I found out I was pregnant in July 2009. My husband and I had just
I found out I was pregnant in July 2009. My husband and I had just gotten married in June 2009 and were thrilled we got pregnant so fast. We had planned to start trying right away. At our first ultrasound we found out we had a single vessel umbilical cord. The doctors reassured us that lots of babies are born with a cord like this (1 in 100) and told us everything would be okay. I researched it over and over again. I didn't like some of the things I read but overall our baby had a 75% chance of being "normal."
Everything was progressing as should be. I was mostly tired at first and had a few slight headaches, nothing major. No swelling really, ankles retained some water. Then around 5 months I started to develop higher blood pressures (140/80) and I was required to take my own blood pressure at home and monitor and record them. At 19 weeks we found out we were having a girl! Everything looked fine on the ultrasound and we started planning for our new addition. We were very excited. I was taking my blood pressures daily and they were still elevated. I had to give a urine sample everytime I went to the doctor. At first no protein was showing up. I did a day long sample of urine and only had trace amounts. I must have done every type of bloodwork test out there. My doctor was very thorough but nothing turned up from the bloodwork.
I was feeling a bit tense around Christmas time but just attributed it to being the holidays and family and what not. Three days after Christmas my blood pressure was 150/90. My doctor informed me that I should call if it ever hit that number. It was a Sunday so I had to go see the on-call doctor at the hospital. She also did an ultrasound that day and asked when I had my next one scheduled. I told her Tuesday......she told me I should try and get in tomorrow! I really don't know why they didn't admit me right then. I went to my doctor on Monday and did a non-stress test and they monitored my baby's heartbeat. It was okay except for some slight dips. She gives me a prescription for blood pressure medication. I am told that my Tuesday ultrasound (at 26 weeks) would be fine. Can't fill the prescription because the pharmacy was out of the meds and they would have more tomorrow..........
So Tuesday arrived. I check my blood pressure myself that morning and it said 198/92..........I figured I must had used the machine incorrectly, that was very high.............I show up for the ultrasound and the technician is very concerned. She indicates that my baby is very small and that the doctor will be in shortly. They take my blood pressure twice. I am 200/100 each time. I am sweating bullets now. The doctor comes in and is using the ultrasound machine on me....he looks very concerned. He tells me that the baby has "Reverse End Diastolic Flow" and that I need to get to the hospital immediately. The blood flow through the umbilical cord is backwashing into the cord. I am thinking they are going to put me on bedrest at this point. That wasn't the case. I showed up and the doctor told me that my baby was only 1 pound......at 26 weeks the baby should be at least 2 pounds. They tell me that she may be developmentally delayed.
He tells me that I will be giving birth this week as the baby will not survive in my womb and will at least have a chance to survive in the NICU. At this point I am crying, my husband is crying, and my blood pressure is 215/115. They hook me up to the magnesium sulfate, give me steroids for the baby, and start the fetal monitor. They are taking bloodwork and prepping me for surgery. The magnesium sulfate helped my blood pressure considerably. I got two rounds of steroids to progress the maturity of my babies lungs. Doctors are coming in and telling me what is going to happen. I am woken up at 7:00 the next morning and told that I am going to deliver via emergency c-section. The doctors had been monitoring me on their palm pilot all night. I am scared to death. They tell me they are going to knock me out and intubate me. I didn't know if my baby was going to live or die at this point. They don't let my husband in the delivery room (mind you he was a paramedic for 8 years) because he is only there for moral support. At 8:42 AM, Tuesday, December 30th .. Lily Rayna was born at 1 pound .06 ounces............After I came to I was on a morphine drip for several hours, blood pressure medication, and pain medication. I was not allowed into the NICU to see my baby until I was off of the morphine. I saw her briefly the first day from pictures that my husband had taken. On December 31 I got to see her in the afternoon. She was teeny tiny. I had never seen a baby so small in my life. Her limbs were flailing around and she was not settling. She was still adorable and we loved her dearly. She had mom's nose and dad's skinny legs. It is New Year's Eve and I am back in my room. Our house is 5 minutes away from the hospital so my husband goes home to take a shower and feed the cats. A nurse comes running into my room and says that they aren't sure if Lily is going to make it through the night as she has taken a turn for the worse. They call my husband back to the hospital. We sat by our daughter's isolette while she flailed around. The doctor said her lungs weren't functioning properly but they could possibly give her nitric oxide as it had worked well on some other babies. We agree and gradually she stabilizes. It is New Year's Eve and just the start of a crazy 2010.
Our daughter Lily lived for two months in the NICU. She battled many obstacles and overcame many hurdles and we thought that she was going to pull through. She passed away on March 2, 2010 because of extreme prematurity and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension. She was only developed to maybe 23 weeks, even though I had the GA at 26 weeks. It was a very tough time dealing with the effects of a premature baby. We had many ups and downs in the NICU. We miss her beyond words.
It is now June 2010 and we are healing and wondering if we can have another baby. I went for some pre-pregnancy counseling and was told I would have about a 70% chance of developing preeclampsia again. I would be put on bedrest and if I make it to 26 weeks that would be great, 30 weeks would be a homerun, and 34 weeks would be a grandslam. It is a little discouraging to hear that news, but I think we may still try in the fall.
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 ...