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