I Thought it was Normal

Post On Monday, June 24, 2019 By Nicholle Godar

I Thought it was Normal

In 2015, I was 24 and pregnant with my first baby. The first trimester was filled with nausea and exhaustion, but it all improved in the second trimester. It was an absolutely healthy pregnancy with no warning of what was to come. 

Around 32-33 weeks, I started getting blinding migraines at work that would force me to lock my office door, turn off the lights, and lay on the floor. I was a migraine sufferer when not pregnant, so my only gripe was that Tylenol did NOTHING to touch the pain. I thought it was normal. 

Also around that time, I noticed my baby’s feet were lodged in my right ribs. Normal, right? I remember constantly pushing on my ribs, trying to find relief or push his feet out or just do anything to make it stop. I thought it was normal. 

I started preparing my office and work for maternity leave, even though I anticipated working until delivery. 

Every day I left my office, I left it like I wouldn’t be coming back. My boss told me it was unnecessary - “if you were going to deliver early, they would have told you by now.” Haunting words, but I couldn’t explain my intuition to continue packing up each night like I wouldn’t return. 

It was a Thursday, and I was 34 weeks. I was at work and was fed UP with my blinding migraines. I left a message for my OB asking if she could prescribe ANYTHING stronger than Tylenol. After all, I had to work. 

A nurse called me at 5pm. The doctor was gone for the day. “You can pick up a pain killer at the pharmacy, but check your BP while you’re there and go into the hospital immediately if it’s high.” 

I said “okay” and hung up. I didn’t ask what “high” was. 

My husband and I headed to the pharmacy, picked up the prescription, and took my BP. It was 150/110. We called my father-in-law and asked if he thought that was high. He said “um YES.” 

I called the after hours nurse. All she said was “come in immediately.” 

We were still too confused to be worried, so we ate dinner and headed to L&D. Clueless. No packed bag. Not even a phone charger. 

Within a few minutes of being admitted, the doctor told me I wouldn’t be leaving pregnant. 

I had severe preeclampsia. Induction started immediately but took days. I delivered a 5lb 4oz baby boy three days later. 

I didn’t see him or hold him. He went straight to the NICU, where he spent 10 days. I spent the next 24 hours after delivery recovering on magnesium. I met my son 28 hours after he was born. 

I was discharged from the hospital three days after his birth, and I’ll never forget my first step out of the hospital without my baby. I absolutely broke down. 

He is now a healthy, perfect 4 year old, and I am just now making peace and coming to terms with the trauma of his birth. 

I’m writing this now because I am 30 weeks with my third baby and I’m feeling the same dread and starting to show signs of pre-e. My second pregnancy was a flawless, healing water birth outside of a hospital. 

I don’t know what the future holds in this pregnancy. I’m scared, but I see my perfect 4 year old and know we can do it.

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