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Post On Wednesday, April 11, 2012 By Bethany
All my husband can talk about is us having a son. He wants a son that he can watch growing up playing baseball, football, being a tough little cookie... a son that can remind him of him as a little boy growing up. A son to carry on the family name. However, despite me being pregnant 4 times before, we've had all girls. One is deceased. Out of the 4 pregnancies 2 of them I had preeclampsia. And because of that, I'm terrified to try one more time for a boy. There's a part of me that gets excited about possibly becoming pregnant and having a new baby - the possibility of maybe finally having a son is exciting. Of course if we ended up with another girl, we'd love her just like we do the others. But then there's that fear deep down inside of me from my previous experiences that it'll be just another pregnancy that will result in preeclampsia.
Since our preference is to have a son, I've been doing research on "how to conceive a boy" and learning about tracking when exactly you ovulate by taking your basal temps and using ovulation kits as well since they say you'll want to try to conceive within 12 hrs. of ovulation for best chance of having a boy. I've also learned about changing your diet as well to a more alkaline diet in which they also say can help with conceiving a boy. But if I do become pregnant again, I know the sex of the baby is truly in the hands of the heavens. It doesn't hurt though to try for specifically a boy.
Now about my past pregnancies. My 2nd and 4th pregnancies resulted in me getting preeclampsia in the 3rd trimester. With my 2nd pregnancy I found out that I had preeclampsia at around 36-37 weeks pregnant. I had to make daily trips to the labor and delivery ward to be hooked up to the fetal and blood pressure monitors for a couple hrs. then I'd be allowed to go home. After about a week or so of this, I was finally admitted and induced since I was considered "full term". I gave birth to a healthy baby girl Jessica. I had no other complications from preeclampsia after this pregnancy ended. I felt it was a mild bout and also being that it came so late in the pregnancy, I was close enough to delivery they could induce after a week-week and half. I was fortunate with this pregnancy, I felt. Sadly, nearly 16 months later, Jessica died unexpectedly in her sleep on Thanksgiving Day 2001 at her grandparents house. Prior to this, she'd been sick a lot and went thru a series of test, but no reasoning behind her illness was ever found. The autopsy declared she died of SIDS. Still 10 yrs later I'm not 100% sure this was the real cause of death being that she was ill a few months before on and off, and the fact she was almost 16 months old. I guess her death will always be a mystery to me :(
My 4th pregnancy where I also had preeclampsia was a rough one. I remember having lots of abdominal pains starting at 6 weeks into my pregnancy. I was convinced I'd end up having a miscarriage. My Dr. did an ultrasound and said everything was normal and sometimes women get the abdominal pains in early pregnancy. I never experienced it in my first 3 pregnancies so I'm thinking something is wrong. Eventually the abdominal pains went away, but I started having bad back pains about 20 weeks into the pregnancy. So bad I could barely move. I couldn't do anything! It felt as if the fetus was stretching inside with her feet pressed against my spine... and stayed in that position for weeks. I don't know if that's how she was really positioned, but it sure felt like it! At 30 weeks my mom kept telling me how bad I looked. She said my face was puffy. I felt fine, normal so I brushed it off as just part of me being pregnant. But at 32 weeks pregnant I started feeling contractions. They were semi-painful. I kept thinking to myself "Surely I'm not going into labor this early?". I called my Dr. office and told them I thought I was trying to go into labor. They immediately got me in and first thing they noticed was that my perfectly good blood pressure I had all pregnancy long was now high. They hooked me up to a fetal monitor for a while then said they was going to send me over to the hospital to labor and delivery for more monitoring and tests.
I got to the hospital and hooked back up to the fetal monitor, they did urine and blood tests. I was told that I had gone into preterm labor and was given an IV meds to try to stop the contractions. When all my lab tests came back I was told that not only was I in preterm labor, I was dehydrated, had protein in my urine, low potassium and of course my blood pressure was up as well. I really had no idea I had all this going on, I had felt just fine when I was at home until the contractions started. After getting all the tests results back, I was admitted to the hospital.
They successfully stopped my labor, and I was put on bed rest under their supervised care on the OB floor. After a week and a half I was released from the hospital to go home and be on bed rest there... but only to be admitted back to the hospital 2-3 days later. After ending up right back in the hospital my OB Dr. told me I'd stay there until after delivery. I was now 33-34 weeks pregnant. The next few weeks were long and slow as I was restricted to bed rest. I was only allowed to get up to use the restroom or shower. I had ultrasounds every 2-3 days to check on the baby but they used a mobile machine and came to me so that I wouldn't have to get out of bed. Despite the preeclampsia baby and I were doing good. About 36 1/2 weeks along they started me on shots that would help speed up lung maturity because my Dr. wanted to try to deliver the baby ASAP. After the shots were complete, I was scheduled for an amniocentesis to check the maturity of my baby's lungs and see if it was safe to deliver her. The procedure was unsuccessful. Although I was receiving frequent ultrasounds and the baby was fine each time, that day the amniotic fluid was now low. So low that the Dr. could draw any from the womb to do the amniocentesis. He told me he had no choice but to induce labor whether the baby's lungs were ready or not. I was already tired and exhausted from weeks of being confined to the bed and lack of sleep from everything going on. I was not ready for labor. But what choice did I have?
The induction of my labor took forever. The meds they were given me to induce labor did almost nothing. I took them, I walked and walked around the hospital with my mom and/or husband. Labor was not happening. My Dr. poor guy I think he got impatient, and possibly rather concerned for the baby that he said he was just going to break my water. Of course a few min. later after my water being broke (what little I had in there) I went into labor and it went rather quickly. He wasn't expecting me to go from 3cm to 10cm and ready for delivery so quickly. He had in fact went to his office to see patients and barely made it back to the hospital in time for my delivery. But being it was my 4th child and my body has done this before, it didn't surprise me. So finally after 5-6 weeks in the hospital, I gave birth to my daughter Hayleigh just a tad bit early. Luckily her lungs were mature and fine and so was she. She came out without any medical problems. I however still had a battle. A couple hours after delivery I started bleeding heavily, and it raised alarm for my Dr. and the nurses. I was given shots (by this time shots were like an every day thing for me and needles didn't bother me) to slow it down to normal. Thankfully it worked. I spent another 3 days in the hospital before I was finally allowed to go home with my new baby. I was thankful that my baby was doing so well. I however still battled high blood pressure for about 6-9 months after the pregnancy had ended before it finally returned to normal. Physically it took my body a good 2 yrs to recover from that pregnancy.
I told myself I'd never have anymore children. I was 100% happy and content with having 3 daughters, and 1 angel in heaven that I know looks down on us. As bad as I wanted a son I felt maybe it wasn't meant to be. But my husband he still wants that son. I tell him there's no guarantee that if we tried for a son, we'd have one. And also there's no guarantee that I won't get preeclampsia again. I was pretty fortunate of how well my 2 bouts of preeclampsia went before, but I fear of what could happen next time if I should get it again. I may or may not get it next time. If I did, would it be worse than before? I don't know. I do plan on going to see a OB Dr. and talk to him/her about my preeclampsia history and see what advice they give me. I'd love to have the same OB Dr. I had before, but we moved from where we previously lived so I'll have a different Dr. than before.
On another note, my 1st and 3rd pregnancies were great. I had no medical issues whatsoever. I'd like to think my next pregnancy, if it happens, would be like these...but it's hard to think that. But in reality, I fear preeclampsia again and I'm not one to fear much of anything.
I'm looking to connect or hear from others who have had a similar experience as mine. Has had preeclampsia in more than one pregnancy and/or have had it before and wanting to have another child, but terrified of getting pregnant again because you don't want to go thru the same dreadful experience again.
My name is Antonella Bartow, I am a pre-eclampsia hellp syndrome survivor, and this is my story. I... Read More