Assistance during bedrest

Are you worried about your partners pregnancy? Has your partner already had preeclampsia? Do you have advice for other dads who could be going through similar experiences as yourself? Post here!
tommysmommy21004
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby tommysmommy21004 » Sat Feb 19, 2005 07:56 am

I just wanted to say that you are a great husband to your wife!! She's very lucky to have such a supportive person in her life. I've seen some people who don't have support from their hubby and it's so hard for them.

Deanna Smith-Powers (30)

Mommy to Thomas James, b.2/10/04 @ 34 weeks due to severe pre-e and HELLP syndrome
Diagnosed with prothrombin genetic mutations-12/28/04

hfwarner3
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby hfwarner3 » Sat Feb 19, 2005 06:52 am

Thank you to all of you for your encouragement and kind words. It really does help to have a forum where I can step away for a few minutes to vent, question, evaluate, and listen.

Yesterday it finally sunk in 100% with my wife that this is "something new." It actually makes sense looking back. She has been dealing with her fear over the PIH coming this early by telling herself that she has been here 3 times before and knows what is going on. Last night she was finally able to verbalize that she is afraid, that there is no "logic" to PIH, and the only thing she can do to "fight" this is stay in bed.

With our first three children, she got PIH late in the pregnancy. Her BP would go up consistently each week. If you plotted her top and bottom BP numbers on a graph, you saw two slowly lines movings consistently upward. When the top number hit 170/110 in the week 37 - 38 timeframe, they induced and that was that.

I showed her the graph of her BPs of the last week and it is a rollercoaster with peaks and valleys that are getting ever higher and ever lower. There is no steady line. It really hit home.

I think that she needed to hear herself say that she was afraid and that she did not know what was going on. I think this has helped her accept the situation and take most of the emotion out of the equation.

We made a list of her concerns. It turned out that a lot of her short-term stress is about preperation for the baby, not the PIH. The big semi-annual consignment sale at church is in 2 weeks. She gets 80% of the kids clothes at this sale and was planning on getting the baby's clothes there. Now she can't do that. Once we talked it through, I put the laptop down beside her in bed and she started bidding on clothes on eBay. I told her how she has plenty of time now to patiently look for good deals and the selection on eBay over a few weeks would be much greater than that of the consignment sale. This got her *doing* something, and that has helped.

Ironicly, my wife runs the Elizabeth Ministry for our church. They provide meals to families in our parish when someone is sick, on bed-rest, or has just had a new baby. This has been a very enlightening experience from the receipient standpoint. She has come up with small changes that will make the ministry better. Since it only takes a pad of paper, a pen, and a phone, she has been working on that. This also gives her something to *do*.

My in-laws will be here in a few hours and all is looking good right now. I am going to take a break for a couple hours - go get a haircut, go get a latte, etc. After that, my in-laws are going to take the kids so I can transplant my wife to the sofa and we can watch a movie together. If the BP cooperates, it should be a good day. And if the BP goes up and we need to go to the hospital, we are ready and prepared.

That is about the best we can ask for today.

Thanks again to everyone.

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kdreher
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby kdreher » Sat Feb 19, 2005 04:02 am

After reading all of this I have to say that you really are an awesome father and dad - you have really jumped in here and I am sure learning more about this disease than you ever thought. You sure do deserve the father of the year award. Your concerns about hospitalization at this point and the baby are valid. I'm so happy you have the help that you really need - I believe that people are generally helpful when they know what is going on and even asked. You and your wife and family are in my prayers.

Kris (35)
DH, Tom (34)
Connecticut, USA

Tyler 3-9-95 to 3-23-95 (26 wks severe pe/HELLP)
BFP 1/16/05 - M/C 1/26/05

Hoping for a 2005 miracle!

tkstevens@sbcglobal.net

gordon k
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby gordon k » Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:42 pm

I agree with what Fiona says. Hope that your weekend goes smoothly, and I'm glad to hear that you're going to get some help. An occasional break is good for the soul.

Gordon

Gordon(38),
DW, Norlisa (35)
essential hypertension diagnosed before pregnancy, successfully treated with atenolol, post-partum preeclampsia
Joseph/Josephine Our Angel in Heaven (9/16/02)
Twins Mary Frances and Samuel (a.k.a. Frankie and Sammy) 38 2/7 weeks, 5/26/03

fiona
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby fiona » Fri Feb 18, 2005 02:19 pm

I'm very glad that you now have ground rules - they need to be stuck to religiously. Also, even if all that happens is your wife saying she feels a little 'off' please take her in - that was the bottom line in both my pregnancies and was the sign that my body was caving in.

The blood work will be looking at her platelet levels and liver function as well as kidney function. When I was in hospital they checked my levels twice a day - that's how quickly things can change. I hope you get through the weekend with no major crises.

Fiona
dh Tom
ds Nate 12/8/97 - 14/8/97 26 weeks severe pre-e IUGR 1lb
ds Jay 4/11/98 30 weeks pre-e 3lbs 11 oz
no 3 due 15/6/05

hfwarner3
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby hfwarner3 » Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:35 am

I agree with you. I have no problem making the decision when I need to. You have to keep in mind that I am in the middle and need to be confrontational only when absolutely required - on all sides, including my wife.

She does not want to be in the hospital. Hospitals in Atlanta are notoriously over-crowded, which plays a part in this. If her BP is 160/100 and they send her to the hospital, they will put her in a bed on her left side and run lab work. If the lab work comes back fine and her BP comes down under 140/90, there is going to be pressure to send her home to free up that bed.

If the symptoms get to a point where we cross the ground rules, I can not confront anyone I need to and say, "Here are the rules you gave us. Here are the rules that have been 'broken'. Why would you even think of sending her home? What have the rules changed to now?" Malpractice anxiety kicks in about that time 99% of the time.

If the red flag goes up, we go to the hospital first and call the doctor second - no matter what my wife says.

Having said all that, it has been a strange day. She is feeling pretty bad today, but nothing that would 'break the rules'. Her BP is all over the place. Lying down, she is 90/60. When I took it sitting up after a potty break, she was 140/86. An hour of lying down later, she was back to 90/60.

I am going to get the couch setup for her again this afternoon and run to get movies while a friend of hers comes to visit. Between that and TiVo, we should be set for the night. Her parents come tomorrow, so I will finally get a little break.

Gotta get downstairs and make some lunch for everyone.

gordon k
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby gordon k » Thu Feb 17, 2005 08:06 pm

Sounds like you have the ground rules--follow them. They seem consistent with what my wife's doctor told her. Regardless of what your wife may want to do, follow the ground rules. Like I've said before, when my wife had her preeclampsia, she was awake and aware at the time, but now, she doesn't recall anything. If you have to, make the decision to take her. You need to be strong, these are good ground rules, follow them, listen to this doctor. And no matter what your wife may want to do, remind her that she's on bedrest and make sure she lays down.

Good luck to you, thanks for the update.

Gordon

Gordon(38),
DW, Norlisa (35)
essential hypertension diagnosed before pregnancy, successfully treated with atenolol, post-partum preeclampsia
Joseph/Josephine Our Angel in Heaven (9/16/02)
Twins Mary Frances and Samuel (a.k.a. Frankie and Sammy) 38 2/7 weeks, 5/26/03

hfwarner3
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby hfwarner3 » Thu Feb 17, 2005 07:22 pm

Another day ... another update.

We went back to the OB practice today ... and saw a different OB! Even though he has been at the practice forever and the last two kids were delivered at the practice, we had never seen him before ... and we loved him! He was nice - genuinely nice. He was concerned. He asked us questions and actually listened to what we had to say. He read her history from the last 2 births. Both my wife and I clicked with him and really liked him.

Now on to the visit. 156/98. The new OB wanted to send her straight to the hospital and my wife objected saying that she had actually been feeling better the past couple of days. He had her lay down for 20 minutes and came back to check on her. Laying down - 124/66. Sitting up - 138/82.

He took the 24 hour urine, drew blood to compare against it (I am still not sure how that works) and agreed to let her go home tonight with a promise that she would stay in bed until her got the results back from the lab tomorrow. If they look ok, he is going to let her stay home over the weekend since she has an appointment with the peri on Monday. We have a follow-up appointment with him for next Thursday.

I got to speak with him for about 5 minutes. When I asked him what "red flags" I should be looking for, he sighed and told me, "It is as much a feeling as a science experiment." He told me that her BP was higher than we want but he is encouraged that having her lay on her side will still bring it down. (Notice that he had her sit back up to take the BP). He went on to say that the headaches worried him and he really did not like the history with the black spots in the vision and the blacking out. He told me that I had to keep an eye on her and listen to what how she described her condition.

If the headache becomes unbearable, she needs to go to the hospital. If she gets the black spots, hospital. If she blacks out, hospital. If she starts vomiting due to the head pain, hospital. If the BP gets over 150/90 and having her lay down for 20 minutes does not bring it back down, hospital. I finally feel like I have "ground rules" that we all agree to.

I have to admit that I am a little torn. My wife wants to delay her hospitalization as long as possible, but she doesn't want the baby to die either. She thinks she will be okay to Monday, but she did admit that she expects to go in next week.

I know that it will be hard for her to be in the hospital alone for that long and I understand her hesitation, but at the same time, I would feel more comfortable for both her sake and the baby's if she was there.

I will be working from home tomorrow and, since I work for a bank, Monday is a holiday. Since I will be here with her myself the next 4 days, I am willing to hold off my insistance a little longer.

Overall, I think it was a good day. Our little girl is a little bit bigger and my wife is feeling a lot better about the situation.

lucy
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby lucy » Wed Feb 16, 2005 09:39 pm

I agree the headache sounds worrisome, you however seem to be taking excellent care of her its good that you are staying in charge of things Drs often listen better if their is someone to help back the mother. Anyhow just wanted to say good luck and update us when you get the chance.

Lucy -Expecting a girl due date April 30,2005 supposed to be induced at 36 wks though so end of March begginning of April
Proud mommy to Sebastian Orpheus stillborn at 26 wks due to pre-eclampsia we will always love and never forget you beautiful baby boy!

fiona
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Re : Assistance during bedrest

Postby fiona » Wed Feb 16, 2005 09:02 pm

I just want to echo Gordon. I know when I got really sick, there was a point I just couldn't bear the drs and nurses coming near me. I felt so sick I just wanted to put my head under the covers and hide. What I didn't know (the first time) was how close my organs were to shutting down.

The headaches sound really worrying to me and I'm not sure just how sensitive any of us are to our bodies beyond knowing we're not well. She was lucky to get two or three weeks before - I was having an emergency c-section two days after I was admitted. I know you're not happy with all the care and advice you've been given at the hospital, but please don't take unnecessary risks. Good luck tomorrow.

Fiona
dh Tom
ds Nate 12/8/97 - 14/8/97 26 weeks severe pre-e IUGR 1lb
ds Jay 4/11/98 30 weeks pre-e 3lbs 11 oz
no 3 due 15/6/05


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