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Post On Thursday, October 18, 2012 By Marie
My name is Marie. I first found out I was pregnant in November of 2008. After trying for what seemed like ever my husband at the time and I decided to quite trying. That's when it happened!! I found out that I was about 6 wks along and it was the biggest joy of our lives! I followed every rule in the book for a healthy pregnancy. I quite smoking immediately, I ate right, I followed all my OB's guidelines.
It was late December when I made my first trip to the ER. I noticed I had swelling in my hands and feet, to the point I could not get my wedding rings on. Even my socks were feeling incredibly tight. I was seen in the regular emergency room and was told I had symptoms of preeclampsia and that I should immediately follow up with my doctor. At the time, I had no idea what preeclampsia was, how it could affect me, or my baby, but I was very concerned. The OB I was seeing at the time basically told me the ER doctor didn't know what he was talking about, that preeclampsia could not be diagnosed until the third trimester and she sent me home.
Things went on like that for a while with the swelling coming and going. I had to modify my diet and I was constantly being diagnosed with kidney infections. With my due date being July 25th, I really wasn't too concerned that anything was wrong with the baby, however I noticed around February that I was really starting to put on weight quickly. This concerned me a little as it was hard to tell whether I was just retaining water, or if I really was gaining weight that fast.
In March we decided to take a trip about 3 hours south of where we lived. We were both looking forward to this as it was a close friend's 30th birthday celebration and they had no idea we were coming. Halfway through the party my feet swelled so bad I could barely get my shoes to come off my feet, so we went back to where we were staying early. I remember looking at my husband that night and saying I don't think this is right. I shouldn't be swelling this bad when I was only about 20-22 wks at the time.
I finally decided to switch OB's at that point as I was genuinely concerned and wanted answers. She did my original round of tests and said my blood pressure was a little abnormal, but not severely where it caused her to worry, and that my kidneys did show a little bit of infection but that was it. She put me on a different round of meds and things seemed to get better at that point.
The third week of April, I decided to mushroom hunting with a friend of mine. I thought maybe getting out in the fresh warm spring air would make my feel a little better and help calm me down some. We were having a great time when I started feeling the pressure. My feet were swelling over the tops of my shoes. I looked at my friend who had just had her first child a year before and she told me that she did not think that was normal. I immediately left the woods and went straight to the ER. This time seen in the OB unit. The doctor there came in, took my blood pressure, did a urine sample, again told me I had a kidney infection and sent me home. this was a Sunday afternoon. I went home and just cried because I just didn't feel in my heart that this was right.
The next afternoon I went for my routine prenatal apt. I wasn't in the office more than 15 minutes when she came up to me and said that I was going to be admitted to the hospital. That my blood pressure was too high, and my kidneys were showing signs of failure. I remember feeling very faint, and very angry. I knew, I had known all along since almost 12 weeks that something wasn't right. I was then admitted at the hospital in my home town. They said I would be there for 24 hours of monitoring. Apparently things were a lot worse than they originally thought.
After just 2 hours in my hometown hospital I was put in the back of an ambulance to be transferred to the nearest hospital with a Neonatal ICU. I was 25 wks at this point. My son wasn't due for another 15 wks. they told me that my kidneys were in 75% failure at the time and they were going to admit me and keep on bed rest in the ICU for as long as they could. I ended up being in the ICU for about 2 wks, a lot of which I don't have any memory of. I was 2 days shy of 28 wks the day they took me for an emergency C-Section. My kidneys were completely failing, the swelling in body was so drastic that I was weighing 257 lbs, a 120 lb increase from my pre-pregnancy weight. The swelling had reached my brain at that point and they could not wait any longer.
I remember them telling me on the way to the OR that I would not see, or hear my son, that he was too small, and he would not be able to breathe on his own. I was terrified, I remember crying, I remember telling the doctor they couldn't take him, that I didn't care about me, but he couldn't come yet, it was too early. The next thing I remember is lying on this table, bright lights all around me, and hearing a baby screaming. It was my son.... against all odds, he was breathing, even screaming.... then I remember falling asleep again.
It wasn't for a while later that I woke up. I barely had an recollection of what had happened. My body felt foreign to me, nothing felt right. It was hard to even open my eyes the swelling was so severe. I asked my husband where was Collin... and he just looked at me.... He said that he was okay, they had him hooked up to a breathing machine, and that he was very very tiny. He ended up weighing in at 2 lbs 4 oz and was 12 inches long. For 2 days I was too sick to even get out of bed and was unable to see my son. My husband would go down to the NICU and return with pictures on his phone, and I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. He was so small, he was bright red, he had a mask on his eyes, and there were tubes and wires every where.
My son was due on July 25th and was born on May 1st. He was just over 12 wks premature and was fighting to breathe, and maintain his body temperature, and keep his liver functioning. I was in and out of consciousness, had lost most control over my body and was fighting myself to stay alive.
Mother's Day was May 14th, and that was the first time I was able to hold my little miracle. He was still very small, but able to breathe with just a nasal canula and had started pulling through his bought with jaundice. It was still another 2 months before I would bring my little miracle home, but he was surviving, I had survived. Against all odds, against everything being against us, we miraculously came out amazingly. Today Collin is 3 yrs old, doing wonderful, has had no side effects from being preterm, and just recently found out he is going to be a big brother!!! I am currently 7 wks pregnant and this time around, I know what to watch for, my doctor is being a lot more cooperative with me and things will be better this time around. We are very excited to welcome our newest family member, and also nervous as to what we may face with this pregnancy as a result.
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