I had successfully given birth to two very healthy baby boys, with very uneventful pregnancies,
Posted On Wednesday, January 20, 2010 by Shannon
|I had successfully given birth to two very healthy baby boys, with very uneventful pregnancies, I joked that I was made to have babies. I never even read the chapters or articles in the pregnancy books or magazines that discussed possible problems, thinking "that won't happen to me." How wrong I was! My third pregnancy (another boy) had me extremely swollen, ridiculous really, I had to buy new shoes just to find a pair that I could get my feet in. My blood pressure stayed steady and continually tested negative for protein in urine, so the Dr. basically told me I was having a run of bad luck with this one and stay off my feet as much as possible and keep them elevated. Around 33 weeks, the rest of my body seemed to be getting swollen as well, with no other symptoms. The Dr. noticed a slight elevation in my bp so she had me monitor at home a couple times a day which showed no real concern either. But the swelling continued and it became an oddity people would joke about at work (yes, I was still working). The Dr. suggested half days which I did cut down to. Then on the day I had my 35 week appointment, my blood pressure was elevated and I tested positive for protein in my urine but only a small amount. So my OB told me that's it, tell work you are done and put me on moderate bed rest for the duration and to continue to monitor bp at home. And this is where my story begins... In the 20 minutes it took me to get back to work to collect a few things, I started to have pressure/pain in my chest. I assumed I was having a panic attack since I was repeating the story over and over and really just couldn't believe I was actually having anything go wrong. I immediately went home and lay down to try to "calm down". By the time my husband came home the pain was intense. I called the OB and she said I was probably having a gall bladder attack and to take some Maalox which I sent my husband to buy. Approx. 45 minutes later I called the Dr again to ask how long till it would get better since I was in more pain than I had been when I delivered both previous babies! She said that maybe I had gall stones and that I could go to the ER if I really wanted to and they would give me IV pain medicine. I turned to my husband and said "Something is wrong, I don't know what but something is wrong." So we went to the emergency room. The doctors did an ultrasound to check my gall bladder and discovered it to be fine but that my liver was twice the size it should have been. Checked the baby as well and he was doing fine. The blood work revealed that my blood cell count was half what it should have been. Hours went by without anyone really believing that anything was seriously wrong, the word HELLP or eclampsia was not mentioned. I was in a morphine induced haze barely conscious, unable to talk, screaming at the nurses that the pain was worse on the morphine that it had been when I walked in to the hospital. I insisted that I had experienced no headaches, blurry vision or any other symptoms (which had been true). I was admitted to Labor/Delivery and my doctor explained to me that they were going to induce me as soon as they could get my blood pressure stabilized. Which of course never happened. The rest of this story is actually second hand since from this point on I have no memory of anything until I woke up in the ICU the following day. I was put on magnesium IV at some point and stayed on it for days. My bp was recorded at one point to be 212/108. My blood pressure went down and they thought they would be able to stabilize me and then my mother noticed me jerk on the bed, immediately followed by another. I then turned blue and started seizing at which point they rushed my family out of the room. My throat had closed and I had stopped breathing but my heart did not stop pumping so I was told that the baby had not been at risk. They called the code in the hospital and people came running from everywhere, luckily there was a room all set up for a scheduled csection in which the anesthesiologist was actually already prepped and waiting. They told my husband to not even bother following since they would have the baby out before he could even get the scrubs on. My crooked scar and small section of nerve damage on my abdomen are evidence of the quick emergency c-section I then had. My Dr. told me I was actually still on my side when she started to cut, the baby was a whopping 5 lbs 7 oz already which was fabulous at 35 weeks. He was on a ventilator for approx 30 seconds as a precaution but immediately taken off and was in excellent shape. He was taken to the special nursery and I went to the ICU where I stayed for 2 days and didn't get to see my son for 2 days since neither of us could get to the other. I woke up in the ICU, looked down and said "I had the baby?" and discovered the painful scar from the c-section to my surprise! He suffered no bad effects aside from jaundice and difficulty eating/swallowing so he stayed approx 10 days. They tell me that I was a miracle, had a miraculous recovery and was almost a celebrity at the hospital with strangers hugging me when I did get into the wheelchair, everyone knew me. I even had the anesthesiologist come to see me in the ICU telling me that he "had never seen anything like that." I had every test in the world done to check for strokes, brain damage, ekg, mri, etc. And my only lasting effects are two mildly leaking valves and a heart murmur I now have which I have been told is very mild and a small section to the right of my belly button where I have no feeling where the nerves must have been cut. They even still remember me at the hospital as I took this son to the ER recently for pneumonia and had an ER nurse come up to me and tell me that she remembered me and was glad to see I was well. While I am devastated that I completely missed the entire birth of my child and his first days, which is beyond strange. I feel truly blessed and do feel like I had someone watching over me, after all of the "you are so lucky you came to the hospital" and how unusual it was to have it happen on my third child with the same father, and how I had no other symptoms, that my body must have been masking them for quite some time and ended up just giving out when it no longer could. And I am grateful for this since my body was able to fight long enough that when my baby was taken, he was big and strong and healthy.|
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...