Well, I was a 25 year old first time mom. I went through my
Well, I was a 25 year old first time mom. I went through my first three months of pregnancy normal just as anyone. My due date was March 28th. By the time I was four months pregnant I started to notice a ton of swelling, even causing me to have to work less. The doctors didn't seem to think it was anything because my blood pressure wasn't going up.
From there on through my pregnancy my weight gain got to an excessive amount, which I didn't understand because I wasn't eating unhealthy. (Later I learned that is one of the symptoms of preeclampsia.) I had an ultra sound around 21 weeks and they changed my due date to April 5th. Okay, well there I thought that I maybe was just off on my period times, but still that's quite a bit different. Finally when I went to a check up at 24 weeks the doctor had me do the regular things... blood pressure check, baby's heartbeat, pee in the cup. He left the room and I could hear them talking outside the door. Something was wrong. He came in and explained that I had too much protein in my urine and that I needed to go right away to get a container and do a 24 hour test and a blood test. He also told me that I most likely had preeclampsia, explained what it was, and gave me an address for a specialist I was to see on Monday (this was on a Friday). He told me to be sure to stay in bed and do literally nothing until I see him.
So, that Monday I go in to see the specialist. He checks my blood pressure, does another ultra sound, moves my due date back another week, and as I sit nervously in the office waiting for him, he rushes in and tells me to go to the hospital. While doing the ultra sound they asked me if I was seeing spots or having any headaches. I hadn't, but then again I have never before had a headache. He tells me that my blood pressure is at a very dangerous level and I should have already been hospitalized. He also tells me that I am at danger of a stroke and my tests came back and my protein had gotten to +4.
So we head to the hospital which happened to be across the street. I stay in my local hospital on meds and being fully monitored. They told me that this is very dangerous. I had fluid in my lungs so I was on air tank my whole hospitalization which ended up being a week and half. They told me that the plan was to get some steroids and try to get the baby to stay in as long as we could. They couldn't stabilize me at this hospital. My blood pressure wouldn't go down. I couldn't breath right. We couldn't even get an IV in me because I was so swollen, so they had to do a PIK line. The protein in my urine kept getting worse and my blood work wasn't coming back well.
So, there I was when all of a sudden a bunch of doctors came in and informed me that I would be flown to another hospital that was four hours away by car. They told me that the hospital they were taking me to specializes in situations like these and has better ability to take care of a premature baby. We get into the ambulance, then the plane. We fly there, then drive to the hospital with me on a stretcher monitoring my oxygen and blood pressure the whole way.
When we get there the plan at first is to keep him in as long as we can. We try this for two days but everyday I was getting worse and worse. A group of six doctors come in and ask my husband and I to make the biggest decision of my life. You see, my due date kept getting pushed back because the baby quit growing. He was thought to be around one pound. They explained that the steroids were to help the lungs grow because they wouldn't be developed. They don't make a breathing tube small enough for my babies lungs and that I was in critical condition. They could not perform a C-section because my body would not be able to handle it. They asked me to decide when it comes down to it if we choose them to fight for me or fight for my child knowing that he wouldn't make it. I mean the chance of him living was under twenty percent.
The hardest thing in the world to handle and I never ever imagined it to be that way. What were we to do? How do you answer that? I couldn't. So the doctors sent in someone who would explain to me what would happen even if he did make it. That there are no tubes for his lungs. He could and most likely would have problems his whole life. So we decided to try and keep him in but if I was going to pass, then they could intervene. I only lasted a day with everything getting worse and worse on my body. I heard his heart beat and saw another ultra sound and then within the same day they intervened and informed me that we had to get him out or I could die. We took off his monitor and they induced me. They said because of how he was doing as well that he most likely wouldn't make it through the labor. I held onto that little chance hoping and praying that he would have a heart beat and breath...cry...anything. I had a 32 hour labor and gave birth to my baby at 12 in the afternoon. No cries, nothing. He didn't make it, but believe me he has left footsteps on my heart forever. We got to hold him for a while and the hospital even gave us a box of his info and pictures. It was an option I decided to take to remember my first child forever.
I hope that anyone else who has preeclampsia doesn't have the same results as me. Just remember to hold onto that hope for your baby and possibly it will turn out better for you. If you know of anyone who has the symptoms or if you think you have them, specifically ask for it to be checked. I often wonder how it would be if the doctor and I had noticed sooner. Now I plan to help in making awareness of preeclampsia and helping in any way I can.
I donated my blood and blood from my baby to research for preeclampsia. If you know of any way to help please do so. There are too many lost to this and maybe to find the reason that it occurs may someday help to find a cure to it.
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...