On October 25, 2008, I found out that I was expecting my first child. Feelings
Posted On Saturday, January 09, 2010 by Jennifer
On October 25, 2008, I found out that I was expecting my first child. Feelings of excitement and uncertainty were overwhelming to me. Here I was, 21 and pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I was happy. My husband and I had been married for about 17 months and knew this was what we wanted; we just didn't think it would happen so quickly!
Throughout my pregnancy, I hardly had any problems. I was barely sick in the beginning except for the occasional heartburn. I enjoyed every bit of it until around the last month when I was just miserable (but really, who isn't). All of my doctor's visits had been good too including my blood pressure which had always been low, but normal.
My due date of July 1st had come...and gone, and here I was still pregnant. Another week went by and at my doctor's visit, I noticed my blood pressure was higher than normal. I asked my OB if that was okay, and they assured me everything was fine. I also pleaded with them to induce me because I was in pain and was even experiencing panic attacks. My doctor pretty much told me that I was fine and could go up to two weeks late and tried to prescribe me anxiety medication which I quickly turned down. I was beside myself; I needed to get this baby out. I just had this feeling he needed to come out NOW!
July 9, 2009, I couldn't sleep at all. I tossed and turned all night until I began to experience extreme back pain around 4 AM. It was now July 10 and I knew something was wrong, but I was in denial that I was actually in labor. My husband finally made me call the doctor around six and they told me to come to the hospital immediately. So we left not thinking that we would be coming home with a baby.
6:30 AM we finally arrived at the hospital. By now, the pain I was experiencing was unbearable. I was scared. Shortly after I threw up several times in my husband's Ford F-150, we went to triage. I can hardly remember the atmosphere because I couldn't keep my eyes open I was in that much pain. The doctors there checked me and said I was 3 cm already then made me pee in a cup. Well, that didn't happen so they had to 'cath' me. Ouch! About ten minutes later, Two of the doctors rushed in and said I was positive for protein in my urine and my blood pressure was too high. I didn't know what was going to happen, and my poor husband was more scared than I was. Within minutes I was told I had preeclampsia and was hooked up to the bag of magnesium. They didn't waste ant time taking me to my delivery room where I immediately got an epidural (so much for going all natural) and was hooked up to my pitocin IV. Thankfully, the epidural made a world of difference and I was able to relax. However, the magnesium made me so tired that I closed my eyes until I was ready to push (around eight hours later). I dilated steadily and was told to start pushing around 3 PM. By this time, I was exhausted but wanted to get this baby out! Luckily, I did not know the danger of my condition at the time.
At 4:23 PM, I delivered my baby boy, Ryder. I did not get to hold him as soon as he came out, my husband did not get to cut the cord, and I did not hear my baby cry right away. This is not how it's supposed to happen! After saying a silent prayer and over a minute later, my baby cried for the first time. It was the sweetest sound in the world! He was fine. In fact, he was perfect! I was so out of it by this time that I couldn't work up enough strength to even hold my own baby. I could barely open my eyes to see him for the first time. I was disappointed in myself and the circumstances. Why did this all happen to me? I was always a healthy person who told care of myself. About an hour after delivery I held my son. It was a bitter sweet moment.
That night at the hospital was rough. I was so tired and sore. The next day I was supposed to go home, but instead I got news that my platelets were too low. I would need a blood transfusion. That to me was the scariest thing of all. Only people who are dying get that, right? Would I die if I didn't get one? I can't leave my husband and child alone; I'm only 22!
The next day, after the transfusion and off the magnesium, I felt like a new person. I'm alive! Never did I cherish life so much. The nurse came in and told me my platelets were up and I could go home. So that's what we did, and I didn't want to look back (nor think about ever having a baby again!).
Overall, my recovery was tough. It was hard to even walk for over a week and I was so swollen from the preeclampsia. My husband was my angel and took care of me so well. And my little baby was healthy and beautiful. Not until a few weeks after I delivered did I find out the seriousness of my condition and began to ask questions like "Why me?", "What did I do wrong?", and "Could this have been prevented?". I'm still looking for answers and understand that this occurs a lot with first time, young mothers. No signs, no symptoms until it was too late. I feel blessed to have a healthy baby now, but have reservations about a future pregnancy. I know I have a 20% chance of this happening again. Is it worth is though? Now, I can say yes it is, because overall I have learned that I am not in control over everything. Preeclampsia has changed my life and that of my family, but it did not destroy it.
After surviving a very traumatic first pregnancy with a nightmare delivery (30 hours of magnesium-induced hell, ending in an emergency c-section) and even more debilitating recovery, one would think I was DONE having children. Let's be ...