Post On Friday, June 21, 2002 By
I can't believe that I have waited almost 6 years to write my pregnancy story/Conner's birth story. I have started it so many times, but just couldn't seem to get through it. I'm going to this time, though.
I was 17 when I got pregnant with Conner. His dad and I were high school sweethearts, and had every intention of getting married someday. We were careful, and used protection, but it's not foolproof. I conceived him on February 8, 1994. It took me less than 24 hours to realize I was pregnant - I just had the feeling. I started having severe morning sickness at about 3 weeks gestation, which continued the entire time I was pregnant.
At 8 weeks gestation, I had started dehydrating from the morning sickness. My stepmother finally got worried and took me to the Emergency Room. My first appointment with the OB/GYN wasn't until the following week, and she didn't feel like I could wait. The ER staff was extremely rude to me, and made me wait 8 hours. They finally did nothing, just gave me some medicine to help ease the nausea and sent me home.
Things progressed somewhat well until about 32 weeks. At my appointment that week, I told my doctor that my back was hurting really badly and I just didn't feel right. He finally decided I had a kidney infection, and that my elevated blood pressure was due to that. He gave me antibiotics and sent me home with instruction to come back the next week.
The next week, I went back. The pain was not gone, and my blood pressure was even higher - 160/110 - and I had gained 6 pounds. He decided that he didn't feel comfortable treating me at this point and sent me to the hospital. This was September 20, 1994. I was scared out of my mind, as I had never been in a hospital before. The nurses there were great and helped ease a lot of my worries. I got a lot of attention, since it is a very small hospital. They started me on the magnesium drip as soon as I arrived, and put a catheter in to collect a 24-hour urine, and because they wanted me on strict bed rest. The doctors kept insisting that I did not have Pre-Eclampsia, that it was just Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension. Quite honestly, I don't think they knew. I had a lot of protein in my urine, the swelling was terrible, and my blood pressure was so high that I couldn't even take visitors for more than 5 minutes, or have the lights turned on in my room.
On September 24, the doctors admitted that I was not getting any better, and that I wouldn't until the baby was born. They asked my permission to do an amniocentesis to check for fetal lung maturity. I reluctantly agreed to it, and they set it up. Just before they performed the amnio, the nurse asked if I already knew the sex of the baby, and I told her yes, it was a girl. Well, I had been told wrong, needless to say, and I was actually having a boy. I was disappointed as I had my heart set on a girl, but at that point I knew I was really sick and that it just didn't matter.
The amnio results came back that the lungs were not mature. The hospital I was at decided they could not treat me effectively, and they didn't have the facilities to take care of a premature baby. The decision was made to move me to a hospital in the medical center, which was connected to the best children's hospital in our state. So off in the ambulance I went to the next hospital. This was really scary, as I was now going to be under the care of a large staff of doctors whom I had never seen before.
The next few days are a blur to me. They had me on the magnesium drip, and that stuff was having a horrible effect on me. I couldn't see straight, I felt like I was on fire, and I was ready to kill anyone that bothered me. I know now that irritability is one of the symptoms of PE, so at least I had an excuse! I remember blood being taken every 3-4 hours, and my arms and hands were completely purple from it. I remember a couple of nights that I had a very hard time breathing, and one of the doctors came in and took x-rays. They said something about a crackle in my lung.
On September 29 around 4:00 pm, they finally decided to induce me. My blood pressure was 200/130. I was taken in and started on a pitocin drip immediately. I labored from 4:30 pm until 3:30 am and never dilated more than a fingertip. I was tired, frustrated, and remember thinking I was ready for this ordeal to be over. I had no idea what I was in store for.
At 3:30 am, the doctor had just decided to stop the pitocin and let me rest for several hours, since my blood pressure had come down quite a bit. He left the room, and my husband and my mother were in the room with me. Now things get really blurry, yet I remember certain things vividly. At 3:45 I started feeling like I was going to faint. Something just didn't feel right, and I told my mom to go find the doctor NOW. He came rushing in, and I told him how I felt, and he checked me. I was bleeding very heavily and it was very clotted. My mother had to step back, as she almost fainted. All the sudden, I remember there being a lot of people in my room, and I heard someone say something about an emergency c-section. They prepped me and wheeled me into the operating room across the hall.
I can vaguely remember what the room looked like. I was alone - I couldn't have anyone with me because of the emergency. The doctors and nurses were scrubbing in, and there was only one nurse in the room with me. I started feeling like I was suffocating, and I was shaking from the extreme cold. I was scared, and tried to get the nurse's attention, but they had already strapped me down. She finally turned around and yelled at me to breathe. I shook my head as hard as I could, although I don't know if it was moving or not. She yelled out to the doc to get in there. I remember hearing "Code Blue, Labor and Delivery" and thinking "Oh my God, that can't be me. I'm too young to die." The last thing I remember before going under is that I said a prayer of sorts. I thought to myself, "God has these doctors here, and they are going to save me" and I felt something over my mouth.
They delivered Conner in less than 5 minutes. My placenta had ruptured, and if they had taken any longer, he wouldn't have made it. I remember the first thing after I woke up was intense pain, and my dad telling me I had a baby boy, and he looked just like me. I didn't get to see him for about 24 hours after I delivered him. Everyone brought me pictures and videotapes of him. He was doing fairly well. He had to be put on a respirator because he was struggling to breath due to him going through "detox" from all the meds they had given me. I spent that first 24 hours in a series of tests - EKG's, blood work, and so forth - because the doctors were still so baffled how I deteriorated so quickly.
I was released to go home after 3 days. I still can't believe they sent me home that soon after an emergency c-section and having been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks! The recovery wasn't too bad. I quit taking the pain meds after a couple of days, and the only major thing was that there was something wrong with my voice. Well, it took me a year to find out why. When I quit breathing in the OR, the doctors had intubated me to get me breathing again. I was so mad to read this in my surgery report. I asked them about it afterwards, and I had been told that I just started breathing again on my own. I still can't believe they lied to me.
Conner was so perfect, so tiny. He was 4 lbs, 13 oz, and 17