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Still "Struggling" with Guilt

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.

Still "Struggling" with Guilt

Postby jkena » Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:31 am

by jkena (1 Posts), Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:31 am

I'm glad to see that this forum exists. I still struggle with emotions from the end of my pregnancy. Perhaps someone can help...

I know all too well what everyone went through. I had the very best pregnancy until the very last three days. My bp's were normal, no signs of protein, no morning sickness, great overall feeling, etc... A few days before my 6th prenatal visit(month 7), I started feeling very strange. I moved my visit up just to be sure. When I get there, I anticipated them telling me I had a UTI or something but it turned out that my kidneys were going into failure. My protein was off the charts. My nurse asked me if I was eating all day long and I told her hardly that. I was barely eating over what was normal for me, somewhere around 1400-1700 calories a day. She was stunned because I had gained 20 pounds in four weeks. My bp in the office went from 150/80 to 160/90 to 175/90 and up. I peeked at about 190/something... I was in pain and scared to death. I was 29 weeks and 5 days the day of my appt and when I entered the hospital as an emergency admit and 29 weeks and 6 days when I gave birth to my daughter. My doctors told me that I had entered into HELLP Syndrome. I had an emergency c-section only 10 hours after the magnesium injection to aid in my bp and her lungs. She was 2 pounds 6 ounces and 14.5 inches long. So tiny. I had cried what seemed to be forever because I felt so guilty about her premature birth. I had regular check ups and I took care of myself. Still can't figure this one out. BUT, I prayed and kept looking ahead. After 79 days in two NICUs, two surgeries, and a lot of praying and tears, my daughter came home healthy and happy.

I look at her and hate that she had to go through so much. Some days, I just pray all day and ask God to really comfort me. can't explain it...
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Re : Still "Struggling" with Guilt

Postby hannahsmom » Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:46 am

by hannahsmom (1141 Posts), Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:46 am

I am sorry for what you went through. Many of us have been there and never wish to go through it again! Your daughter did go through a lot, but let me tell you, she is one tough cookie and will continue to be that way through her life. My dd was born at 26 and a half weeks and I, too, felt so guilty. But I know that I did everything right, and so did you. We can't stop this disease from striking us. It's terrible to be so helpless, but with good medical care, a bad situation can become so much better. Now that my dd is nearly 8 years old, I am thankful for the experience that she and I went through together. It made me a much stronger person and I appreciate every moment together. She also knows that she is a miracle, and often asks about her NICU stay. She wants to be a NICU nurse when she grows up :)

Take care, and keep your chin up.
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Re : Still "Struggling" with Guilt

Postby caryn » Mon Aug 03, 2009 03:16 pm

by caryn (10110 Posts), Mon Aug 03, 2009 03:16 pm

Welcome to the forums, Juarkena. Please don't feel guilty.

If this were something we did to ourselves, then we'd know how to stop it. And we don't.

We *do* know that it's related to the initial implantation of the placenta, in the first few weeks of pregnancy. It is almost certainly the result of a "dysregulation" of the communication between the maternal cells that turn into the maternal side of the placenta and the part of the implanting blastocyst that turns into the baby's side of placenta, the trophoblast.

It just happens to one in twenty pregnancies, worldwide, and it's just *always* happened to women -- the ancient Greeks were the ones to describe it and name it -- and it is still a leading killer of pregnant women and a leading cause of perinatal death worldwide.

The PF throws around 75% of our funds straight at research and outreach and another 10% or so to fundraising, so we can fund research grants to try to find a cure and to try to cut that death rate. It would be a whole lot easier to do if we had a cure other than delivery. :-)

The links in my .sig file have a lot more information, and might be of some help to you as you try to make some sense of this. Do keep posting; this place is full of women who've been in similar situations. Welcome again.
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Re : Still "Struggling" with Guilt

Postby jacobkaden » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:01 am

by jacobkaden (359 Posts), Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:01 am

Be gentle with yourself. I think guilt is a natural feeling when we give birth so prematurely to our babies. I really think this horrible disease causes "post traumatic stress disorder" - way off the charts from "typical post partum depression" - not that I am a psychiatrist, or anything, just personal experience.

It has taken me 3 long years to finally "give up the guilt". It was really weighing me down and I feel so much better having let it go. Just let yourself grieve & go through the process. In time, you will emerge on the "other side" of the trauma. Big hugs.
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