My name is Lisa and my first daughter was born at 23 weeks gestation weighing
My name is Lisa and my first daughter was born at 23 weeks gestation weighing 15.7 ounces because I had severe preeclampsia.
When I was pregnant with my daughter my mother constantly checked my ankles for swelling. She had preeclampsia when she was pregnant with me except they called it "toxemia". At 28 weeks she was confined to bed rest but she went on to have a full term pregnancy.
At 20 weeks I experienced placenta abruptio when I woke up at 3 AM to cramping and heavy bleeding. I spent a few days in the hospital and a week on bed rest. I started to notice that my legs were swelling when I was at 21 weeks gestation. The thing that really caught my attention was a 17 pound weight gain from week 20 to week 22. My OB/GYN wasn't concerned though. My mother, on the other hand was alarmed by my skin color and the swelling.
I had an exam at 22 weeks and I expressed my concerns about the swelling and weight gain to my OB/GYN he told me I needed to learn how to eat right. Then he told me there was no way I could have preeclampsia at 22 weeks. Even when I reminded him of my family history and the 17 pound weight gain he said there was no way. His advice was to go home, lay on my left side and stay off my feet.
Two days after that visit was Easter Sunday. The weather was really warm and we had an 85 degree holiday. My husband and I went to my mother's house for Easter. My mother took one look at me and cried. I was swollen and pale. Her best friend was also at her home on Easter and she gave me the name of her OB/GYN. She begged me to call her for a second opinion.
Everyone else had ham, sweet potato casserole and all of the Easter trimmings but I had a sodium free dinner because I was scared of all the swelling. Later that evening when my husband and I were at home I started to feel horrible pain in my side and back. Tylenol didn't help the pain. For ten hours I was in so much pain that I couldn't sleep.
At 9:00 AM the following morning I called my OB/GYN. I was shocked at the response I received. He said there was nothing he could do for me. His office staff said he didn't have any open appointments until the following week! I decided to call the OB/GYN that my mom's friend recommended because I was scared, desperate and very ill.
I made the call. When I explained my symptoms to the nurse who answered the phone she said to me, "how fast can you get here?". The weather had completely changed from a warm, balmy Easter Sunday to a cold, snowy Monday. What would normally be a 15 ride turned into a 45 minute ride.
I walked into the waiting room and a bunch of expectant mothers looked at me with horror. Four of them offered their seats. I must have looked really bad. The nurse took one look at me and rushed me into an exam room. The doctor came in a few minutes later. She didn't even introduce herself but she gave me a big hug and said, "we are going to take good care of you." There were tears in her eyes.
Unfortunately my original OB/GYN was not cooperating with the "new" doctor. Their office wouldn't fax over my records unless I paid them $20. It wasn't until Dr. Crandall got on the phone personally and told them to bill her. Within 15 minutes she had my records. As soon as she got them and reviewed them along with my urine test she put my in a wheelchair. A nurse rushed me to the maternity ward at the hospital that was connected to the office.
I was put on an IV of the nastiest stuff I've ever encountered
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...