My son Liam was delivered via c-section on May 24, 2002, three weeks before my
Post On Wednesday, September 24, 2003 By
My son Liam was delivered via c-section on May 24, 2002, three weeks before my due date because of pre-eclampsia. Although he was small for his gestational age, weighing in at 5 lbs. 0 oz. and 17 1/4 in. long, he was healthy and was able to leave the hospital when I left.
I had had a "normal" pregnancy with no complications for the first two trimesters. I had almost no morning sickness and in general felt great. My blood pressure was always normal and my weight gain was relatively steady. However, I had noticed from the onset of being pregnant that my fingers were swollen. I had to move my wedding band from my left hand to my right hand and eventually took it off and wore around my neck because it wouldn't fit on my fingers. I also had swollen ankles, to the point that my socks looked as though they were cutting off the circulation to my feet.
In the beginning of the third trimester, my blood pressure continued to be fine, but I noticed at one of my check-ups that I had gained seven pounds in two weeks. Although I thought that was quite a bit of weight to gain in such a short time period, I shrugged it off, thinking I must have just eaten a lot that week. However, I believe it was that week that the doctor started to notice the elevated protein levels in my urine. They monitored it over the next couple of weeks, doing a "clean catch" sample and then a 24-hour urine test. At my 37 week appointment, my doctor informed my that protein was just "spilling" out all over the place and that my blood pressure was slightly elevated than before. She decided to send my over to the hospital for observation, more tests, etc.
I called my husband and told him the situation, very scared of what was going to happen. I was sent to the maternity ward where I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and blood was drawn to check my liver and kidneys. About an hour later, I got a phone call. I thought it was going to be my husband, but it was my doctor. She told me that the tests did not look good and that they would need to induce me that evening.
My husband arrived shortly afterwards with my belongings in tote (packed by my wonderful step-daughter Haley). I was put on pitocin and magnesium sulfate to prevent me from seizing. Later during the night my doctor came to break my bag of waters. However, my labor did not progress - I went from 2 cm. from when I entered the hospital to 3 cm. after about 8 hrs. of labor. At this point my blood pressure was up to approximately 160/110 and my baby's heart rate was beginning to drop, so they decided to take me off the pitocin, let me rest, and they would deliver my baby by c-section in the morning. I was very disappointed, as I had wanted a natural birth and everything had gone so well just until the end.
I am happy to say that my son is a happy 16 month old. He is still somewhat small weight-wise (25th perecentile), but I'm sure that he will catch up soon. We are now expecting our second child in April, and although the experience that I had delivering Liam was frightening, I am keeping a positive attitude that everything will work out fine this time around.