31 weeks and pre-eclampsia

Post On Tuesday, July 08, 2014 By Stephanie

31 weeks and pre-eclampsia

Ever since I can remember, I always dreamed of having 2 kids. But pre-eclampsia has cured me of that. In July of 2012, a month before my 22nd birthday and just a month after losing my grandmother, I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant and should expect to have a St. Pattys day baby. We experienced the usual array of emotions, happy, scared, anxious, nervous, etc. I had a rather rough pregnancy. Constantly sick, couldn't eat or drink. Multiple trips to the hospital for IV fluids due the being dehydrated from the excessive vomiting. Bruised ribs from it as well. But even with all of that, baby was healthy and growing. So I was "ok" with constantly puking. I went to all my check ups, took my vitamins like a good girl, and ate right. Aside from the vomiting, everything else about my pregnancy was normal. Heart rate was always 65-67. Blood pressure was always right around 112/65. Around 27 or 28 wweeks I made an appt to see my Dr because my arm would randomly go numb for periods of time. She chalked it up to a pinched nerve and put me on light duty for work. My job wouldn't allow me to work with the restriction since it was not a "work related injury" and therefore on December 19th I worked my last day. I had a check at 29 weeks and was then told I would start coming every 2 weeks. 2 weeks later, on Wednesday January 16th, 2013 I went in for a normal check up at 31 weeks. At that point I had noticed a lot of swelling. I had gained 16lbs in 2 weeks my bp was slightly elevated and I was +3 protein in my urine. My Dr sent me home with a 24 urine test and told me to come back Friday afternoon. I freaked out and called my mom, who is an RN, to get some answers. She said it sounded like they were testing for pre-eclampsia. I did the urine test and went back to my Dr. She didn't have the test results back yet but again in the office I had the elevated protein, elevated bp and I had gained another 5lbs in that 2 days. She immediately sent me across the street to be admitted to the hospital. That was 3 pm. She came to see me after office hrs and told me that I was going to be monitored for a minimum of 24-48 hrs and that we could either monitor me here or transport me down to the bigger hospital in Orlando. Since that is over an hr away from home, I didn't want to go unless necessary. She agreed but told me that if my bp got out of control or if at any point she felt they couldn't manage me there, then I would have to go. That was around 630. For the next few hrs my bp was checked every 30 mins and stayed elevated but nothing anyone was overly worried about. All of a sudden a little after 10pm it skyrocketed to 208/150. They called my Dr who told them to call an ambulance, I was being sent to Orlando. She came back to the hospital at 1045 to talk to me and explain what was happening. By 11 the ambulance had arrived. Our 80 minute drive took only 50 mins as we went "lights and sirens" down the turnpike. At Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, FL the drs planned to keep me admitted and on bed rest for 3 weeks until I was 34 weeks, and then deliver baby. Fast forward 1 week. Its the morning of Thursday January 24th, 2013 and I have just spent a week on strict bed rest with an IV of continuous magnesium sulfate and blood pressure medication every 12 hrs. My bp is still pretty high, staying around 170/97. The drs decide that it will be best to induce labor and deliver my daughter then at 32 weeks. They started the medication at noon. At that point my daughters heart rate would periodically drop for a few moments before coming back up. They closely monitored that. At 5pm they came in to do an ultrasound. The tech completes the ultrasound and quietly goes in the hall to report. I get up to go to the bathroom as my nurse comes rushing in with a stretcher. Baby wasn't responding and moving properly to the ultrasound. I'm told it's time to go downstairs, the OR is being prepped as we speak. I'm going to have an emergency c-section. At 629PM Katelynn Sophia is delivered weighing 3lbs 2ozs and whisked away to the NICU, and I'm taken to recovery. I get to see her briefly, just before midnight on my way to my room, although to this day I don't remember it. My first memory seeing her is nearly 18 hrs later. She spent the next 4 weeks in the NICU and thank God was very healthy except for being unable to digest her feeds the first few days due to the high amounts of magnesium in her system from what I was on for a week. About a week after she was born, her neonatologist told me that when she was born she had a knot in her cord, like how you would knot a piece of rope. He told me that I must've had an angel looking out for us, because had they continued with the induction and delivered naturally, the knot would have completely tightened and my daughter would have died during the delivery. My Dr later explained to me that I had a rapid onset of severe pre-eclampsia. I am so thankful for my Dr and the team of drs in Orlando that took care of my daughter and I. I truly believe that without them, one or both of us would not be here today. A part of me still want to have a second child, but I am terrified of the possibility of having to go thru that again. So for now, I am happy with having just my daughter. She is strong and is a fighter. And I don't dare take a single day with her for granted. P.S. sorry this ended up so long, but it is the first time I have ever really talked about what happened.

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