About a month before our first wedding anniversary, my husband and I were overjoyed to
Posted On Tuesday, November 19, 2002 by Jenny
|About a month before our first wedding anniversary, my husband and I were overjoyed to find we were expecting our first child. We had experienced a miscarriage earlier that year, and were cautiously optimistic about this pregnancy. We decided to wait until I was 12 weeks to announce the good news to our friends and family. My pregnancy was rough from the start. The first four months were constant morning sickness, and I lost over ten pounds. At 20 weeks (on Halloween!) we discovered I was carrying a baby boy, and he looked very healthy! We were so excited. I started to feel better around that time and finally began to gain back some of the weight I had lost. I was looking pregnant in my cute maternity clothes, and we began to look forward to the birth of our son at the end of March. With the holidays just ahead, we decided to take it easy and enjoy the pregnancy, and not start furnishing the nursery or buying baby things until after Christmas. We live in a small apartment and figured that would be the best thing--we would have three months after Christmas to get all of that done. Boy, were we wrong. About two weeks before Christmas, at 26 weeks, I began having horrible pains just under my ribs. I thought I had heartburn or constipation, so I tried some over the counter remedies to help with the symptoms. That did help a little, but I didn't feel better until I threw up. My doctors still wanted to check things out and rule out preterm labor. They did a non-stress test and the baby looked good, so they told me that the pain was probably coming from my uterus pushing into my other organs. It was measuring large at that time, so I just accepted that and went on to enjoy Christmas with my family. On New Year's Day, at 28 weeks, I had my first hospital stay. That evening I had unbearable pain just under my ribs, and nothing would alleviate it. I called the doctor and was told to go straight to the emergency room. I was admitted to the hospital L & D overnight, where they decided that the pain was definitely my gallbladder. My primary nurse at that time told me that she suspected preeclampsia due to my quick reflexes and swelling, but the doctors didn't agree so I was sent home with orders to eat a no-fat diet until the baby was born and I could have my gallbladder removed. I ended up in the hospital L & D again just six days later, with the same terrible pain. This time I was told that there was still nothing they could do for my gallbladder, so I just stayed at the hospital until the pain went away. It subsided the same way it had every other time I had experienced it--with me vomiting violently until my stomach was empty. Several days later I got a call from my doctor's office. They had been reviewing some of my blood work from the hospital stay and said some things looked "suspicious". They wanted me to cut out all salt and fat from my diet, drink only water, and begin a 24 hour urine collection. The next day I was to come in for a blood pressure check. I did that, and my BP was slightly elevated, but they told me to go home and that I would be fine. I ended up back at the doctor the next day for another BP check and to start another 24 hour urine. On Wednesday, January 16 the doctor called me at home and told me that they did suspect mild preeclampsia. I was told to stay on the low fat/no salt diet, drink a lot of water, and stay off my feet when possible. I also was to start going to the doctor twice a week, but they still told me I could keep working. The next day at work, a nurse from my doctor's office called me and said that I needed to leave work immediately and check myself into the hospital. I asked her why and she replied that she wasn't sure, but the doctor wanted me at the hospital right away. I was terrified and began to cry. I was only 30 weeks pregnant. I went home and grabbed a pillow and some toiletries (I had a feeling I was going to be there a while) and picked up my husband from work and went down to the hospital. When I checked in there I was told by my nurse (the one who had originally suspected the preeclampsia) that my urine proteins were very high, and my liver enzymes were abnormal. And at that time, my blood pressure was 156/90. I remained in the hospital, on my left side, with my urine and blood and bp being constantly monitored, for the next four days. During that time I was given steroid shots to mature baby's lungs, sonograms to determine his size and position, and consults with the neonatology team. When I entered the hospital on Thursday, they talked about me staying there on bedrest until I was 35 weeks. By Sunday, I had deteriorated to the point that they were going to take the baby that week. My liver and kidneys were not working properly, my face and hands were swollen. I was 31 weeks pregnant. The next day, Monday, I told my husband to go to work because everyone was sure nothing would happen that day. My mother-in-law even went on a little day trip. My nurse popped in around 11:30 am and said she was just waiting for my urine and blood test results, and then I could have some lunch. Not ten minutes later she was back in my room telling me to call my husband, that they were taking the baby now. I was in shock, I thought that meant maybe that afternoon. She said, no, now, I hope your husband doesn't work too far away. I called him and he jumped in his car and came over, calling family on the way to tell them the news. By the time he got to the hospital 15 minutes later, I had three IV's in my arm, magnesium sulfate drip, a catheter, and I had already been prepared for surgery. The c-section itself was a blur. The room was filled with doctors and nurses, the spinal didn't hurt, I wondered where my husband was. He came in and sat near my head as the surgery began. Before I realized what was happening, I heard a tiny cry as they lifted my son out of me. Evan Michael was born at 12:57 pm on January 21, weighing 3 lbs, 1 oz, and 16 inches long. They showed him to me and told me to give him a little kiss before he was rushed down to the NICU. I was out of it for the next 24 hours, flat on my back, drifting in and out of pain killer induced sleep. I didn't see my baby until the evening of the following day. Luckily, I didn't have any complications from my preeclampsia, and had an easy recovery from my c-section. I was able to leave the hospital five days after Evan was born. Evan stayed in the NICU for five weeks, learning to breathe and eat and gaining weight. Today I am fine, and Evan is a healthy, happy ten month old. He is small for his age, but his development is right on target, and he has no lasting problems from his prematurity. What scares me the most about this experience is how quickly everything happened. The onset was so sudden that I couldn't believe what was happening. Even though I had some symptoms, at the time I still felt fine. I didn't see how there could be something so wrong with me, but I'm thankful for the doctors and nurses who kept track of my condition and prevented me from having a more unfortunate outcome.|
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 ...