I had a beautiful pregnancy with my first daughter in 1997 up until I reached
Posted On Thursday, August 08, 2002 by Tracey
I had a beautiful pregnancy with my first daughter in 1997 up until I reached 28 weeks. I started to have abdominal cramps and felt like I was in preterm labor. I called my midwife and she asked me to come in for monitoring. They weren't picking up any contractions and she sent me home with a diagnosis of false labor.
Less than a week later, I went to the hospital where my doctor's office was located with my mucus plug in a sandwich bag. I was having contractions every five minutes and was in a lot of pain. The right side of my body was starting to go numb and I was beginning to swell. After a few minutes, I started to have a hard time talking because the right side of my face was going numb. My midwife didn't run any tests on me because my blood pressure was normal and there was no protein in my urine. I was sent home the next day with a prescription of Brethine to stop my contractions.
I felt better after a couple of days, but started to have really severe migraines. I went in to see my regular doctor and my blood pressure was 152/102. She immediately put me on blood pressure medication and contacted my midwife. The midwife said that I was fine and she didn't need to see me since my doctor had taken care of the problem.
I went in to have an ultrasound done at 34 weeks to check on my daughter's position and make sure everything was fine. My appointment was set for the next day, but because I thought everything was fine, I rescheduled for the day after due to a family crisis. I ended up having to call and reschedule again because I was out of town and wouldn't be back in time for the appointment.
My godparent sponsor (program for teenaged moms) drove to where I was and told me I needed to go immediately to the hospital because there was a problem with the baby. I started to cry because nothing had been detected up until then. We got to the hospital two hours later and I was immediately hooked up to an IV and had another ultrasound.
My amnionic fluid was dangerously low and I was severely dehydrated. My blood pressure was at 148/98 even with the medications I had been taking. My midwife told me she just wanted to keep me for the weekend to build up my fluid levels and that my blood pressure was not a concern at that point.
The following Monday, she came in to inform me that I had Preeclampsia and she would have to take my baby. I was induced the following Wednesday with Pitocin and Cervodil. I failed to progress until 2:30 AM Saturday morning.
Sometime around 12:30 PM on Saturday, my midwife told me she would have to break my membranes to speed things up because I was still only 4 cm. When she did, my blood pressure soared and I went into shock. I was turned onto my side and immediately put on an oxygen mask. She left the room shortly after that to call the OB surgeon on duty to perform an emergency c-section.When she came back she pulled my mom aside and told her I would have to have a c-section or we would both die. Then they told me what was happening to me.
The surgeon got to the hospital around 3:00 PM and prepped the OR for the surgery. When he came in to check on my condition, he told me my daughter was crowning and they couldn't do the c-section. My daughter was born just half an hour later and was slow to respond to the doctors.
After what seemed like an eternity, I finally heard her crying and the doctor assured me she would be fine. I was only allowed to hold her for a few minutes before they took her to the neonatal unit for observation. My blood pressure stayed elevated and I was put to sleep in an attempt to bring down my blood pressure.
My daughter turned out to be just fine and was released after five days in the hospital. I, on the other hand, continued to have problems. I was released after a two day stay, but my blood pressure would not come down. My mother had to care for my daughter for the first few weeks because I was just too sick and weak to even hold her. My midwife didn't see a problem so she wouldn't see me.
During the four years following my daughter's birth, my blood pressure has stayed consistently high. I have had five miscarriages due to my blood pressure cutting off blood flow to the placenta. All of my losses occured in the first trimester before ten weeks. We couldn't determine the sex of any of the babies because they were much smaller than their gestational size.
I had a particularly hard time in November of 2001 with my blood pressure. I had been off blood pressure medication for six months because my doctor felt that my blood pressure was too low on the medicine. It was a mistake for her to take me off of my medicine, but we didn't know it would be as bad as it was.
I was working in a hospital as a third shift security guard and had some numbness in my fingers one morning around 2:30 AM. My partner asked me if I was okay because she noticed me flexing my fingers a lot. Before I could answer my whole right arm went numb and I had an intense pain in my right shoulder and neck. By the time my partner called for help on her radio, I had an intense headache and could barely make out her face.
She began to carry me inside from the parking complex and my right leg went numb. She called back to the ER and told them I was critical. I could barely stay awake without her slapping me in the face. I couldn't talk or function because the whole right side of my body was completely numb.
The ER nurses and hospital EMTs took my blood pressure as soon as they got to the scene and it was 207/ 119. I was put in a wheelchair and taken to the ER immediately for possible stroke. I had a CT scan within five minutes and had abnormal brain activity. Then I had an MRI and an ultrasound on my brain done. Both said the same thing with abnormal brain activity.
I had blood work done to check my liver and kidney function and both were slightly abnormal. I was put on something through an IV to stop me from stroking. I was pumped with potassium to help lower my blood pressure as well as a diruretic through my IV. I was so out of it that I don't know what all I was given.
After I was stabilized four hours later, I was finally told what had happened. When my doctor took me off of my medication, my blood pressure began to climb and my potassium levels dropped until there was almost none present. I had suffered a mild stroke at the age of 23 because my blood pressure had climbed so rapidly and it was left untreated. The ER doctor told me that it would have been a lot worse had I not been at a hospital when it happened.
I was put on a strong doseage of Norvasc and potassium supplements to increase the effectiveness of the medication. I had to stay home for three days after that to give my body a chance to recover. I didn't suffer any substantial damage and I consider myself very lucky for that. It could have been a lot worse.
I am going on to have my second daughter now in just a few weeks. I developed PIH early on at 16 weeks because the medicines were not keeping my pressure down. My OB changed my medicine to Aldomet 500 mg 3 times per day because my blood pressure was at 197/116 and told me that was the maximum he could prescribe. He told me that I might not be able to carry this baby all the way to term because of my blood pressure, but was hoping for the best.
I have still had some borderline readings since the change and have developed full blown preeclampsia within the last month. He put me on complete bedrest to help with the protein and blood pressure levels. So far it has worked and my daughter seems to be doing great. He says he feels good about letting me go a little further in my pregnancy since we are both responding to the treatment very well.
I have blood screens every week to ensure that my kidneys and liver continue to function properly. I also have NSTs done every week to make sure my daughter doesn't go into distress. I have to check my urine for proteinuria and check my blood pressure twice daily.
Everything seems to be going along well at this point. My OB will be inducing me on September 2, 2002 because of my preeclampsia, but says that we will both be fine. I have taken every precaution that I can take with this pregnancy and just pray he is right in saying we will both be fine. I will know for sure in just three more weeks.
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...