I just got my hospital records from my 2nd child's birth, for me to pass along to my current OB. I wanted the records sent to me directly so I could have a copy.
I was looking at my BP history from pregnancy through postpartum with my daughter...and whoa. Pre-e really can come on full-force without much warning!
For example, in my case, my BP was fine most of my pregnancy, but starting at 37w5d it was misbehaving, at 130/90. I had a NST at that time, and was cleared to leave, with more frequent checkups scheduled. My BP lowered on its own, and was acceptable for the remainder of my prenatal appointments.
I showed up in active labor at the birth center at 40w1d, with a BP of 140/90. I was surprised they let me stay there as long as they did -- I figured I'd do an immediate transfer to the hospital. Looking back, I'm glad I was at the birth center for a little while and in the tub. It helped me to relax and progress very quickly.
They did 2 urine dipsticks, and my urine showed no protein, with the last test conducted at 6:45 a.m.
With two BPs in the 150s/100 range, they had to help me out of the tub, help me get dressed, help me buckle my seatbelt, and on we went to the hospital. I WANTED to be at the hospital, but I was unable to help get myself. All I could do was be in labor. I couldn't even put my pants on myself. I thought that was pretty amusing, and I even told them I wasn't trying to be difficult. They knew
So, at the hospital I was very close to being done with birth. They drew some blood, my water broke, and she was born at 9:46 and healthy and awesome.
My BP was still high, 157/90. The bloodwork from that time came back a few hours later, and my protein count was 628. I know that urine dipsticks are only qualitative, but I'm amazed that just a few hours prior it appeared I had no spilling protein, and less than 4 hours later I had full-blown preeclampsia.
They started the mag at 2:35, when I had my diagnosis confirmed. My BP lowered a bit to healthier ranges. For awhile, it seemed like the worst had passed.
Then at 11 p.m., I was complaining of a bad headache. They offered me more ibuprofen (I had already taken some earlier that day for abdominal cramping). I said I didn't think that would touch this headache, so they gave me Percocet. That was a mistake, as it made me feel very scared, freaking out kind of feeling. I think it sort of helped my headache, but I was feeling so poorly. I know that one of the symptoms of pre-e is anxiety, confusion, feeling scared, etc. I don't know for sure if it was the Percocet doing it or preeclampsia being a jerk to me. Either way, I don't think I'll opt for Percocet again.
Midnight my BP was 138/89.
Next check at 1:05 a.m., it was 171/109. Five minutes later it topped out at 187/117. Over the next hour, it fluctuated but it was still not good. I asked to have the doctor come see me directly, rather than consult just over phone or whatnot. It wasn't a doc I've seen before, just a guy doing rounds on the floor. They gave me labetelol in my IV at 2:30, and not long after that I felt so much better. My headache was finally going away, and by 3:10 my BP was 127/80.
After that, it kind of hung around good levels and then 130s/80s-90, but it never got worse than that. I didn't need more labetelol after that initial dose.
Overall, I am so thankful I was in the hospital. What would have happened to me if I wasn't on the mag? Or if they didn't get my BP down? Surely nothing good would have come of that.
I was alone though, because my husband was home with our 2yo son. We didn't have anyone in the area who could watch him for long -- he was with a friend while I was giving birth, but my husband picked him up in the evening and I saw my son for a little while. They went home to bed, and a few hours later was when things started to get nuts.
For this birth of my third child, I admit I am anxious and somewhat scared. I think that won't go away full until after my baby is born and I'm several weeks postpartum :/ I know my OB is taking my situation very seriously, and I will be at an excellent hospital. I know I'll be there for awhile after birth, and that's where I want to be (even though it's impossible to sleep with blood pressure checks every 15 minutes!).
Looking at the stats of my last birth has been good for me, I think. It shows just how sick I was, and how fast it moved and I think if I *didn't* have that happen (or mild pre-e with my firstborn), I wouldn't be as prepared for this birth.
Thanks for giving me a space to process this
DS born Dec. 2008 at 38.5w gestation. Mild PE diagnosed 3 hours before he was born
DD born Dec. 2010 at 40w1d. BP was slightly elevated since 37w, and climbed while in labor (started on my own). Severe PE diagnosed hours after DD born.
DD born Sept. 2013 at 38w. Induced (and I had to fight for it!) due to high blood pressure. No protein, but had brisk reflexes and clonus after delivery. Doc gave me a mild preeclampsia diagnosis anyway and said I'm likely to be a chronic hypertensive later in life.