My first pregnancy started out wonderful. I was 24 years old and felt great. Around

Post On Tuesday, April 05, 2005 By

My first pregnancy started out wonderful. I was 24 years old and felt great. Around
My first pregnancy started out wonderful. I was 24 years old and felt great. Around 29 weeks I started feeling kind of strange--nothing specific, just not quite right. I called my doctor's office and went in to be checked. My doctor was out of town and his partner didn't find it necessary to see me. The nurse weighed me and checked my blood pressure. It was slightly elevated, but she attributed this to my not feeling well. I was sent home with instructions to take it easy for the rest of the week at home. I already had a regular appointment scheduled for the next week. The next few days were spent waiting and wondering what was really going on--I continued calling my ob's office and his partner still would not see me. At my regular appointment my doctor took one look at me with my still elevated blood pressure and severe edema ( I gained 14 lbs in one week) and told me I had preeclampsia. I was ordered to be put on bed rest. Less than a week later I was put on aldomet. The amount eventually had to be doubled and I had to visit the hospital a couple of times when my bp was still high. My daughter was delivered at exactly 37 weeks gestation when I was induced. She was an amazingly healthy 8lb 4oz. My bp immediately returned to normal and I had no further problems. At the age of 28 my husband and I decided to have another baby. My ob assured us he would keep a close eye on me and that I wouldn't necessarily have the same problems. Again, the pregnancy started out going well despite horrible migraines. Then at 13 weeks I again just didn't feel right. My ob agreed to see me right away. While waiting in the lobby, my vision got blurry and I got teary eyed because I knew what was wrong. Sure enough, my bp was 160/100. My ob immediately informed me that at the least I was facing bed rest and medication. He diagnosed it as chronic hypertension because of how early it started. (I had normal bp between pregnancies.) It was hard to face the reality of 27 weeks of bed rest as a stay at home mom with a 3 year old daughter. I was also advised that I should have my tubes tied after delivery. Again, I had doppler flow studies starting around 26 weeks. My condition was now officially chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia. When I was 27 weeks the doppler showed that the pressure in the umbilical cord was dangerously high and I was sent to the hospital until the end of the pregnancy. A maternal/fetal specialist visited and repeated the ultrasound 2 days later and the pressure had miraculously returned to normal. I was sent home to continue bed rest. I saw both my ob and the specialist frequently to monitor me and the baby. At 36 weeks my ob attempted to do an amnio to see if his lungs were developed. However, the placement of the placenta prevented the procedure. At 37 weeks I was admitted and induced. The next day our son was born at an amazing 8lb. I felt great, was taken off my bp medicine and went home the next evening. Later that night we were all resting when I started again feeling not quite right. I decided to check my bp and it was 160/105. I was trying not to panic, but I could literally feel my body swelling and began having chest pains. I woke my husband who called the doctors office. He advised us to immediately get to the er. I was very scared and felt overwhelmed leaving my daughter and day old son at home with a relative. When we reached the er they actually made me sit down and wait to be called back. Finally, they took me back and had me change into a gown. Thankfully, my ob came to the er himself. My bp was sky high, I was swollen beyond belief, trembling and blinking very rapidly. He informed me that they needed to get an iv started to give me magnesium sulfate. I had a team of nurses surrounding me trying to get the iv started. I was stuck dozens of time, but as my condition was progressing my ob was afraid I was going to begin having seizures. I could not even feel the needles, I was so swollen. An anesthesiologist was called in to put in a central line in my neck. I was tilted upside down on the table while it was sewn into my neck. She told me my skin was like leather because it was stretched so taut. I spent two days in the hospital on the magnesium sulfate with a catheter unable to get out of bed. The nurses were great and allowed us to bring the baby up so I could occasionally hold him while lying down. I constantly felt like I was on fire, but at least I was okay. I was sent home on bp medicine and had to spend another week on bp medicine. My bp was hard to control. My diastolic pressure was regularly around 100. After that week, I gradually returned to a normal life. I remained on bp medicine for six months. Twenty-four weeks of bed rest really took a toll on my body. But, today nearly two and a half years later I am a happy and healthy mother of two. I would love to have a third, but am scared of what complications could occur. My ob initially advised against any further pregnancy, but has since told me we could try again. He would like to meet with both my husband and me to discuss it first. Reading the other stories makes me realize how much worse my story could have been.
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