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feelings of loss/really an emergency?

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feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby bacheak » Mon Dec 22, 2003 05:07 am

by bacheak (12 Posts), Mon Dec 22, 2003 05:07 am

I had to have a c section on 11/14/2003 because of preeclampsia. My baby had remained breech my entire pregnancy. I'm 40 and it was my first and perhaps only baby. I didn't see her being born and didn't even hear them say it's a girl so I feel like I missed the first moments of her birth. My husband says they showed her to me but I don't remember that even. I don't know why my brain was so foggy and I couldn't hear. I had preeclampsia for about 4 weeks (although only diagnosed 2 1/2 weeks before). I know my bp was going up in the 190s systolic and 110's diastolic at home but when I read my medical records it said they were consistently in mid to high 90's diastolic (while laying down) and didn't go down. They told me that I or the baby could die. The only reason I didn't leave (they wouldn't admit me just for hospitalization or send me somewhere to get her to try tu turn) was that they said she could die. Was that really true? The medical records said the diagnosis was mild preeclampsia. They told me it could suddenly worsen. Were they correct? Could she have really been hurt if I chose to wait? I know I shouldn't have feelings of loss because she turned out healthy but I've ended up with postpartum depression. My biggest fear was a c section and that's what happened. I'm a very detail oriented person and the fact that I'm missing details of her birth is driving me insane and my husband thinks I'm crazy. He thinks I should just get over it but I'm still angry with God over the preeclampsia and angry at the doctors (who originally told me I had nothing to worry about) for forcing the c section. Are these feelings normal? Was it really an emergency? If I do have another baby what are my chances of getting preeclampsia again?
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Re : feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby sherry fisher » Mon Dec 22, 2003 06:15 am

by sherry fisher (384 Posts), Mon Dec 22, 2003 06:15 am

Hi! First of all CONGRATULATIONS on your baby girl! How exciting!
Absoulutely your doctor was right in taking your baby when they did. When your blood pressure gets that high it can cause many things to happen. Placenta abruption is when your placenta breaks away from your uterus. Many women hemorrage and many babies dont make it through that trauma. Also, when your blood pressure goes that high it constricts that umbilical cord, there is less blood flow and oxygen to the baby. Preeclampsia will worsen very quickly. There is no cure, and no one can really tell you why it happens. Its really hard to say for sure if you will get it in another pregnancy. I know you will probably be watched closer for any signs of it. Your OB should be very proactive with your next pregnancy. Some of us women on here have had it with every pregnancy and some only with one. Call us that have had it with every one...a glutton for punishment! But we stay focused on the "prize" as Erin says! You have to.

As for the confusion after and during her birth...I am SO sorry to hear that. Ask your OB if you were on Magnesium Sulfate. That is to bring your blood pressure down. It will do all of the things you described. I cant remember much of anything about my sons birth. I did not even want to see him immediately after he was born. It took me about 8 hours after his birth for me to call to the nursery to ask for him. I know now that was not me being a 'bad mommy' but the medication I was on. Ask any women here...we will ALL agree that Mag is the absolute WORST!!!!!

I need not tell you that you are a very lucky women to have a real life baby at home to stay focused on. There are many women here that have lost their babies to preeclampsia or related problems. Its horrible. I am sure Anne would be happy to send you some information on Preeclampsia. Its unfortunate that many of us women have to go 'searching' for information about this horrible disease. Our OB's should have information readily available. Most dont. They expect you to know what is going on with little questions asked.

Good Luck with your baby. A birth should be something that we can think about and experience for a life time. I am sorry you did not get that opportunity. I feel like I was left out in the cold, so to speak with the birth stories of my son. All I can say when I talk to friends about 'their' stories, is "I dont remember much". But in the end, I am thankful I had a healthy little boy!!

Sherry Fisher (28)
DH: Bill (35)
Proud Mama to:
#1) Alex 1/1/94-PE
#2) Abbie 12/17/97-PIH
#3 Will 08/03/02-PP PE
#4) EDD: 4/27/04
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Re : feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby kim » Mon Dec 22, 2003 06:19 am

by kim (555 Posts), Mon Dec 22, 2003 06:19 am

What you are feeling is completely normal... I'll try to answer your questions...

Brain foginess: that is due to the cerebral swelling that is caused by preeclampsia. I did not remember much of anything about my daughter's birth until the first anniversary. Not sure about the "hearing" part of it, but I could not see out of my left eye for 2 days after delivery.

Mild preeclampsia can progress VERY quickly. I was admitted at 36 weeks for mild pre-e, and was just to stay long enough to run tests. Within 8 hours, my condition gone from mild to severe to hellp syndrome. So, yes, mild preeclampsia can progress VERY quickly.

I can understand your feelings about the c-section. I did not have one, because my doctor feared that my body could not handle to trauma of surgery. But, I was terrified of having one.

I, too, suffered from really bad postpartum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Starting on Zoloft, then Celexa, really helped for me. And, do not feel that you have to "get over it." If you were in a car wreck, would people tell you to "get over it?" Just because we have babies, even healthy ones, after such a traumatic experience, it doesn't make the road that got them here any less awful. Yes, you do have a healthy baby, and yes, you were robbed of your birth experience. You can have both feelings!

Take care of yourself and if you need anything, email me at

Kim Schwintz
Texas Chapter President

Ainsley Kathryn 11/26/02-36 Weeks Preeclampsia
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Re : feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby ileana » Mon Dec 22, 2003 06:33 am

by ileana (1010 Posts), Mon Dec 22, 2003 06:33 am

Hi Bonnie,

I'm so sorry you had to go through such a traumatic experience. Preeclampsia is indeed a very dangerous disease that can evolve from mild to severe in a matter of hours.

You don't specify at what stage you had it. If it happened after 38w, then your chances are much better of either not getting it again or getting it milder than last time.
However, your age puts you at a higher risk than other women for getting it again.

We are not doctors here, so cannot comment whether your c-section was appropriate or it would have been more appropriate to do an induction or simply wait for you to go into labor. Your blood pressures sounded quite huge however, so I tend to believe that the c-section was appropriate.

For your peace of mind, if you are still bothered about what happened, you should get your hospital records and ask for a second opinion from a high-risk doctor. This will bring you the closure you need and might make you aware of other health problems you have. You can select a doctor in your area from the: - high-risk pregnancy doctors specializing in hypertension - high-risk doctors

Keep us updated with how are you doing.

Ileana 33
Angel stillborn 24w p-e 2/17/03
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Re : feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby tahoe4 » Mon Dec 22, 2003 06:59 am

by tahoe4 (251 Posts), Mon Dec 22, 2003 06:59 am

I also had memory loss after my daughter's birth due to swelling around the brain. I was fortunate enough to remember the actual birth, then I have no memory from one hour after her birth until 3 days after delivery. It is a very frustrating feeling that you can't remember anything. One thing that helped me is that I requested a copy of my medical records from my OB, but you can also request them from the hospital. Then I could see everything that happened with me and there was also a report on my DD's condition. I bet you'll also find out some interesting things that your dr never told you, I know I did.
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Re : feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby annegarrett » Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:17 am

by annegarrett (2525 Posts), Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:17 am

I can't really add anything to what the women have already said. Your preeclampsia sounded extremely dangerous. About 25% of the women here lost their baby so more than anything we are happy your baby was spared a NICU experience and was alive and well.

There is no way around it though--you had a traumatic experience. It is also possible that the magnesium sulfate (I am sure you were on) contributed to your general fuzziness--and certainly the cerebral edema.

The medical records likely have a detailed description of your surgery and that would go along way to helping you know what happened. I am sure you are very disappointed to have to have had a C-section but from what you describe--your doctors saved your baby and your life. And to be honest, preeclampsia just comes out of no where sometimes so they may not have known it was there more than a few weeks ago. It is very okay to be angry. Be angry at the disease--because women have this disease and have traumatic experiences and blame the doctors, or their partners, or themselves and in the end ---the real culprit--this damn disease--is not getting the funding, the focus and the full frontal attack it needs so we can cure it. We need to use that anger and disappointment to work towards a cure so none of you has to ask "Will I get it again?" "Will my daughter get it?"

(stepping off my soapbox now...)

Take care,

Anne Garrett
Executive Director
Preeclampsia Foundation
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Re : feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby akemt » Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:23 am

by akemt (4961 Posts), Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:23 am

Anne, we love ya!

Catherine (22)
DH Britton (27)
Emma Margaret (03/02/03) 37 weeks from PIH & oligo
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Re : feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby aimeejane » Mon Dec 22, 2003 12:03 am

by aimeejane (589 Posts), Mon Dec 22, 2003 12:03 am

First, Congratulations on your baby girl!

Second, BOY, do I know how you feel!

(Now, this next part may ramble a bit - I apologize in advance!)

I was put under a general anesthesia at 28 weeks for my first son's c/s, and I had many of the same feelings of loss, anger, disorientation, etc. that you've described. You have every right to be angry at the disease and the situation. (At the same time, realize that the c/s probably saved your life and your daughter's!) Because of my seizures, I am missing memory of most of the time around Nicky's birth, too. Additionally, I found out over the following months that the seizures caused black spots of several parts of my pregnancy.

Someday, you'll get to the place where you can sit back and sigh with relief, knowing that you had an incredible outcome to a dangerous situation. The anger will probably never completely go away, but it will dissipate. In the meantime, talk: Talk about the anger, talk about the fear, talk about whatever goes through your head. I can tell you from experience that keeping it inside makes it worse. That's what we're here for. Have your husband come online and read some of these posts and birth stories, so he can try to understand what you're feeling. Also, keep in mind how scary this whole situation has been for him! (My husband wasn't able to talk about Nicky's birthday for years.)

Lastly, Anne has a great idea - Get the operative notes from your c/section, and fill in the blanks! Make an appointment with the doctor who delivered your daughter, have them set aside an hour if you need to, and just sit and talk, so you can have as much information as possible.


Aimee - 28
Dh - 29
Ds Nicky - 3/24/00 (28 wks - eclampsia)
Ds Kalen - 7/10/03 (36 weeks - preeclampsia)
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Re : feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby amyk » Mon Dec 22, 2003 02:31 pm

by amyk (198 Posts), Mon Dec 22, 2003 02:31 pm

You sound just like I did! I wrote a post very similar to yours some time ago. The first time, I had an emergency c-section and I was angry and confused and felt like I had been cheated for a really long time. I remember almost nothing about my kids' actual births. They wouldn't let me see my daughter for 48 hours, and by then I hardly even wanted to. Plus, no one told me what was happening either. I even never heard the word preeclampsia until my 6 week pp checkup. I felt like I just couldn't get past this, even long after my daughter was born. Two things finally helped:
1) THIS FORUM! When I became pregnant with my son, I wanted to know if this could happen again. Just gaining knowledge about this disease helped tremendously, as did talking with all these wonderful women, who have all been there! And...
2) The birth of my second child. Yes, I got p/e and hellp faster and harder the second time around, and yes, I got the mag even longer, and by all accounts his birth was far more difficult than my daughter's, BUT since I knew what to expect, and I knew WHY my doctor was doing everything he did, I feel like I am totally 'over' this delivery. What a refreshing difference!
Anyway, I hope you visit this forum often and that it's able to help you. Just talking about it seemed to make a world of difference with me. I am absolutely positive that I would still be angry if I hadn't found these wonderful ladies!
Congratulations on your sweet little baby!


Chloe (8/6/01) 35 weeks, p/e, hellp
Tristan (9/3/03), 32 weeks, p/e and hellp AGAIN
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Re : feelings of loss/really an emergency?

Postby bacheak » Tue Dec 23, 2003 03:35 am

by bacheak (12 Posts), Tue Dec 23, 2003 03:35 am

Follow up on some of the posts:
I don't think they ever gave me the magnesium. I asked about something to just control my blood pressure and the doctor said it wouldn't do any good at this point. I thought maybe bp medicine would control the preeclampsia. The previous week they had told me my bp wasn't high enough for bp meds yet. That was frustrating. It wasn't technically an emergency c section because they didn't use general anesthesia. They just would not even wait until the next day to see if I could get her turned. I was awake although it was a blur. Maybe it was because I was so upset. I also got sick and was given anti nausea drugs. I know I'm really sensitive to drugs. Plus I got morphine afterwards. I don't think they give it during the procedure but I'm sure being out of it for the next day didn't help me regain my memory. I do wonder if the preeclampsia can cause hearing problems because my hearing did seem to deteriorate in late pregnancy. I also felt like I was having a heart attack when they put me back together-I do remember that. They said it was nothing but I had 2 similar episodes in mid to late pregnancy. I'm also upset because I was in such shock over the c section I didn't even think to ask if they could lower the tent for me to see her being born but I never thought I wouldn't hear it and when they said I'd feel tugging I never felt a thing so maybe I was extra sensitive to the spinal as well. I've always had and extra good memory so this happening is very upsetting to me especially on the one thing in life I should remember every detail of. I've been married for 20 years. I always wanted children but he didn't particularly (now he seems more connected to her than I do) and I was just very career oriented. Last year after 20 years I got pregnant by accident (antibiotics) and lost that first pregnancy and then decided together to have a baby. I just can't believe I'm not happier then I've ever been in my life to have what I've always wanted. All I can think of is the bad stuff. I left a message at the doctors yesterday that I was still depressed (have been on meds for 3 weeks) but no one called me back. I don't feel like I'll ever pull out of this. Maybe I would have been depressed without all the preeclampsia and c section stuff but I don't think so. I also lost the end of my pregnancy which felt like a loss too. Anyway, I ramble. I know I'm lucky to have a beautiful baby. I said in the middle of the night to my Ashley that God must of given me the most beautiful sweet baby to make up for everything else he did to me during my pregnancy. Just a note-I did get my hospital records and that really did help a little to fill in the blanks. I also left a note for one of the nurses-I tried for weeks to reach by phone. She said she would call me back and we would talk about what they normally do (footprints first, etc..) but I think because of Christmas she forgot. I'm going to call her after Christmas to help fill in more blanks. I'm sure the doctors just think I'm crazy and would never talk to me for an hour about anything (let alone 2 minutes). Can I legally get all the doctors records? Or only blood work? Thanks for all the posts. One more question.. I guess I was thinking that the baby could not have been hurt because she was already 37 weeks (not premature). That's not the case??
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