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Post On Wednesday, March 26, 2014 By Alexis
When I was just 17 years old, I became pregnant. I was just about to graduate high school and I was about to get married as well. The last thing I wanted during my pregnancy was something else to stress over and worry about. Three weeks before graduation and my wedding, I found out at my 13-week appointment that I had a low PAPP-A hormone (low pregnancy-associated plasma protein A). This in other words is a potential precursor to becoming preeclamptic. The doctor told me not to worry but they would have to keep a close eye on the baby and myself. At the time I had no idea what to expect or what it even meant. I cried a lot because I feared the worst possible situation, death, would occur. However, luckily enough we both made it out alive, but for a minute there, I almost did die.
At 32 weeks I started becoming extremely sick. I started swelling, feeling dizzy, feeling sick to my stomach, the whole nine yards. Well that was just the beginning of it. At 34 weeks I ended up going to the hospital because my boss at the time, who was a former nurse, took my blood pressure and it was 140/98. Not too good if you ask me. She sent me to the hospital right away. I was kept over night and monitored for three days. My blood pressure continued to rise but they needed to keep the baby inside me a little while longer to help him grow a little more.
I woke up one morning, 35 weeks 5 days, extremely sick. Throwing up, seeing spots, dizzy as all get out, could barely function. I called my mom to tell her I wasn't feeling well and she told me just to rest because the end of the pregnancy is always the worst. BUT, I knew there was something wrong. I called up my sister-in-law and she rushed me to the hospital. When I arrived I had a blood pressure of 170/110. YES THAT HIGH! The doctors immediately admitted me to L&D and they started me on a 24 hour urine specimen. The next day they got the results and the protein spilling in my urine was up to 2415! They said it was extremely higher than normal so they need to start the induction right away. I tried to deliver vaginally for 31 hours. I was given pitocin to help with induction, magnesium to counteract with my preeclampsia and help prevent seizures, and lots of antibiotics, along with an epidural finally after 25 hours with no pain meds. They also used a foley bulb to help progress labor, but unfortunately I did not progress past 5-6 cm. At approximately 10:30pm on day 2 I went unconscious, however I have no recollection of memory from about 6pm on that day. I was unconscious for about an hour before I finally came too. They are not sure exactly why I went out but that was the deciding factor that I could not have this baby naturally. 12 hours later I was in the operating room getting ready to have my son via cesarean section. I finally delivered him at 12:51pm on October 19th, 2012. I was extremely sick still and so was he. He only weighed 4lbs 4oz and was very groggy from the magnesium they had given me in labor. I was still suffering from extremely high blood pressure and vomiting.
At the time I never wanted to be pregnant again. I love my son but lord that was something else! But of course, that feeling wears off and you want that new baby again. So here it is 17 months later and I am in my second trimester of my current pregnancy. I just received news that I once again have the low PAPP-A hormone and that I am at an extremely high risk of becoming preeclamptic again. My medical team is trying me out on 1 baby aspirin a day as well as 1 tums a day to help give me extra calcium. I also have to record my blood pressure and give it to my doctor at each appointment. I am trying my hardest to stay positive this time around, but at least I know what to expect instead of it being all a big surprise. I am hoping and praying for a smoother pregnancy and safe delivery.
My name is Antonella Bartow, I am a pre-eclampsia hellp syndrome survivor, and this is my story. I... Read More