The first few months everything seemed to be going great: baby, weight gain, BP, etc.
Post On Tuesday, September 14, 2004 By Rosario
The first few months everything seemed to be going great: baby, weight gain, BP, etc. Around week 27 I started feeling pain between my ribcage, nothing great, but continuous. I initially thought it was the baby's size (my tummy growing). I told my doctor, he thought I was having some digestive problem and gave me some drugs to take (which I didn't as I was sure this was not the reason).
I gained a lot of weight during the last part of the second trimester, my weight chart shows a huge shoot in weight gain (mostly water as i lost 14 kilograms in the 3 days after the baby was delivered). I was incredibly swollen (feet, arms, face, etc.) everyone I asked thought I was probably eating too much (my husband and I didn't think this was the case so we kept asking).I just somehow felt something was not right, but as I was working full time in a very stressful and demanding job, I kept thinking I was probably not resting enough.
By week 30 I felt I could not breathe, and felt anxious most of the time. The swelling was really bad and it meant pain all over. Again the doctor and most people thought it was a normal pregnancy as my BP was fine and there was no protein in my urine.
At week 32 I was sure I could not go 8 more weeks like this and was certain something was wrong... almost two weeks later at my regular checkup my BP had gone up, yet still borderline. I was given some drugs to help Isabel's lungs mature, soemthing to control my BP and sent to bead rest. I bought a BP monitor, and now I know that saved my life.
Two days later I could not sleep, I felt a strong pain between my ribs, increasing anxiousness, lack of air. I woke my husband up and when we took my BP we could not believe the numbers! The OB said we should hurry to the ER and that I should try to remain conscious.
I had an emergency CSection. My BP was not controlled and I had progressed to HELLP syndrome. My family was told I would not survive, but the baby probably would. I spent 5 days in the ICU, my liver and kidneys did not work for 2 days. Needed blood transfussions, platelets a couple of times, etc. in more than one ocassion my husband was told I would probably not make it.
I met Isabel the day I left the ICU. I am convinced that the thought of leaving her without her mom got me through. I needed to get better and leave the ICU so I could meet her. I managed to convince the doctors to let me have my breastpump so I could mantain my milk for her. A couple of peolpe in the ICU died while I was there, and I was dfetermined not to be the next.
This happened today one year ago. I am currently 2 kilograms under my original weight. Still pumping milk (we never managed to get very good at breastfeeding after all the time spent in hospital). I feel exhausted, but I am not sure if this is just being a mom or if my body is not one hundred percent fine yet.
I think the biggest scar is emotional. My eyes well up when I see a scene in a movie that may remind me of the ICU, or when I remember anything that has to do with this. Especially because I want more children but I am SOOO scared I am not sure I'll be alble to try again. Isabel deserves a sibling, but I don't want her to miss out on her mom for trying.
IN SUMMARY: IF YOUR WEIGHT SHOOTS UP, EVEN IF YOUR BP IS FINE, NO PROTEIN IN URINE.. BE VIGILANT. TELL EVERY PREGNANT WOMAN YOU KNOW THAT CONSTANT PAIN BETWEEN RIBS (OR MORE TOWARDS THE RIGHT) IS HER LIVER, AND NO, IT IS NOT THAT THE FAT LADY IS COMPLAINING. BUT MOST OF ALL, IF YOU FEEL SOMETHING IS WRONG, IT PROBABLY IS, SO KEEP TRYING TO BE HEARD.