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Post On Saturday, August 18, 2012 By Sarah
This story starts out like any other pregnancy story. My husband and I found out we were pregnant on September 13, and found out we were due May 27. We were very excited and nervous of course, like any first time parent would be.
I had a very easy 1st and 2nd trimester. No morning sickness, I gained weight normally, I was right on track for my May baby, right up until March 29.
On the morning of March 29, I had a serious headache, which headaches are normal for me, so I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think anything of it. I came to work like always, and by 11 am couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t function because of this headache. I took 2 Tylenol and it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work, so I went home and took a nap. Normally that would help but it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. I called my husband to come home from work and be with me, and we decided that since our normal 32-week check up was the next day, if I woke up and felt that same way we would mention it at the appointment.
Friday morning March 30 came and I still had the headache and at 9 am we had my appointment. I had gained 10 pounds in 2 weeks, and I noticed I was a little more swollen that day than I was the previous day, and got a little nervous on the scale when it said 175! I am normally a 130 pound woman, so that made my heart skip a beat! The nurse came in to check my blood pressure, and she checked it twice on each arm, which had never happened before. I looked at my husband when the nurse ran out of the room and said something is wrong.
The doctor came in then and said, "you are going to the hospital right now" "babies born at 32 weeks survive about 90% of the time and donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t normally have that many complications." She told me I had an abnormally high level of protein in my urine, and my blood pressure was 160/100, which my normal was 100/70, so I ran home, packed a bag, thinking I would go for a day or so and be sent home, then off we went to the hospital.
When we got there I was sent into a room, changed into a gown, given an IV and started magnesium, to avoid seizures. The nurses were fighting with the doctor about me being there, saying I was not far along enough for the hospital to care for the baby if he were to come. That scared me to death. I did not think at that point I would have the baby that soon! He wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ready! He was only 32 weeks! They made the decision to transfer me to a large hospital in Buffalo NY, an hour away, so the NICU there could care for the baby, so I was transferred by ambulance to the next hospital. My husband had to drive behind us; I was so scared because I was all alone in a cold, dark ambulance with a strange nurse. When I got up to Labor and Delivery my parents were on their way and my husband got lost trying to park, so I was alone in the hallway for over an hour waiting for a room to open. Finally about 11 pm I got into a room.
I was given the 2 steroid shots to develop the baby's lungs and that Saturday morning was given an ultrasound to determine his weight and term. They kept me on the Mag that day as well as that Sunday so I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t eat, and let me tell you, those 2 days were the worst 2 days, I was starving! but they kept fluids in me so the baby was ok.
Monday I was better, so they sent me to the floor with the other moms on bed rest, I got off the Mag and was able to eat! They weighed me again and I was 190, I had gained 15 pounds of water weight in 3 days. I was getting so swollen I could barely walk; my toes and feet were the worst. I got put on a fetal monitor for 30 minutes that Monday and was having contractions, which I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel, which they said was normal. I was on a 24 hour urine monitor, so when those 24 hours were up, my protein level skyrocketed during that time, so back down to L&D I went, which means back on the Mag.
I was induced on Wednesday, given the cervical ribbon which was in for 12 hours, then the balloon to dilate my cervix and then gave me the pitocin. They broke my water around 2 am, and by 2:30 I was saying how much pressure I was feeling, they told me I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be feeling it and said I was overreacting. 2:45 came and I said "well IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m pushing now, you better come in here" they checked me and he was crowning. I only had to push 2 times and at 3:18 am April 5th 2012 Evan Douglas was born. The last thing I remember is saying to the doctor, "please get all the placenta out; they said preeclampsia has something to do with it." After they got the placenta out I was sent back to my room and cleaned up, my parents and in laws where coming and my husband was going to the NICU to see Evan (I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember any of this), my mom came to see me and she said I had looked like I threw up, and called a nurse because I was unresponsive. They immediately sent me for a CAT scan to see if I had a stroke, which I did not, I was sent for an MRI and it was seen that I had impressive brain swelling, and that I had a seizure. I was diagnosed with PRES.
At this point my husband would not allow any family to see me, I was basically in a coma. I remember having a man say "IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to put sticky stuff all over your hair" and that was when I had an EEG. They were checking my blood every 2 hours. At one point I had to be given oxygen because my levels dropped. My platelet count had dropped and my liver function was down which led to the diagnosis of HELLP, this was on Thursday and Friday. I remember on Saturday waking up, but not being able to see straight and I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do any motor skills, I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t touch my nose, couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t turn the channel on the TV remote or call for the nurse. All I wanted to do was shower, but they wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t allow me to stand so I got a sponge bath.
As the days passed my vision and motor skills got better and better and on Sunday I was able to be wheeled in to see Evan and Monday I got to hold him. He was perfect. DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need any oxygen, he was 3 pounds, 10 oz and 16 inches long. He was under the lights for 1 day, and each day got bigger and bigger. By Wednesday April 11 I was sent home, on blood pressure meds, because it was still 150/100. I had a visiting nurse coming every day to check my BP, and was going to see Evan in the NICU each day as well. Thankfully on April 23, Evan came home to us after only 2 1/2 weeks, and by that time I was no longer on any BP meds.
This was the scariest thing that could have ever happened. This is the kind of thing you see on TV or read about, but having it happen to me was insane. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m so glad I have my perfect healthy baby after this whole ordeal. This is just proof that prayers work.
My name is Antonella Bartow, I am a pre-eclampsia hellp syndrome survivor, and this is my story. I... Read More