Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

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Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby sparkedjenn » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:52 am

I was diagnosed with pre-e and induced with my son at 37 weeks 2 years ago. Honestly, it wasn't a huge deal since he was term by the time I started noticing symptoms (severe nausea and vomiting that landed me in the ER at 5:00 am), it just happened. I'm thinking I'm not so lucky this time... Sorry if this is long!

The last week and a half has been crazy for me. I'll be 34 weeks tomorrow. Since I had pre-e with my first, my OB was sure to remind me of what to be on the lookout for and asked me to take my bp at the first sign of swelling or feeling off. No problems at all until 32+2, I gained 4 pounds overnight, noticed my fingers starting to swell, and ended up spiking a bp of 160/100 at work. (Had been 120's/80's consistently.) By the time I got to the OB's office and sat in the waiting room for a while before seeing the nurse, it was back down to almost normal, and my urine showed only trace protein. The on-call OB (luckily not my regular dr) made me feel like a complete idiot. He did order a 24-hour urine and some labs. I saw my regular OB the next day, and bloodwork looked good, but my urine protein was slightly elevated (422 mg), so she says we'll watch it closely and to call to be seen if I reach 160/100 again, but otherwise, just take my BP twice a day and take it easy.

I'm seeing mostly 120's/low 80's. The swelling went away. I did spike up to 153/94 once last week, but only for a short period of time, then right back down to 137/85. Over the weekend, I started noticing periods of feeling like I'm in a fog and trouble focusing my eyes quickly, then some dark spots, then a mild headache that hangs around. But my bp wasn't high, so I didn't call. Honestly, I really second-guessed myself... thinking it was just my imagination or that I'd read too much about pre-e and was getting paranoid and anxious. And afraid that I'd get the same jerk on-call OB who'd make me feel stupid again. I'm still second-guessing myself.

Then last night, I got into an argument with my husband over something stupid and ended up spiking up to 178/110. When it didn't go back down after 15 minutes of cooling off, I went to the ER. By the time I got there, it was down to 162/96, and after a few hours of observation in L&D, it was down to 125/55! (I don't remember having a diastolic of 55 before in my entire life....) Labs were good, urine protein dip was negative. So I got to go home. But I cried all night. This whole thing is just so out of my control, and it doesn't make sense. Why the crazy spikes? Why do I feel like crap and have that nagging feeling that something is not right when all signs show that this is (so far) a mild case of pre-e? Am I so anxious about this that my anxiety is what is causing the spikes? Please tell me I'm not the only one who's felt this way!
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Re: Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby CptSpacely » Tue Feb 25, 2014 05:03 pm

I'm sorry you're in this situation! I'm by no means an expert in PE, nor the most "experienced" in these forums, but I couldn't read your story and not respond.

It sounds like your blood pressure is starting to be "labile", meaning that you're in the beginning stages of PE. Think of the spikes being the first cracks in the dam--your body is trying to control the damage caused by the disease, but it's not always working so well. I've read a lot of stories on this forum about women who have gone through the same thing in the early stages of PE, and hopefully some of them will jump in here to offer their support/advice as well.

So, the good news is that you're not crazy. The bad news is that I think you've already met the diagnostic criteria for PE: two BPs > or = 140/90 taken 6 hours apart and protein > or = 300 mg. So, if you haven't already done so, now is the time for a serious discussion with your OB about how your care will be managed from here on out, and that management should include lots of extra appointments and monitoring. I'm concerned about the headaches and the visual disturbances that you're having, and you should report them to your OB promptly.

All the best to you! Keep us updated on how you're doing.
DS: Born via C-section on 7/4/12 at 33w5d after sudden onset of severe PE. Now a happy, healthy toddler!
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Re: Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby sparkedjenn » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:16 am

Thank you so much for your reply! I used the search term "labile" in this forum, and it was such a relief (if that's really the right word for something like this....) to see that I'm not just overreacting and that voice in the back of my head telling me that something's not right isn't just paranoia.

I see now where this happens over and over, and women keep trusting their bodies to tell them when something is wrong, and that has helped a lot of them stay alive and bring home healthy babies instead of just sitting at home doubting their symptoms because their doctor wasn't taking them seriously because it wasn't "bad enough." I'm very thankful that it's not "bad" yet, but I know that it could turn bad at any time, and I want to be prepared for that.

In good news, I'm 34 weeks today, so feeling much better about the what-if's. Not that I want to have this little guy before 37 weeks, but 34 weeks is a good milestone and makes this less scary for me. I have an appointment with my OB on Friday, and I have lots of questions. I definitely want to know her take on inducing me at 37 weeks. Given that it's the recommendation for even mild pre-e, the fact that I showed up with severe pre-e at 37 weeks with DS, and that I'm having trouble much earlier this time, I don't feel comfortable at all doing the "wait and see" game once 37 weeks is here. Plus, I'm still working (OB doesn't believe that bedrest would be beneficial at this point, and I am ok with that based on the research I've seen), so some advance notice that I'm definitely not going to 40 weeks would be good for my stress level right now.

I mentioned the headaches and visual disturbances in L&D, and the nurse told me to call if they come back, especially if they are worse than before. I promise to call ASAP if they do!
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Re: Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby sparkedjenn » Wed Feb 26, 2014 02:05 pm

Ugh, flashing lights are back, and I'm having trouble focusing on anything without my eyes being fixed for a second. Such a weird feeling. Blood pressure is 140/80, which is a weird number for me. Just got a call back from the nurse, and she asked me to go in and my OB would see me today. So wish me luck!
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Re: Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby sam10 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 02:57 pm

Glad you went in to get checked over. Let us know how it goes.
~Julija (40)
MC 3/2009 and 3/2011
Henry (1/1/2010-1/7/2010) - forever loved and missed; severe PE with Hellp; partial placental abruption, classical c-section at 25.6 weeks
Matilda (Nov. 2012, born at 35.4 weeks) - severe PE


Our pain has been put into words, placed into empty cradles, to remember that all our babies lived, that they mattered and always will. - Field of Cradles http://www.fieldofcradles.org/
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Re: Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby 3LittleBlessings » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:05 pm

I'm glad to see you made the decision to go back and get checked! I went through something similar a few weeks ago, so I really wanted to respond and encourage you to take your symptoms seriously. I am not ordinarily a very assertive person, but in this case you have to be- ask for a second opinion, and go to another hospital triage if necessary.

I delivered my son by emergency c-section two weeks ago (unrelated to preeclampsia, due to a cord issue that arose at the last minute) and had been battling inconsistent, hypertensive blood pressures for the two weeks prior. Due to the fact that I had preeclampsia at term with my daughter, my husband and I went to triage twice and were treated like we were overreacting. My doctor wasn't in town and had rescheduled my next appointment at the end of the following week, so we were reassured my labs were fine and then promptly ushered out the door. It was very frustrating and stressful for us because we knew what was normal, and having been through preeclampsia before, I knew what to look for. I felt something wasn't right and even more frightening, I was concerned for the wellbeing my unborn child.

While in labor with my son and after his delivery by c-section the nurses were shocked to get blood pressures from me in upwards of 170/100- not normal blood pressure for a mother who had just delivered a baby and supposedly didn't have preeclampsia. Imagine my surprise when my doctor confessed during her morning rounds later that week that she hadn't read my labs prior to me delivering and that according to the results I had been "on the verge of getting very sick." Had I not of went into labor naturally who knows how long my labs might have went unread, or how much higher my blood pressure might have climbed before I was taken seriously.

Please stand up for yourself if you feel you aren't being heard and find a doctor who will take the wellbeing of yourself and your child to heart.

Blessings,
Mary
Mary

Proud Mommy of
Shannon (born 6/5/10, induction at 36 wks due to PROM)
Natalie (born 9/12/12, induction at 38 wks due to preeclampsia)
Jonathan (born 2/14/14, emergency c-section at 39 wks due to a prolapsed cord with mild PIH)
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Re: Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby sparkedjenn » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:51 pm

Wow, Mary, what a scary experience! I'm glad you're ok!

I feel much more comfortable with everything after my visit today. My OB is taking things very seriously and assured me that I'm not just overreacting. I have a growth scan scheduled for the morning and weekly visits from here on out. I asked if she plans to I duce at 37 weeks, and she said definitely, but there's a good chance we might not be able to wait 3 more weeks.

So the ideal plan is for me to work for two more weeks (desk job) and be on bedrest as much as possible at home. I know things could change very quickly, but knowing that we have a plan and that my doctor is really taking this seriously is really helping to ease my anxiety.

But Lord help us if anything is up with my ultrasound tomorrow. My OB is out of the office, and I'd have to see Dr. Jerkface who made me feel stupid the first time. I don't want him anywhere near me. But I'm just going to think positive and not worry about that until the time comes.
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Re: Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby sparkedjenn » Tue Mar 04, 2014 02:26 pm

Good news - The ultrasound looked great on Thursday, and Baby is weighing in at about 4 lbs, 14 oz. I did feel like crap on Thursday and Friday, even though my blood pressure was fine. I started to feel a little short of breath, but who does feel shortness of breath when they are 34 weeks, pregnant, right? Wrong. I ended up going to urgent care on Saturday morning for a cough that I thought just needed a Z-Pak to knock out, but it turns out that I have pneumonia. (I will tell you that I must have been quite the sight during the chest xray, in all of my pregnant glory, trying to hold a lead vest up around my belly with my shoulders back, trying to breathe. haha!)

So I'm feeling pretty done right now. My blood pressure has been really surprisingly good (staying around 130/87), but I'm still having headaches and visual stuff going on every day. Not to mention the new shortness of breath, coughing, pulse racing, and chest tightness on top of it all. A small part of me wonders if the pneumonia could be related to fluid in my lungs due to the PE. Probably not likely, but it doesn't seem impossible. I didn't think I should be having visual disturbances without really high bp either, but I am. I called my OB's office yesterday as the urgent care physician asked me to, and the nurse said that since they put me on antibiotics, she'd just note that in my chart and to call if I started feeling worse.

I really enjoy being pregnant for the first 7 months, but geez, I think my body hates the third trimester. It's turning on me!
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Re: Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby 3LittleBlessings » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:07 pm

So glad your ultrasound came back with such good news and that baby looks good! :) I hope you recover quickly from the pneumonia and as I mentioned previously, bug your doctors if you start to feel worse. You and your baby are worth it- and it's what they're being paid for, right? Keep us posted!

Blessings,
Mary
Mary

Proud Mommy of
Shannon (born 6/5/10, induction at 36 wks due to PROM)
Natalie (born 9/12/12, induction at 38 wks due to preeclampsia)
Jonathan (born 2/14/14, emergency c-section at 39 wks due to a prolapsed cord with mild PIH)
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Re: Feel Like I'm on a Roller Coaster

Postby aundapenner » Thu Mar 06, 2014 06:46 am

Just read through everything else and wanted to pop my head in and see how you and little one are?

The most important piece of advice I can give you is to trust yourself. Trust your body and trust your gut.

Hope you're recovering from the pneumonia!!!
Alice - survivor of PE twice and mama to Heinrich (Henry), May 2006, born at 34+2 at 4lbs 5 oz and Sofia, February 2009, born at 37+1 at 6lbs 5oz.

Very thankful for the PF - who I found after Henry was dealing with preemie issues.
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