"One and Done"... Not Always a Survivor's Mantra
Posted On Thursday, October 06, 2011 by Janel
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 honest, preeclampsia tends to put a damper on a mother's hopes for carrying other children!
The health risks mean that many of us in the preeclampsia community state "one and done" with certainty that it is the correct choice for our own health and family. In fact, this was my own personal mantra until I was 'surprised' after my firstborn son turned one to find the signs of an unplanned pregnancy.
First and foremost we were having another child! This was a blessing in and of itself because not only would my son have a baby brother or sister, but it is quite possible that I may NEVER have planned a second pregnancy after the health crisis of the first.
My second pregnancy went far smoother, though not without complications: between my own heightened awareness of preeclampsia and closer monitoring for my high-risk stature, I was placed on bed rest fairly early and maintained steady communication with my providers to help get my second child to around 38 weeks (shortly after my second official preeclampsia diagnosis).
The first component to my smoother second pregnancy was the monitoring. I was in the doctor about once a week from week 5. My blood was taken weekly, urine checked, blood pressures followed... I even checked them at home, keeping track of all the numbers and my activity levels. It was a chore, especially seeing that I still had a young, unruly toddler that still suffered developmentally as a result of his prematurity (and to this day as a three year old, continues to have neurological issues). So needless to say, I could have forwarded my mail to the doctor's office as much as I was there!
The second component, bed rest, is becoming relatively known as a false way of giving a woman hope of recovering during pregnancy issues, but in my second instance, it really helped me by allowing me not to overdo anything. I KNEW not to overexert, not to exercise more than some yoga or walking...I knew that this pregnancy (a second chance at a hopefully, normal pregnancy!) could and would end badly if I kept up at an obscene pace. My body did not take to pregnancy and I had to treat my body as if it were glass-liable to break at any moment.
I hadn’t been feeling well for a few days. I decided I would go in to work super early and give directions to the staff and then go home and go to the doctor. I got home and lay on the couch un...