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Post On Thursday, July 31, 2014 By Tori
My pregnancy had been fairly normal through my first and second trimesters. I had bleeding early on and we thought we would lose our baby, but it turned out to be nothing. We found out we were expecting a girl and everything progressed as normal. My third trimester was chaotic - my teenage brother was hospitalized for 3 weeks and I spent my days back and forth between his hospital, my doctor appointments, and home. I started to get awful back pain and the swelling set in. I noticed that I was starting to get bad headaches but figured it was due to the stress so I didn't tell my OB.
By 36 weeks, I was absolutely miserable. I had noticed a decrease in movement and brought it up at my appointment. My OB ordered weekly NSTs - she passed the first two with a perfect score of 8. At my 37 week appointment, my OB's nurse noticed that I was more swollen than usual. I told her that I had noticed that as well - I couldn't put any of my shoes on, my hands were huge, and my face was looking much more round than before. She noted that from 36 weeks to 37 weeks I had gained 5lbs, though I hadn't been eating much due to a decreased appetite. My blood pressure was also much higher than it had been before - not considered to be in the "dangerously high" range, but incredibly high for me since I have always had low blood pressure. I also had low amounts of protein in my urine.
My OB asked if I had been experiencing any different symptoms than before and I told him about my headaches, my nausea and vomiting, and my increased anxiety (I already suffer from an anxiety disorder, but it had gotten worse). He said that he could tell that I was very swollen and he was concerned that I had preeclampsia. However, the fact that my baby was passing the NSTs indicated that it wasn't severe, and he told me that we would move my next appointment up a couple of days and if there was no improvement, we would induce. He also told me that if I started feeling worse, to go to L&D immediately and he would likely perform an emergency c-section. I went home and felt the same for a couple of days. I had my baby shower a few days after my appointment, and afterward I was so swollen, in pain, and miserable that I was convinced that if you poked me with a needle, I would pop. I refused to go to L&D because I thought I was overreacting. Looking back, I realize that I should have gone to the hospital that night. At my 38 week appointment, I had not improved at all and my BP had risen even more so my OB scheduled an induction to be started the following evening with Cervidil. The Cervidil caused a bad reaction and I was writhing in pain from 6:30pm until 3:30am the next day when I finally convinced my nurse to call for an epidural. My OB started a Pitocin drip at 5:30am and by 7:00 am I had dilated from 1cm to 6cm. My baby's heart rate was dropping significantly and my doctor turned off the Pitocin to see if we would see any improvement. He placed an external monitor on her head and said that he was going to look into prepping an OR for an emergency c-section just in case. Within 15 minutes after he left, I felt a ton of pressure and called my nurse. I was fully dilated. My daughter was born 40 minutes later at 6lbs 5oz and scored a 9 on her APGAR. I have lasting hypertension issues but have been told it should be safe for me to get pregnant again, I will just have to be closely monitored. I hope that one day there will be a cure for preeclampsia or better ways to control it. Not knowing if something will happen to you or your baby at any moment is terrifying.
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