I am so happy to have found a website to share my story. My husband and I have been married for 6 years. I delivered a healthy baby girl at 39 weeks in August 2002, Emily Grace.
Moving on to my second pregnancy-----things were progressing nicely until about 33 weeks gestation. My husband who is in the army was deployed to Iraq in January 2005. Our second daughter's due date was March 22, 2005. I started not feeling well and went to my OB appt. My blood pressure was elevated to 150/90.....which was high for me since my BP always ranged 100/60. I told my doctor my concerns that I was developing preeclampsia. (I am a RN and knew a little about the signs and symptoms) He didn't take me seriously and I was told to come back the following week that my BP was only slightly elevated. The whole weekend, I felt horrible. I was trying to take care of my 2 1/2 year old and myself and just did not feel right. That following week I went back in and my BP was even higher 150/95. Once again, my doctor told me that it was not too elevated and I shouldn't worry. I informed him that I had gained about 5lbs over the weekend and that no one even checked my urine. At that point, he made the nurse check my urine and my dipstick showed 2+ protein. Even after my weight gain, swelling, elevated BP and proteinuria, he would not diagnose me with preeclampsia until I had a 24 urine protein completed. He told me to go home on bedrest and complete the 24hr urine protein. I returned home with Emily and tried my best to stay in bed and take care of a toddler. I returned back to the ER the next day with a headache and my BP was actually down to 140/84. I was sent home again. I went back to my regular scheduled MD appt that Friday, Feb 17th, 2005 and luckily, the most amazing doctor was on call. She looked at my 24 hr urine protein which only showed 1gm at this point, my elevated BP and admitted me to the hospital immediately.
Of course, my husband was not allowed to return back from Iraq because I wasn't "serious" enough. Even though, at any moment, they were going to induce me if my BP was not controlled. My mother in law had to fly down and take care of my daughter, Emily while I was in the hospital and my sister came down to be with me since I was alone. During the course of my hospitalization, my BP slowly was rising and on Feb 27th, I completed my third 24hr urine protein. I had done my second one in the hospital which showed 1.5gm protein. On February 28th, my doctor came in and said, we need to take the baby now. My 24hr urine protein came back with over 3gram protein, it doubled in one week!!!!! I was immediately taken to L/D, placed on pitocin and magnesium drips and delivered my beautiful baby girl 4 hrs later, Alaina Marie was 5lbs 12ounces and had to be taken to the special care nursery for low blood sugar and tachycardia. I only was able to hold her for one minute before they took her away. I was kept on the pitocin and mag drip for 24 hrs. 2 days later, Alaina and I were released from the hospital and family kept coming to stay with me. My BP on discharge was 140/80-90 and I was not put on any BP medication.
At 9 days postpartum, just after a family member left to go back home, I started to develop a headache. I took my BP and found it to be 160/90. I rechecked it a few hours later and it was 164/94. I packed up my newborn and 2 1/2 year old and headed to the ER. At the time of my arrival to the ER, my BP was 170/108. I was immediately placed on a cardiac moniter, given IV Hydralazine to lower my BP and started on a Magnesium drip again. One of my doctors came in and immediately admitted me to the ICU. I had to have friends come and pick up my newborn and my other daughter to take care of them for me. It was the scariest time in my life and honestly believed that I would not make it through. My mother in law flew back down to help out and I was released a day later on Procardia. I stayed on the procardia for 6 weeks and then tapered myself off. Friends and Family would not leave me alone for the next 2 months. My BP managed to come down to 120/60-70's and I have managed to come off the medications. I did develop 2 episodes of postpartum hemorrhage on top of all of this and had ended up back in the hospital 2 more times. And through this all, my husband was not able to come back to help care for me because I was never "critical" enough.
My Alaina is now 6 months old and doing perfect. My Emily is not traumatized anymore about her mommy going back to the hospital all the time. I suffered some PTSD from all of this and it took awhile before I was comfortable to be by myself again. My husband did see Alaina at 2 months old when we were both healthier. He was home for 2 weeks and then went back to Iraq. He is scheduled to return from this deployment in January 2006. I can't help but feel that he never saw me sick and had no idea how scary this was for us. Amazingly, I would love to have another baby, but am just so scared of going through all of this again.. Thanks for letting me share my story.