First pregnancy surprise

Post On Monday, February 16, 2015 By amelia

First pregnancy surprise

When I first became pregnant at age 21 (surprise after my husband was told he was sterile from multiple chemotherapy and radiation treatments) the last thing I expected was an abnormal pregnancy. Everything was going fine. I was going to school full time for my bachelor degree and working full time at a dental office during this pregnancy. The last week of the semester I had a presentation due. The day before the presentation I had a gybo appointment. My blood pressure was elevated. The doctor asked me if I was under any stress. I told her it was the week of finals and that I may have been a bit stressed from that. She told me to come in the next day to recheck my blood pressure. My mom had come to the appointment with me and we had planned to get lunch afterward. However during the appointment the midwife informed me my blood pressure was very high and there was a higher than normal amount of protein in my urine. I knew this was a pretty eclampsia precaution. They told me to go home right away and pack a bag and head to the hospital and that I may need to be induced (at this point I was 36 weeks). I needed coffee... can I have coffee??? Not sure. I go to Dunkin Donuts and get a small coffee and a bagel. I go home and grab hardly anything, thinking I'll be discharged the same day. My dad brings me to the hospital I think.

The first thing I remember is checking into triage. A young mother across the hall from me is in active labor. I hear the nurses saying she has had no prenatal care. I'm scared for her baby before my situation even becomes reality. I have a stomachache. I've been having diarrhea. I'm most concerned about giving birth and having diarrhea during birth at this point. The stomachaches subside. Doctor comes in. Tells me I need a catheter to monitor my urine protein. Umm...I'm not so sure I felt anywhere comfortable with that idea! She pushes the issue and I rebel. Ultrasound tech comes in and begins ultrasound. Tells me the baby looks good and she is "practice breathing" which at that time just tells me she is mature enough to come out. I make my mom call my husband. I remember her asking him "are you ready to have a baby!?". Next I remember being on the maternal special care floor. The 10th floor. My nurse's name was Erin. She was annoyed with me I know it. But she was trying to be nice but I could see through her. She was annoyed because I really did not want a catheder. They finally convinced me to try it for one hour. OK fine. One hour. Some other nurse came and tried putting it in. Oh the line is toon thick ouch!! Came back. Got the tube in my urethra.....oh my gosh this hurts! Stung badly. Every time the baby moved it put pressure on the catheder. Hurt more. Husband got VCR and put in the movie "Friday" to try to get my mind off the pain. Nope. Watched one hour tick by. After one hour I buzzed for Erin. She seemed annoyed that I wanted it out. She had to give me a bed pan now if I had to pee. God forbid.

Well soon after, the catheter nurse came back. They wanted to soften my cervix with a tablet to help with the induction the next day. Ok, how bad can that be???. Oh dear....a tiny tab in the cervix is slightly more painful than you'd think. Any way, made it to the next day. Around 2:00 I was taken down to labor and delivery floor to start pitocin. By the way, had been previously hooked up to magnesium sulfate iv and was allowed no solid food. After starting iv, everyone had left. My chicken broth had came. Mag iv made me feel like my face was burning off. Add to that the broth I was slurping. I thought I was dying... anyway back to the labor and delivery floor. Started a pitocin drip around 2:30. Eh, mostly felt like braxton hicks for a while. The anesthesiologist came by. I already decided in no epidural but had to sign their paperwork anyway just in case. Ok, contractions getting worse. They made me lay on my right side. That made the pain and contractions come on. Can I do this?? I remember looking to my mom (who gave birth to two kids naturally no drugs) mom, what should I do?? In some way hoping she would tell me to just ask for the epidural. She just told me that I was doing great and to keep going. So I did. The midwife was somewhere, who knows. My nurse was great, so sweet. All the sudden I felt the baby fall into my birth canal and I just couldn't help but push at that moment. Nurse ran for the midwife. I think she expected me to be exaggerating. She checked me and I was ready (duh). This was 4 hours after induction. 20 mins later she tells me "ease up" or "easy push" I just push. I feel baby fly out. My husband later compared it to a hockey goalie saving the goal from a puck.

She was out! It's a girl! The midwife put her on my chest. I remember thinking "oh my god she's small!!". Baby girl 4 pounds 12oz. She was perfect. Small but perfect. She was fine. 9's on the apgar. However I was not fine. After getting settled in my room, I was still bed bound. My husband changed her first diaper. I have still never to this day seen a meconium diaper. I had the lactation consultant in determined to breast feed my baby. She was having trouble latching. She barely had an upper lip developed! I pumped any colostrum possible. It hurt to pump. My uterus contracted with any nipple stimulation. I got through it. Mixed colostrum and milk into that pre mixed enfamil. She ate ok. I could barely talk from dry throat at this point. Was also starting to see a black spot in my right eye. Didn't mention it to anyone though at first. When I was ready to leave after 3 days, they were concerned with my vision. My husband and mom drove the baby home and my dad stayed behind with me to take me across the hospital to the eye clinic. At the clinic, they were about to inject me with dye to look at my eye. I started freaking out about the precautions given to me before the dye(basically just allergic reaction warning). I started crying. The eye dr took my blood pressure and it was through the roof. My dad called the Dr office. They called in a prescription for procardia, a maternity blood pressure med. Went home for a day and a half on procardia. At one point my head hurt so bad I was just banging it against the wall of my bedroom.

I called Gyno office. On-call Dr told me go to the emergency room. They got me in there. Started me on labetalol. I should mention I've never been to the hospital as a patient at any point in my life ever. This was all new to me. Person next to me was having a heart attack. I didn't belong here was all I was thinking. My vital alarm kept dinging every time my blood pressure was taken. It was making me nervous. After I was feeling a bit better they decided to take a urine sample to determine if there was protein . if so, I'd have to be admitted. Well there was protein. I wouldn't know until later that the protein levels were compromised due to the fact that I was bleeding vaginally from giving birth. I was admitted for nothing. Was released on Christmas eve. Labetalol was doing the trick. I still had a big blind spot in my right eye on though. After a few more eye Dr visits I was left with permanent optic nerve damage from my blood pressure becoming so high so fast. I'm fine no, the black spot cleared after a few months, but the damage is permanent. I'm thankful for my Gyno practice for catching my condition and ultimately saving me. It's been over five years since. My husband has passed on, and I'm left with our little miracle daughter. I hope to give her a baby brother or sister someday soon and I hope to have a smoother birthing process this time around. Thank you for reading. 

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