5% of pregnancies and not to worry about it when you can worry about other crazy things during pregnancy that are more likely to happen.
So, Thursday evening comes along and I’m hot, hungry, tired, and I have a headache. I remember looking at my mom, who had driven in from Houston in the middle of the night, and she was wearing her coat. They had all kinds of fans blowing as well as cold wash cloths and ice chips for me. I told her I had a headache and the nurse came in. I also remember saying “I think I have a headache but, it feels like more of a sinus headache.” Within 20 minutes I was in the operating room.
When Christopher came out, the first thing I thought was “he’s not crying!” His lungs weren’t fully developed yet. The team of doctors for Christopher took him away to the NICU to get him taken care of while my team of doctors knocked me out to finish my surgery. I did briefly see him when they rolled him out the door. He was so small. He weighed 3 lbs. 7 oz. and was 16.5 inches long. He was 10 weeks and 2 days early.
On the way to my new room the nurses took me by the NICU to see Christopher. They wheeled me in, bed and all, and I got to see him in his isolette. He was so small and hooked up to a ventilator and all kinds of tubes. They had wiped him off when he came out but, couldn’t even give him a bath because they had to get him to the NICU so fast so, his hair was all curly and dark. I got to touch his hand for the very first time through a port hole in the isolette.
I finally got to hold Christopher a week after he was born. It was the best and scariest moment of my life. He was so tiny, still only 3 lbs. But, he was so strong… he would lift his head when he heard me talk to him.
Fast forward to two days before Christopher’s first birthday… Christopher ended up staying in the NICU/Special Care Nursery for 49 days. He is now a healthy, happy, almost 12 month old. He is almost caught up to babies the same age as he is. We are about to have his first birthday party and I find out I’m pregnant.
Dr. C says this time there is a 30% chance of Preeclampsia and slim to none that it would be severe. He tells us to think of it as a 70% chance that everything will go well.
Everything does go well. I celebrate when I hit 30 weeks. I’m so excited that we made it past 29 weeks and 5 days. At 32 weeks I start feeling bad again.
Mark is out of town for a band camp and I have a regular appointment. This time around they have scheduled me every 2 weeks. I have what feels like a million ultra-sounds.
Christopher comes in with me to my appointment because I don’t have anyone to watch him. I explain that I haven’t been feeling well to Dr. C and he tells me my BP is a little high. He wants to admit me for the weekend. Dr. C tells me he knows that he thinks I won’t be able to be on bed rest at home and that is why he is admitting me. If my BP goes down by Monday then I can go home and continue bed rest there.
One weekend turns into two weeks. Every day Dr. C comes in and tells me we are holding on until 36 weeks. I feel like I’m going to go crazy in the hospital. My husband is trying to take care of Christopher at home and go to work with the help of everyone we can think of to ask.
At 35 weeks my BP spikes. Again, I’m having an emergency C-section, only this time the Preeclampsia isn’t the worst until after Katie is born.
Katherine Grace is born at 1:19 on July, 9 2010. She is 5 lbs. 7 oz. I am actually able to hold her as they roll me back to my room after the C-section. She never visits the NICU.
The night that Katie is born, my BP goes higher. I remember being on the magnesium sulfate, again, and all of the alarms going off. The nursery nurse tries to bring Katie in to breast feed and my nurse tells her she has to leave and to give her some formula. It’s the middle of the night and they are calling Dr. C to find out what to do. Eventually, my BP came down and I was fine.
It has been two and a half years now. Katie came home with us when I checked out of the hospital. She is thriving, as is Christopher. Neither of them have had any complications and I was able to leave the hospital a day early.