Aspirin Helps Midwife with History of Preeclampsia

Post On Thursday, May 31, 2018 By Courtney Watson, CNM

Aspirin Helps Midwife with History of Preeclampsia

When you're a midwife you know that most women have healthy normal pregnancies. This means when you are growing your own baby, you assume you will be one of those. 

At 32 weeks my routine visit became an extra sonogram with questions like "how sure are we of your due date?" Well a sonogram at 7 weeks is about as accurate as you can get, so I knew there was something off. Turns out our little baby was much smaller than we thought, small enough to earn the diagnosis of IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction). 

Weeks later after many ultrasounds and visits to the maternal fetal medicine specialists one blood pressure was a little elevated and I started a 24 hour urine test. I have vivid memories of delivering a baby then running to the bathroom with my cooler filled with pee!

I go to turn in the lovely bucket-o-pee and now my blood pressure is worse, now off to the hospital. Lab draws, urine tests, more blood pressures and I have firmly landed the diagnosis of preeclampsia on top of IUGR for baby Watson. Bedrest at 35 weeks means only two weeks to go before the eviction notice is served. 

Delivery-198The day before my scheduled induction I am up early getting ready for my last midwife visit but my head hurts. Blood pressure readings are still only mildly elevated though. Ok, take the tylenol and don't stress it will get better. By the time my mom gets me to the appointment the headache is still hanging around and now my glasses are filthy! I can't find anything that gets them clean...oh wait it's my eyes that are fuzzy. I calmly told my midwife that I think we need to have a baby, she agreed and manually checked my blood pressure in the office.

180/100, yes ma'am it is time to go now. 

Off to the hospital for a cocktail of magnesium, pitocin, and a cervical ripening balloon. Fortunately, labor went fairly quickly for a first time mama and our surprise little girl made it safely into the world at 4 pounds 1 ounce a few hours shy of 37 weeks.

She did great for the first few days but eventually wore herself out trying to stay warm and keep her blood sugars up, landing us trip to the amazing Cook Children's Hospital nearby. For the next week and a half we played the dance of feed, stab the baby for blood, adjust feeds/IV fluids, fix sugar, sleep (for a minute), then repeat. Finally, little Kennedy recovered and was able to maintain her blood sugar without help and we were released home. 

I required blood pressure medications for the first 6 weeks before they finally stayed in normal range without medication and Kennedy struggled for 15 months to get to the 1% line on the growth chart. It certainly was a stressful road to get here but we are both healthy now. 

Update: Well we did it again, baby number two made it here on 1/8/2018. With a strict aspirin regimen we avoided preeclampsia/IUGR and ended up with gestational hypertension/bedrest without severe blood pressures or growth restriction.

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