When I became pregnant with my son in the summer of 2008, everything seemed like
When I became pregnant with my son in the summer of 2008, everything seemed like a dream. I had an absolutely perfect pregnancy. I experienced minimal morning sickness, did not gain very much weight, and basically felt physically amazing. As I neared my due date, I became pretty confident that things were going to be cake, as everything else had been. When I went to my 37 week checkup, I felt great and was looking forward to another perfect appointment. That was when the nurse looked concerned when taking my blood pressure. She took it again, then again. THAT was when the doctor came in to let me know I was spilling protein. She made a quick diagnosis of Preeclampsia and scheduled me to be induced that night. She didn't seem too worried, so I went home, got my bags, and went to the hospital.
It was at the hospital that things went from moderately bad to very, very bad in just a matter of hours. The induction didn't work and after trying to induce for more than 9 hours, I had only progressed to 1cm. Blood work was done early that morning and once the results came back, my doctor told me the news. I had developed HELLP. My liver enzymes were climbing steadily, while my blood counts were not looking good. I was at 130 when she made the call to do an emergency C-Section. She quickly explained to me how this disease works, and how quickly it can escalate. She told me if I waited, it could be a much more serious situation. So we did it. Several hours after the C-section, my blood counts had dropped to 40, and I was bruising horribly. I was on a magnesium sulfate drip and started on a regimen of Labetalol for my very high blood pressure (160/110-ish). While I was very sick and ended up in the hospital for a week, my little son suffered no complications. I was able to have him with me my entire stay in the hospital, which made the stay a little easier. It took an entire week for me to be stable enough to leave, and for weeks after, I had trouble controlling my blood pressure and had horrible headaches.
It's now 15 months later, and I am still taking blood pressure medication to control my blood pressure. The effects of preeclampsia left me with chronic hypertension. On a positive note, however, my OB gave us the green light to try again and she is very optimistic that we will have a successful fullterm pregnancy. I am pregnant and am being very careful this time around.
The one thing I have learned from this is the absolute importance of seeing your OB regularly throughout the pregnancy. Having no complications up to a certain point does NOT mean that you won't develop them. If I hadn't been seeing her regularly, I could have been much much worse off. Also, I had a really awesome doctor who was able to notice the symptoms even before I noticed them! When searching for an OB, ask them if they are familiar with these disorders, and what experience they have had with them. If could truly save your life.
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 ...