10-31-00 My name is Renee and I am 34 years old. I have a 3-week-old
10-31-00 My name is Renee and I am 34 years old. I have a 3-week-old son named Matthew who happens to be just beautiful (of course without any bias)! He was born on 10-7-00 at 3 P.M. The original due date was 9-26-00 so I was a bit late.
Getting pregnant was easy and planned. Being pregnant, for me, was not so easy. Although I had a very healthy and uneventful pregnancy, it was just all the normal aches and pains I did not like dealing with. Additionally, I found the weight gain to be dreadful. I am a small woman; well I used to be. Prior to getting pregnant I weighed approximately 115 lbs. I am 5 feet tall. When I went in to be induced on 10-6-00 I weighed about 175 lbs. This much weight gain can put a toll on ones body!!
I went to all my appointments as prescribed. I had all the prenatal tests and passed with flying colors. There were no red flags for what was in store for me later. I did have to miss 1 week's appointment due to my doctor not being available. In fact, when I asked to see another Doctor his Nurse explained that there is not another Doctor available. She further stated, "Renee, we live in the United States where we see our patients too much anyway." Well that statement couldn't be farther from the truth as you will be able to see in the following story.
As I got closer to the due date, I was not dilating, as one would have hoped. Without being dilated you cannot be induced as that is almost a certainty for a c-section (well that is according to my doc). So we had to wait. While waiting, he still had to monitor my baby's environment. We did this by having ultrasounds to measure the amount of amnio fluid that was left and monitoring the baby's heart rate. On 10-3-00 I went for the first set of tests. It was found that I did have a low amount of fluid left, however, it was within the normal range. The baby's heart rate was also within the normal range. These tests led me home once again still pregnant and very uncomfortable.
On 10-6-00, I had to go back to the hospital for another set of the same tests. This time it was determined that even though I am not dilated, I will still need to be induced as the amnio fluid is now in the low range which could be dangerous for the baby. I could not be happier!! Finally, I was going to meet my baby. I got to the hospital where they were going to deliver my baby. It was Friday, 10-6-00 12 P.M. They got started right away with the IV fluids.
Around 3:45 P.M. they started the patossin (not sure of the spelling). I am now in labor that hurts pretty badly! I kept reminding myself that I am going to meet my baby. Each time I would get a painkiller the contractions would either slow down or stop. This kept going on for about 24 hours until the Doctor advised me of the dreadful c-section. I started to cry. My husband asked me what bothered me most. He thought that I might feel like I failed or something. Well that was really the farthest thing from my mind as I am ending a very long and uncomfortable pregnancy. I did not feel like a failure. I told him that I am crying because I am petrified. Abdominal surgery is not what I wanted. Well I took a back seat to the rest of this ride and pretty much just put my baby's life and mine in the Doctors hands. Well in no time I heard my baby's cries. What a relief that was. I was done with this major event, now I will be going home soon with my baby boy, Matthew. 7 lbs. 2 oz and 19.5 inches long. Good size for someone small like me. Well the Doctor told me that my pelvis is too small, and since I never dilated past 6 centimeters I will need c-sections in the future. Well the next day when I was feeling the pain, I decided adoption sounds good to me. I stayed 4 days in this hospital.
On 10-11-00 I went home. The pain was tremendous for me. I was taking 2 percocets every 6 hours. Let me also add that I usually have a high tolerance for pain. I am not sure why this was so extremely painful for me. Everyone kept telling me that it hurts so much because this was MAJOR surgery. Well I am completely positive now that I will never go through this again. NEVER.
Each day after my return, I was feeling like the abdominal pain was lessening. However, I was feeling more nauseous, headaches, and postpartum depression was kicking in. On 10-14-00 I woke with a very severe headache, one like I never had before. It started at the base of my neck and traveled up the back of my head until it reached the top of my head. This lasted all day and night. We had some relatives over for dinner this night. After we ate, I had to lie on the couch as I felt like I was going to get sick. This lasted until I went to bed. On 10-15-00 I woke early to the lovely sounds of a baby crying. When I put the baby on the changing table I looked at him and saw only have his face. The other half was like looking at sparkling broken glass. I used to get this same thing when I was 15 years old. I used to get migraines and this is how they would start. There was a difference though. With the migraines, it would be white sparkling glass. On this day the glass had some color to it. Additionally, it NEVER went away. Usually it lasted about 1-2 hours and would end. On this day I went to bed with this problem. I also had another bad headache this day. Ironically, I am now taking the percocet for the headaches and not the incision.
Later this evening my husband advised me that he will get up with the baby and I should not. He insisted and once I got past the guilt, I agreed. Around 2 A.M. on 10-16-00, my husband was coming back to bed after a feeding. I still was not feeling well. He advised me of what I did next, as my memory is a bit fuzzy. He told me that I was curled up in a ball shivering. I asked him if he could get me a glass of water. He asked me what is wrong and I told him that I want to tell him what is wrong but I cannot get it out. I kept trying to verbalize my problem but all that would come out was, "I want to powder my nose with the camera." When my husband heard me say this several times he went to get the thermometer. When he came back I was having a Grand Mal Seizure. He called 911 and they sent out 5 men.
Enroute to the hospital, I was informed that I had another grand mal seizure in the ambulance. When I arrived at the hospital, I had another one. From what I am told, I had 3 seizures total.
Meanwhile, my husband waits at home for my mom to show up so she can watch the baby.
When he gets to the hospital I am still unresponsive and remained that way until the next day. The doctors have already suspected that I have suffered from ECLAMPSIA and have requested that an aggressive approach be taken with me. This meant taking all the tests in the world. They wanted to rule out many other diseases/problems. Epilepsy, brain tumor, spinal meningitis, and some other diseases were ruled out. They also wanted to see if my heart was sending off blood clots. All the tests (some painful and some not so painful) all came back negative. This strengthened the ECLAMPSIA diagnosis.
Some of the tests that I had were EKG, EEG, MRI's, spinal tap, and some heart tests. One where they had to stick a camera down my throat, and another one where they had to take blood from me and put a radioactive material in it and put it back into my body and take some x-rays. That is all I can remember.
Speaking of memory, mine is getting better. I found that reading, writing, and typing was a bit of a challenge for me the first day home. I have also found that I mix up things at both my hospital stays. With time I am getting sharper and feeling better. I have a long road ahead of me. Not only do I need to recover from abdominal surgery, I need to recover from some brain damage, and having magnesium sulfate being pumped into my body. From what I am told Magnesium Sulfate can really take a toll on someone's body. I can certainly attest to this!!
I end this nightmarish story with how I am able to face my life now with little tears. I have spent many days and nights since this incident crying about how lucky I am to be alive and how lucky I am to have avoided a coma and/or a stroke. What has helped me the most is my husband. I knew that he is a great man, but I never really knew how great. He has been by my side the entire time and has advocated for me and what is best for me at the hospital. He has kept track of my medication for me and at the same time has kept track of the baby's needs. He took 2 extra weeks off of work to take care of his new little family. If it were not for him, I do not know how I would have made it through this!! This experience has been a nightmare for him and me. What also keeps us going is our little one who is very healthy. I can say with complete confidence and pride that my husband is the best man in the entire world and my number 1 hero in a list of many (paramedics, emergency room personnel, doctors, nurses, techs, to just name the rest).
Prior to this experience, I NEVER had any idea that something like this can happen. I am upset and a bit angry that I was never informed of the signs and symptoms so I could have avoided this from happening to me. I hope that my story will help someone avoid a situation like mine. My plans, besides being a first time mom to a beautiful little boy, is to bring more attention to this medical problem for women.