March 2006 Being Type 1 diabetic and pregnant, I worked closely with my local high
(March 2006) Being Type 1 diabetic and pregnant, I worked closely with my local high risk maternal clinic to manage my diabetes and keep my unborn baby healthy. For close to seven months, I had bi-weekly appointments and met with my OB/GYN, dietitian and nurses to keep things on track. My diabetes was in excellent control during this time but something else was happening....
Nearly every day at work, people would comment on my size. Most everyone thought I was going to have twins (my 20 week ultrasound ruled that out). Sometime in the late 20 week period, I began to have swelling. It started gradually but soon I felt like a blimp. My feet, hands and face were all bloated but my blood pressure was OK so there was not too much concern. Around 27 weeks, my appointments jumped to twice a week to allow for non-stress testing. Soon after that, my blood pressure started drifting up and I was putting on weight like nobody's business (I weighed 138 at the beginning of my pregnancy and jumped to 184 at the end). I was fitted for wrist splints to help with hand numbness at night. My doctor gave me the OK to stop working and put me on light bed rest at home.
At my 34 week appointment, my doctor admitted me to the hospital for bed rest. It was a Friday (my baby shower was the following day and I couldn't go) and I thought by the end of the weekend my blood pressure would stabilize and I could go home. That wasn't the case. Saturday night, I began having epigastric pain. Sunday morning, my water was broken and I began vomiting soon after. I was on magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures and pitocin to help me deliver vaginally.(At one time, my husband counted 10 IV lines in me). My blood pressure was checked every 10-15 minutes and lab work showed my platelets were extremely low (17,000). My liver function was not good either. That night, I begged for an epidural and c-section because I was in total pain and my labor was not progressing. The anesthesiologist said he would not risk an epidural because he feared it might lead to paralysis. Later that night, I developed a fever to top things off.
Monday morning, after 24+ hours of labor, I was 100% effaced but only dilated to 5cm. The decision was made for a c-section under general anesthesia (they waited so long because a vaginal birth would have been less risky, less blood loss involved). I signed the consent form and as soon as I put the pen down, my bed flew to the OR for delivery. Even though I was going into major surgery and didn't know if I or my baby would survive, a sense of total peace and relaxation came over me as I lay on the table getting prepped for the procedure. When I woke up, I didn't know what was going on. My husband informed me that we had a boy but I was so out of it I didn't know what to think. I saw him a few hours later in the NICU. He was born in 4 minutes and weighed 7lb 4oz. He needed CPAP for his breathing and was on feeding tubes. My recovery was hard. I learned bits and pieces about my ordeal from my husband and the nurses. Wednesday I was moved to a recovery room and that is when the reality of what I went through hit me like a ton of bricks. I am glad I did not know how sick I was during labor or else I would have panicked. My doctor told me later, you got really sick really fast. I went home Friday, 8 days after being admitted. My swelling went away about a week and a half later and my son came home 2 weeks later.
I want to thank my mom for driving me to my 34 week appointment and helping at home, my husband for staying by my side and encouraging my through my labor and the doctors and nurses of Prevea/St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, WI for taking such good care of me and my family. To HELLP victims and survivors, God bless.
Ethan will be turning 3 at the end of this month (October). The month of October always brings up some scary memories and emotions for me... I never thought I would have a difficult pregnancy or labor. After all...