The One Where A Baby Shower Turned Into A Baby

Post On Tuesday, January 08, 2019 By Brittany Seybert

The One Where A Baby Shower Turned Into A Baby

When my mother-in-law mentioned throwing a baby shower in my husband’s Ohio hometown, we thought it was a wonderful idea. We lived ten hours away in Tennessee and would just drive up for a few days like we always do. I hadn’t had any pregnancy complications and had even flown to South Africa for work when I was five months pregnant without issue. This trip would be a piece of cake! She scheduled our shower 7 weeks before my due date, which would give us ample time to go through gifts and set up the baby’s nursery when we returned home. We left on a Friday, and we had just met with our nurse, who gave me a clean bill of health and cleared me for travel, on Thursday. 

4DBCAD56-21C8-40CF-9515-FC117B953F7EThe shower went well although I noticed my legs swelling more than usual and had zero energy. I rested, and the next night we attended a baseball game. I felt terrible but couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. I figured I was just 33 weeks pregnant tired and swollen. By Wednesday evening, I felt strange enough to call my OB’s office in Tennessee. Our nurse told us to check my blood pressure. Blood pressure? It had been perfect at each checkup! I’ve never had issues with my blood pressure, so why would I now? My mother-in-law had a bp cuff, so we checked it. The first reading was so high that we thought it had to be a mistake! We checked it again: 189/100. We drove to the drugstore to use their free bp machine. Still high. I called the OB on call who advised me to go straight to the nearest labor and delivery to be monitored. 

We rode the hospital elevator with a kind, calming OB who assured us we were in good hands. I felt relieved and knew I’d be out of there after a few hours. Those numbers were just a fluke. They’ll go back to normal, right? 

Wrong. After being monitored for about an hour or so and checked by the same OB from the elevator, I was told, “You have severe preeclampsia...and you’re leaving here with a baby.” But I’m not ready! We’re not ready! The baby’s not ready! We’re over 600 miles away from home! My doula’s in Tennessee! Although a million other thoughts flooded my mind, I simply said, “okay.” Induction would be too risky, so we made the decision to have an emergency c-section.

Our first child, a boy, was born at 10:54pm Wednesday night at 33 weeks. Strong and healthy, he would need only to figure out how to breath and eat on his own. 

For over 24 hours, I stayed on bedrest and saw my son only through photos and videos. I listened to babies being born in L&D, but I wasn’t able to see or touch my own.

AD0F2FBF-541A-4017-A546-A011A5BF1598By early Thursday morning, my bp had lowered enough to visit my son. The trip to the NICU seemed to last forever, but then I laid eyes on my perfect child. He moved to a critical care nursery at a nearby hospital a few days later because he was doing so well. I, however, remained in the hospital for a few additional days. My bp still wasn’t close to normal when I left the hospital, but the doctors thought the new medication cocktail was working.

I went back to my in-laws’ house to start recovering; we still visited the baby, who was thriving, every day. 
The following Wednesday, I felt strange again and had a terrible headache. My bp had skyrocketed to 200/110, so we went to the ER.

I had developed postpartum pre-e! Another 24 hours in the hospital and several medications later, I was free to leave. Our son was released after 23 days. We made it back to Tennessee after being in Ohio for a month, and a few months later, my bp returned to normal. Our son is now 16 months old, and we just celebrated Christmas with my husband’s Ohio.

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