I was a 30 year old, average size woman pregnant with my first child, and
I was a 30 year old, average size woman pregnant with my first child, and I was having a perfectly normal pregnancy or so I thought.
At my seventh month visit, my doctor was a little concerned with my blood pressure. It seemed to be a little elevated for me. My doctor told me he was concerned about preeclampsia. He asked me to get bed rest several times a day and be followed up weekly.
The next week my blood pressure was back to normal and I didn't have any protein in my urine. My husband and I began to feel more comfortable. Then I slowly started to decline, but I wasn't able to piece it all together.
Suddenly on June 3 (I was due July 15), I just felt miserable. I was exhausted and the lower left side of my back ached. The only thing that made me feel better was lying down. I also began to become nauseated, but only a little bit.
I had heard of women becoming fatigued and nauseated at the end of the pregnancy so I figured it was that. I mentioned the fatigue to my doctor. He was concerned but couldn't put a finger on my problem. I limped through the last week of school (I'm a teacher).
My mom helped me put the nursery together. Actually she did it while I sat in a chair I was that exhausted. I discovered I was drinking massive quantities of fluid. I would drink close to 150 ounces of fluid a day and I was going to the bathroom a lot as a result. I still thought this was typical.
A week later I started vomiting. At first I thought it was because I had choked while drinking water. But then I would vomit spontaneously once or twice a day. At the urging of my mother I called my doctor on a Tuesday. He asked me to come right in. I should have known something was up when he didn't even let me take a seat in the waiting room, but he didn't want to alarm me. He checked me and discovered protein in the urine for the first time. He sent me to the hospital for blood work and within two hours of getting to his office discovered that I had HELLP syndrome and would be delivering my baby at 35 weeks.
My doctor stripped my cervix, started me on magnesium and pitocin to induce labor. Fortunately, I had only a 4 and a half hour labor and delivery. The entire time was becoming fuzzier and fuzzier.
I deliverd a beautiful, healthy boy 7lb 3 oz. (small blessings for delivering early), but I don't remember the last part or holding him for the first time.
I was kept in labor and delivery for the next forty-eight hours and don't remember most of that time. I never really held my son until he was two days old. They started pumping my breasts but my milk never really came in.
While I am grateful for a healthy boy, I never imagined things would be like that. It made me very aware of not only the fragility of my son's life, but also my own.