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Post On Thursday, July 25, 2013 By Michelle
Hi: my name is Michelle Stewart and I am a survior of Preeclampsia.
I was 26 weeks pregnant with my baby boy Jayson Grady Stewart when I noticed my hands where very swollen. This was my first pregnancy and I thought it was normal. I called my doctor and set up a time later in the day to be checked out. When I got to the doctor's office they took my blood pressure three times all coming out to 180/100. The nurse sent me straight to the hospital.
I had never heard of Preeclampsia so I thought it was no big deal that they strapped me up and took my blood pressure for hours. I wasn't worried, I just thought they may put me on bed rest. When they finally got me into a room and finally did an ultra sound, that's when I became worried. I watched as the sono tech and my mother in law went white. Then they started asking me questions about his movement. I didn't know I needed to be keeping up with that, I had no clue when the last time he moved was. Then my doctor showed in his pj's and had them put me in a helicopter to get me to a more equipped hospital.
While I was worried I still didn't think I would ever lose my baby. I had read that at 24 weeks a baby could survive outside the womb. So I thought about how I didn't have the room ready and how he would spend weeks in the NICU. But then I got to the other hospital had a sono and was rushed into the delivery room. I got an epidural and it seems like seconds later the doctors where saying they had to start whether it was taking effect or not. They began the c-section (and yes the epidural did its job) and I heard my baby cry when he was born.
I was scared but I heard him cry and I thought everything was okay. Seconds later the doctor came around and informed me there was nothing she could do. He had gone too long with out oxygen and there was too much brain damage. She asked if I would like for her to continue or if I would like to hold my baby till he past. I made the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life.
I choose to hold my baby and let him feel his mother's heartbeat before he left this world. It wasn't until later after a horrible night and bags of magnesium that the doctor's explained what had happened. They had no clue how long my blood pressure had been that high. That the preeclampsia took my baby away and had I not had the c-section, I would have died too. The nurse explained to my mother in law that had I gone two more days that she would have had two burial's. While this really gave me no comfort I took it all in.
I thought about how every visit my blood pressure was elevated. How I had protein in my urine at my last visit and my doctor told me we would check it at the next visit. How if I had known about preeclampsia before I would have been more concerned and asked for a second opinion. But that is all behind me.
I struggled with burying my baby, I struggled going home with out him. But I became stronger. I researched Preeclampsia. Learned everything I could so I could be prepared for future children. I leaned on my husband and he leaned on me. All the first's were hard: 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. But we made the decision that just because we lost Jayson, didn't mean we didn't want a family. So soon after we began to try again.
We found out we were pregnant with our second in December, two months before Jayson's first birthday. And while this pregnancy has been a roller coast of emotions, it has been healthy. I am seeing a high-risk specialist. I take blood thinner shots every day, blood pressure meds, and check my blood pressure often. I am happy to say that at 35 weeks we are happy and healthy. I just had my maternity photo shoot and was so happy to be able to incorporate my late son Jayson with a stand in teddy bear.
I have participated in two of the Dallas Promise Walks and plan to go every single year. My family and friends rally with me and we have brought in over $800 each year. Hopefully next year our little Brooklyn Makayla will join us and celebrating her big brother's short but precious life!
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