I was 30 weeks pregnant when my problems with high-blood pressure began. I went to
I was 30 weeks pregnant when my problems with high-blood pressure began. I went to the office for a routine visit, had my blood-pressure taken as usual, but the nurse didn't repeat it as she usually had before. I asked her what it was and she replied, 148/85, which was high for me. Pre-pregnancy, I was around 115/70. I had been suffering from significant swelling in my hands and face for about 4-8 weeks before this. The doctor was concerned and ordered me to watch my sodium intake, drink lots of water, and try to stay off my feet and keep them elevated as much as possible. The only symptom of pre-eclampsia I didn't have was protein in my urine.Although, I was never told until later I was showing the early signs of pre-eclampsia. I researched it for myself.
After two weeks of following doctors orders, I went in for my 32 weeks checkup, and my blood pressure had not changed. This time, though, the doctor didn't seem as concerned. Even though I told him my symptoms had not changed with the change in diet, or added water intake....and that my hands were swollen and numb, whether I worked all day, or had just woke up in the morning. Also, two days before my appointment, my feet had swelled severely and suddenly and they never had before. He told me they would just keep an eye on me and scheduled my next appointment for two weeks.
That next week, on Monday March 14, 2005,at 33 weeks, I was admitted to the Labor and Delivery Triage for a pounding headache. My blood pressure upon arrival was 170/117. I was immediately given a steroid injection for the baby's lungs and put on magnesium sulfate to try to control the blood pressure and to prevent seizure. I remained in the hospital for three days, where I was put on complete bed rest, complete with a catheter, getting blood drawn every six hours, and monitoring the baby everyday with ultrasound. I was able to get the second injection of steroids for the baby, but on the third day, all my blood work was out of control, as was my protein levels. The doctor decided we needed to deliver the baby. I was upset because I knew she wasn't ready, but they explained to me that I was very sick and if we didn't deliver I might not make it. They told me the only way to make me better was to deliver the baby.
They decided to insert Cervidil, and they came in and did another ultrasound, and that afternoon, the doctor came in and said we needed to do an emergency c-section because the baby was not getting adequate blood supply and oxygen, so now we were both in danger. At 6:30 pm, I was wheeled into the operating room, and at 6:59pm. I delivered a 3lb. 10oz. 17 3/4in. baby girl. She came out screaming! Upon delivery, they learned that my placenta was deteriorating, and was that of a 40 week placenta at 33 weeks.
She was airlifted to Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago later that night, where she stayed for two weeks. She was only on oxygen for 3 days, and had a feeding tube for two weeks where she received expressed breast milk that we brought up every day. (I came home four days after delivery on blood pressure medication, because it still wouldn't come down after delivery.)I got to see and hold her for the first time on her 4th day. After two weeks in Loyola, she was transferred back to Morris Hospital, for two more weeks, to feed and grow. She came home at 4 weeks old at 4lbs. 12 oz.
Cara is nine months old today, and healthy as can be! I just recently found out I still have high blood pressure as a result of the pregnancy. I am in the process of going on a low sodium, low fat diet to hopefully lower my blood pressure with diet and exercise naturally so I can hopefully avoid the pre-eclampsia next time and have a healthy, uneventful pregnancy.
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 ...