I had been feeling sick for about a week. No a lot of energy, my
Post On Monday, February 07, 2005 By Amanda
I had been feeling sick for about a week. No a lot of energy, my heart was beating rapidly and my head felt very full. The weekend arrived and I attended my best friend's child first birthday. A lot of close friends were there and they all seemed very worried about my appearance. I was very swollen and pale. That night I started coughing. I was up the entire night coughing and crying. Every time I laid down I would feel a crackling in my chest and could not catch my breath. I finally woke my husband I told him I thought I needed to go to the emergency room. He thought I had the flu and told me not to worry we would go to my OBGYN's office first thing in the morning. Finally, nine o'clock arrived and my Dr. looked so quickly at me, listened to my lungs, gave me a prescription for antibiotics and sent me on my way. I spent the rest of the week coughing and waiting for the antibiotics to kick in. My husband had a fishing trip planned for the upcoming weekend. I told him to have fun and not to worry. That Friday I left the city and drove to my mom's house upstate. The coughing and swelling continued to get worse. Early Sunday morning my mom came into my room and said enough was enough we were going to the emergency room. I agreed and just thought I needed stronger medicine. Not once did I think or consider that something was wrong with me and that my pregnancy was in jeopardy.
We arrived at the emergency room and the ER Dr. took one look at my legs that were swollen to the size of my thighs and then took my blood pressure. I do not remember what my blood pressure was but I could see the concern on the Dr. and nursed face. He pressed his fingers into my legs and his finger mark stayed for several minutes after he removed his finger. This was called pitting. He had me moved up to labor and delivery. The Dr. there put me on a magnesium drip, gave me a shot to develop my unborn child's lungs and said I may have a seizure or stroke at any moment. Once I stabilized a little and my blood pressure went down he said I would most likely have to have the baby soon and that the hospital would not be able to handle the birth of a baby in her 29th week of development. Next thing I knew I was in an ambulanced being rushed to Westchester Medical Center which had a level 4 NICU. Intransit I was able to make contact with my husband who was now on the next flight from Miami.
I arrived in Westchester and they continued the magnesium, shots for the baby's lung development and oxegen for my poor breathing. It turns out I had pulmonary edema because of all the fluid that developed from all of the swelling. They gave me lisick (I am not sure of the spelling) but it drained all the fluid from my lung into my catheter. I could not believe how much fluid they drained from my body. It felt like the nurses were emptying the catheter every ten minutes. My husband and I were there for about 24 hours. I didn't know it at the time but I was in critical condition and once my blood pressure reached a dangerous level and my liver and kidneys began to shut down a team of Drs. came flying into the room and said we are delivering your baby. It all seems like a blur. I was being wheeled into an operating room. My husband had scrubs on and the next thing I knew they were pulling my baby out.
All I saw were little pink legs. I didn't know if she was alive or not. I didn't hear any crying. I was almost too sick to care or be aware I just gave birth. My husband followed the baby into the NICU while I was being stitched up.
Although the baby was removed and I was technically getting better the effects of the Magnesium was making me feel worse than ever. At one point in the middle of the night I called my husband over and said my goodbye's and made him promise that he would take good care of our daughter. We had a moment that I wouldn't wish upon anyone.
The next day I actually felt human and started a 5 day road in ICU to recovery. My blood pressure is still high and I am taking medicine for that. My liver counts are off and there is still protein in my urine. My lungs also have some scarring from the edema. These are all things that will get better over time.
As for my daughter, Kate, who was born at two pounds nine ounces on December 12th, 2004. She was place on oxegen and lights to treat her jaundice. She was down to two pounds at one point. She spent three weeks in the NICU at Westchester. We spent a lot of time doing Kangaroo Care and in a state of shock that all of this had just happened. Kate was later moved to NYU NICU, since it was close to our home. She was breathing on her own and gaining weight by leaps and bounds. One day while feeding her a nurse came by and told me to bring my car seat the next day because Kate was going home. She cam home a little over 4 pounds and we had to have her hooked up to a monitor to detect and apneas. She had her Dr. appointment last week and is over 5 pounds and eating non stop. She doesn't seem to have any negative effects from being born prematurely. Her eye, hearing, CT scans, blood test, etc. all came back normal. She seems to by thriving at home and we can't believe that this nightmare had such a happy ending.
We were truly blessed and I would go through the hellish experience again in a heartbeat if it yielded such a wonderful result like our gorgeous little girl Kate!