My first pregnancy was nearly flawless, with only some minor high blood pressure late in
My first pregnancy was nearly flawless, with only some minor high blood pressure late in the ninth month. However, it always subsided when I laid on my side.
Jeff was born in February 1997; however, he developed breathing problems and ended up in the NICU for a week. He is now happy and healthy.
My second pregnancy, while marked with lots of morning sickness, seemed very similar. Again, late in the ninth month I had the high blood pressure which always decreased when I laid on my side. Looking back, my mother says she felt I was very puffy, but I was overweight at the time, and I never noticed. Personally, I had always had perfect blood pressure. My labor was very fast for my second child. From first pains to delivery it lasted only 1 hour and 40 minutes. Jay was born a healthy weight 7 lb and 11 oz. However, he was not breathing at all. His first apgar score was a 2. Luckily, the doctor and nurses were able to revive him, and his second apgar score was a 9!
Everything seemed fine. Jay and I were able to leave the hospital just two days later. I had decided to breast feed with Jay, and all of my energies were spent making sure I was feeding him enough. I was getting very tired, however. My mother-in-law was staying with me for a couple of days while my husband worked. She helped a lot. 6 days after I delivered I was on my own.
I remember waking up on Wednesday and getting Jay up, after that, the rest of the day is filled in with details. At 5:00 that evening, my father came to see how I was. I must have seemed groggy, and he asked if I could tell him Jay's middle name. I could not. He rushed me to my family doctor, a family friend. While at the clinic, waiting for them to unlock the doors and let us in, I had my first seizure. It was a grand mal and lasted maybe two minutes.
Once inside, they did the normal checks. After stapling my head which I had hit during the seizure, my blood pressure was still sky high. However, I was very coherent at the time. I knew the answers to all of their questions. My ob was then called, and they decided to air ambulance me to the hospital (45 minutes away).
As they arrived, I had my second and more severe seizure. At that time I was strapped to the stretcher; therefore, I aspirated. I then had to be ventialted. I only remember waking up late Thursday night, and this was only in blurbs. Seeing my pastor, my sister from 3 hours away, and my dad. I was also totally freaked out being on the ventilator and having a catheter hooked up. I recovered quickly and left the ICU on Friday afternoon. I was able to go home for good on Monday.
The doctors ran all of the tests while I was on the hospital. An MRI (normal), EEG (normal), CT scan (which only turned up a bad case of full sinuses), and several blood gases (ouch!). They were very hesitant to call it eclampsia, but couldn't think of any other diagnosis.
I spent the next six months fairly grounded. Because you cannot drive after a seizure I relied on everyone for rides to work, the store, and anywhere else I wanted to go. At a follow-up neuroligist appointment, I had an abnormal EEG which meant epilepy. It was explained to me that many people have abnormal EEG's and never have seizures. Mine was probably enduced by the stress of childbirth.
Eight months after the birth of Jay, I was doing fine. Both of my children were healthy and happy. Then, with no real warning, I had my second seizure. It was a grand mal, but I had no complications like the first one. I am now taking Tegretol, a seizure medication. It has been 2 years since the birth of Jay, and I have been seizure free for about 17 months.
I may never know the real reason, eclampsia or epilepsy, as to my seizure; however, my story is a testament to other women to be informed. Those little questions about "seeing stars" and pains in your abdomen that the nurses mumble through at the beginning of the appointment are pre-cursors to eclampsia. Ask questions and never feel "ignorant" by doing so. My child was very lucky, as was I.
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...