My name is Jennie. I was 23 when I became pregnant the first time. It was only 5 months since my husband and I were married. It was a bit of a shock but we were so excited. My pregnancy started out good until I had some issues at work. I worked at a hospital in dietary and had to carry,push and pull a lot of heavy equiptment and stock. One day while at work I felt really crampy and just the general feeling of uneasiness like something was wrong. I was only 9 weeks into my pregnancy so I was really scared that I was miscarrying and of course I had just been in the middle of lifting something very heavy. I went immediately to the er. After a long couple hours and 2 ultrasounds later, I was told everything was okay and that I just had ruptured a cyst probably because I was lifting. I was told to rest and be off my feet for a few days. My dr had told me and sent my work a notice that I was to not lift anything over 20lbs and of course my work limit had to be 75lbs so after a lot of stress and drama I ended up losing my job. So that was very stressful on me for a a couple months. After that different stresses and family issues came up and it felt like a very rocky time. Throughout my pregnancy for whatever reason I had a strange fear of developing pre-eclampsia and so I studied it like crazy,I was an internet junky...haha I looked up everything in relation to pre-eclampsia and its side affects. Its funny how your body can sometimes prepare you for things before you even know its coming. It felt to me like God was preparing me for what was to come. Around 20 weeks I started to get really bad head aches. I mean they were terrible. I would lay in bed with all the lights out and just cry, it was so painful. My dr. just gave my labatelol and said it was very normal. I knew that was a symptom though and kept alert to what else might happen. I was at my mother's house when I was around 27 weeks and noticed my legs had gotten really swollen. Again my dr. dismissed it as just bad edema, it was the summer time and it was hot out. He suggested I cut back on my water intake and salt, which I didn't over consume either of them. At 28 weeks I woke up 2 mornings in a row to my face being so swollen I could barely talk right. I called my dr. immediately and when I got to the office my bp was high, 150/90 I believe and was dipping protein in my urine.. She suggested I go to the hospital for a 24 hour urine. I was really hoping everything was fine, we were suppose to leave to go to north carolina on vacation that night with my family for the week. So unfortunately for our vacation anticipations we had to saty at the hospital over night. While I was there they gave me 2 steriod shots to help boost the baby's lungs. My urine the next morning hadn't shown any significant signs of increase so they let me go home. I was going to then be watched very carefully and was going to the drs twice a week and 1 ultrasound a week, that was my schedule. Unfortunately 4 days later I went to see my dr. for a follow up and my bp was very high and dipping urine again. They had me lay down and relax and did a stress test on the baby. The baby was totally fine and kicking away at me. That was a huge relief. After laying on my right side for a good while they re checked my bp and it was just as high. They sent me immediately to the hospital for another 24 hour urine. My urine then after that had got up to 6 grams, everyone there got really worried then. They admitted me and had the monitor on the baby and decided I would have to stay until I delivered the baby. They were hoping to get me to 32-33 weeks but weren't too optimistic if I'd make it that far. They started me on heparin shots twice a day in my belly, those hurt so bad! The nicu staff even came to prep me for what would happen in the nicu and how my baby would be cared for and the risks. I was so scared I just wanted to forget this all happened and just wanted to go home. I felt so alone even though I had so many people there for me praying for me. I had never been this scared in my life. They started me on a 12 hour magnesium drip. The dr had said there had been research done that babies born premature that the mother had more magnesium in her system had a lesser chance of developing cp later on. It burned so bad having the mag drip. I felt so hot all the time and really drowsy. I was in the hospital 3-4 days I think and my back was hurting so bad. They didn't let me get out of bed only to use the bathroom. After my inital 24 hr urine that had the 6grams in it they decided to do another 24 hr urine the next day. The result was 12 grams. I had jumped from 6-12 over night! My kidneys were not working right at all, they were over worked. Everyone taking care of me said that that right there put me from just having a moderate case of pe to a severe case of pe. I didn't have any signs of hellp. All my test results from that were normal. I think the scariest thing about pe is that it doesn't discriminate, it can happen to anyone. And it can develop so fast, before you know what hit you you could be at the cross roads of life or death for yourself or baby or even both. Luckily my baby hadn't really been affected by my pe at all. He was doing great. I even started to have early contractions. The dr said that when you have pe its not uncommon for your body to go into pre term labor. I even lost my mucus plug 2 days before he was born. Then on June 14th I developed a weird headache. My drs were just waiting for one more sign and then they would have to deliver and I guess my headache was it. They tested my reflexes and they weren't normal. They concluded that it was starting to affect my cerebral. My dr came in and told me I had to have an emergency c section and due to being on the heparin I had to be unconcious for the whole thing or I could risk bleeding out. I was so scared it seemed like a milllion people rushed into my room all packed in like a can or sardines. They started my on the mag again and went through the terribly painful process of a nurse cathing me what felt like 10 times before she got it right. So nice just adding to my pain. My bp right before they wheeled me into the or was 180/200. It was dangerously high. Finally after 25 minutes the baby was out and they were ready for my husband to come see him. He only weighed 2lb 9 oz 14 inches long. He came out crying they said, which I heard was uncommon for a baby his age. I believe he was a fighter from day one. Before the decision to do the c section they had thought about letting me labor but thanks to my mfm at the time they didn't. I'm so glad and gratefult to my mfm for making the decision not to let me labor because they found when they delivered my son that the cord was wrapped twice around his neck and had a big knot in it. If I would have labored he would have choked and not lived. I am so grateful to my dr. He is going to be my mfm for the next pregnancy. I was on morphine after the delivery with one of those buttons that you push. I loved that, it was so nice to be pain free. It felt like it took forever for them to get me pain meds in recovery. I recovered slowly but I pushed myself. I made myself walk as soon as they would let me and I walked every day to the nicu to be with my son as much as I could. I was scared for him and kept questioning how this all happened and why I couldn't protect him inside me longer. But I know now that it was God's will that it all happened. We did kangaroo care with my son every day many times a day, me and my husband. We limited people touching him also at the recommendation of the neonatologist. He was only on the vent for the first night and not even the whole night. He was then on c-pap for a couple days and then just a nasal canulla up until 3 days til he came home. He did have some jaundice and some liquid in the lungs but other than that he was very well. After 6 weeks of a pretty uneventful stay he was able to come home to us free of any equiptment. He now is a very healthy 7 month old(corrected age 5 month old) He was born 11 weeks early, I was 29 weeks 2 days. We're very thankful to all the medical staff that helped us. My story had a happy ending but I know there are many others who don't. Pe is one of those diseases that touch your life long after its initial damage. I pray that all you many women who like me have been burned by it. I just pray that if God should have me endure that again that I may do a better job of glorifying Him throughout the whole thing.
Praying and thinking of all you who suffer this terrible disease, Jennie