I Felt Totally in the Dark

Post On Wednesday, November 15, 2017 By Sharlene

I Felt Totally in the Dark

 

 "I read pregnancy books, I went to check ups, had prenatal care, took my vitamins etc., and I did not know anything about preeclampsia."

 

I was 29 weeks pregnant with our daughter Kylie.

We were on the way home from our baby shower.

I started to feel nauseous. 

I had previously felt swollen (my ankles were swollen), had been having severe heartburn (waking me up at night) and had started to have difficulty reading (straining to read a little bit). I had been in a swimsuit just prior to this and I noticed that I just looked swollen everywhere and seemed to have gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time. I knew that our daughter was small for gestational age. They had told me they may have to take her out early (meaning just a week or so early - or at least that is what I heard at the time). They were just starting to monitor me more closely, but no one explained to me or mentioned that I could be developing preeclampsia. I did not realize that I was at risk, nor that I was beginning to have symptoms. I didn't know what preeclampsia was nor what the symptoms truly were. Also, I had no idea about the seriousness and consequences for both my daughter and myself. I was a healthy person, I did yoga, I exercised, I ate healthy, I cooked from the book, What to Cook While You Are Expecting, ate flax seeds. I had never had blood pressure issues, nor did I know at the time that my mom had blood pressure issues when she was pregnant (and other female family members on my mom's side). The mid-wives I was seeing at the time actually gave me permission to fly and go on a trip just before this happened up to Maine - so needless to say I thought I was just experiencing typical symptoms of pregnancy and that I shouldn't complain. The midwives had mentioned that they sometimes had very whiny pregnant women who complained and I was determined not to be one of those women- I was tough. As part of the back story I had to do a round of IVF to get pregnant and my getting pregnant was so medicalized that I wanted a less medicalized pregnancy and delivery experience. I was planning on a natural birth, breast feeding etc.

On the way home from our baby shower I began to get more and more nauseous. I couldn't stand for the seat belt to touch me and I actually thought I might be going into labor. I felt like I just needed to lay down so we drove home. When we got home the symptoms intensified. I couldn't stand for my clothes to touch my body. Turns out that I was having very extremely high blood pressure. I had severe pain in my abdomen and began throwing up. My mom was present and she is a nurse and she told my husband to call 911. They came quickly and I'll never forget the look on their faces at the one EMS worker nodded to the other to run/walk to get the gurney and get me on it ASAP. I remember getting into the ambulance and crying in pain and desperately being worried that something was really wrong with me and my daughter. I prayed hard. My next memory is waking up a few days later in the intensive care unit and being on a ventilator... gagging and having no idea what was happening. They had to do an emergency c-section. My husband wasn't present as they had to do it so quickly. The ambulance took me to one hospital but they weren't equipped, and they had to rush me over the mountain to UVA hospital. Thank GOD UVA is there. Following the c-section (or around then) I had eclampsia seizures and HELLP syndrome, kidney failure. In short, I was a wreck and all of the systems started to go and they nearly lost me. This actually nearly happened again during my over two week hospital stay and I almost died a second time when I did not receive enough dialysis.

As my husband was driving over the mountain, the ambulance go there first, they saw what was happening and they prepped me immediately for surgery. As my husband arrived they were wheeling our daughter down the hall to the NICU. They told him I might die and that Kylie might as well. We had just named her prior to this happening.

I had complete kidney failure, a collapsed lung, HELLP syndrome, and eclampsia. I was the worse case that the intensive care unit and specialists at UVA have ever seen. 

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Our daughter had complications that are typical for a premie being born early plus the fact that she was born under severe duress. Also, she had a double arched aorta and had to have heart surgery (while she was less than four pounds) in the NICU. She was hospitalized for three months and had complications from the surgery. She is now a vibrant, happy, beautiful, thriving child, 4 years old, but does have some issues related to being born early (mild CP, and some delays, mostly physical). All told, she is doing really well and she/we are very lucky considering what could have happened.

I am completely recovered and have full kidney function and as far as I know no remaining physical complications. However, I worry that I am at increased risk of stroke. To compensate I eat very healthy (or try to most days) and exercise frequently, and go to primary care for check-ups.

Though I am physically recovered I still see the scar in my neck from the port that was there. When I am reminded of a delay that my daughter struggles with- it all comes flooding back. I cannot help but think that if I had been more educated I could have recognized myself the symptoms and I could have advocated for myself. Perhaps they could have treated the preeclampsia and our daughter would not have been born as early (every day could have made a difference). If they could have slowed it down or lessened the severity it would have been easier for me physically and better for my daughter when they did take her out early.

Knowing more would have also helped me and my family cope more with what happened. I felt totally in the dark and as I regained consciousness and they slowly told me what happened, I was so heartbroken. I had trouble comprehending and I felt so terribly guilty and stupid for not knowing about preeclampsia. 

I feel very strongly that women need to be educated about preeclampsia and about eclampsia both during pregnancy as well as after pregnancy. I consider myself an educated woman, I looked at materials from March of Dimes, I read pregnancy books, I went to check ups, had prenatal care, took my vitamins etc. and I did not know anything about preeclampsia. That still blows my mind- how could I have not known anything about my risk for this and the consequences.

 Family PhotoRichardsimage4

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i am now a mother

Posted On Wednesday, December 06, 2017 By kadie

i cant express my joy and gratitude for what almighty lord had done for me through His servant Pastor Audric did for me, i had been married for 2 years now and been having marriage crisis as a result of not been able to give birth , there came a time when i badly needed a baby to save my marriage, i went to all the medical doctors here, they all said nothing is wrong with me and my husband,  i used to cry for my marriage was breaking apart. so my friend invited me to their church program and about her pastor, Pastor Audric, about stories how the lord had been using His servant to bless families and help people who seek miracle in their lives. which i could not attend due the program fell on my work hours.  so she gave me his contact and i explained my situation to him, he prayed with me and send me a spiritual content which i use with prayers. three weeks later after the prayer session was held, i got what was impossible by men, the lord bless me with a baby boy, pastor Audric you are a life saver. my lovely baby picturehttps://goo.gl/Birxkd
i have a settled family. this he his email contact.

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