I can hardly believe there is even a web site for preeclampsia I didn't know
Posted On Friday, June 21, 2002 by Karen
I can hardly believe there is even a web site for preeclampsia! I didn't know of anyone and I didn't have access at the time.
I became symptomatic in my seventh month approximately. I experienced unexplained dizziness, nausea, and migraines. I also started to pack on the pounds, despite my best efforts. My doctors attributed my problems from my history of migraines prior to pregnancy. They also told me to start watching what I was eating, despite me telling them I was in fact eating properly.
One Sunday, around eight months, I was on the phone talking to my mother about nothing. Literally nothing; when my heart rate took off so fast I could barely speak or move. I dropped the phone in my husband's lap. When I caught my breath, I asked my husband to take my heart rate. It was somewhere around 160!
We called my O.B. and of course went to the hospital. I was seen by the doctor there. My blood pressure was outrageous. They kept asking me if my mother and I had been fighting on the phone or something. I saw a cardiologist who released me, telling me my experience had no explanation and to see my O.B. outpatient.
Later, when I reviewed my charts, I saw that he diagnosed it as a " panic attack ". My episodes continued over the next weeks until they finally found protein in my urine. I was sent to bed-rest for two weeks. The amount of protein in my urine was so high that they had me do a 24 hour collection. My O.B. instructed me to complete the collection and return it to the hospital the next day where I would be induced.
December 31,1999 I entered the hospital believing that I would be induced because my health and my child's health were at risk. I was admitted and my membranes where ruptured. The doctor at the hospital told me I would soon be induced.
Then everything changed. Apparently O.B. on call from my doctor's office was busy with her millennium festivities and wasn't coming in that night to see me. She instructed them to keep me over and monitor my condition. When I told the doc at the hospital what the previous doctor had instructed, she called the on-call O.B. That didn't seem to make a difference.
I spent my New Year's Eve in a hospital bed. The next day I was released and told to see my doctor that Monday. I got home, tried to relax, and great surprise it started happening again! I went back to the hospital, only to be sent back home by the same on-call doctor.
When I showed up at my doctor's office that Monday morning I had gained 20 lbs. in 48 hours! Yes that's right, 20 lbs. in 48 hours! I was immediately sent to the hospital to be induced. They broke my bag of waters and started the bags of mag-sulfate and pitosin. I was in labor for 12 hours.
I had a beautiful baby girl January 4, 2000. She was 7 lbs. 4 ozs. and 19 1/2 inches. She scored poorly on her Apgar, but gained strength over the following 24 hours.
I however was a different story. I was in pain, bleeding, and completely drugged! They kept me on the mag/sulfate and pitosin for 24 hours after giving birth. What's so sad to me is that I held my daughter once after she was born. I didn't have the strength in my arms to hold her for about a day and a half.
On top of that, I was so drugged, that the night after she was born I woke up and wondered "What did we name her?". How sad. I had to look on a 4 x 6 card on her bassinet that read "Sophie Ellen".
They kept me in the hospital for 4 or 5 days, until I begged to leave. I wasn't to be left alone for 2 weeks. I was loosing golf ball and baseball size clots, because my contractions stopped after my daughter was born. My placenta had to manually removed. Which is quite painful for anyone who has experienced it.
Isn't it funny that it was all in my head. For two months I had been telling my O.B. something was wrong. I know my body. What's even worse is that they told me I'd be lucky if my daughter was even 5 lbs.! I was induced three weeks before my due date, and she was a full term size baby.
The saddest thing for me is that when I tried to understand where everything went wrong, and what happened to me, they tried to cover it up and make excuses. All I wanted was to understand what preeclampsia was and how it had affected my body. I still don't understand it completely. It made my first birthing experience quite traumatic and I suffered for months afterwards.
I am so thankful my daughter is healthy, but I often wonder how it has affected my health.
I am now 29 weeks pregnant with our second child. A boy! I am feeling familiar symptoms that scare me. I pray with every passing day that I don't get it again. I can't afford to be sick this time around. I have a two year old and a sick husband to take care of.
Life has taught me to take one day at a time. And to be thankful for the time we have on this earth. Life is beautiful despite the problems we face. I just wish doctor's now a days were more sympathetic towards intuition. The body never lies!
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 ...