I had a wonderful pregnancy, relatively complication free until I was diagnosed with preeclampsia at
I had a wonderful pregnancy, relatively complication free until I was diagnosed with preeclampsia at 37 weeks. I was at my routine checkup, and expecting no problems to arise, just like all our past visits. We were running a little late, so I was stressed at being late for the appointment. Much to my surprise, our whole world was rocked in a matter of minutes. At the visit, my blood pressure was pretty high and I also had protein in my urine. I remember saying, we were rushing to get here, so that is probably why my BP is high. The look on the doctor's face is something I will always remember. I realized that things were more severe than I was thinking they were.
I was told I would be placed on bed rest. Scary thought, but I could handle that. Upon further discussion with my doctor, I mentioned I had been experiencing some headaches over the past few days. Since this was my first pregnancy, I thought this was normal, and tried to "tough them out". This prompted my doctor to have me admitted to the hospital for some tests.
The hospital was in the same building, and in a matter of an hour my already high blood pressure skyrocketed. I was placed on IV medication and was monitored on the cardiac floor, as the medication I was given was not typically given to the mothers on the maternity floor. Talk about hitting a concrete wall. My husband and I had been to prenatal classes, and learned about preeclampsia. Since we had no complications thus far, and had normal BP for the whole pregnancy, this came at us all of a sudden. We had no time to brush up on the symptoms or complications of my now diagnosed condition.
The induction process was started, and I was expecting to have my son sometime the next day. I was told I couldn't have any visitors, as I needed to relax and try to get my BP down. Easier said than done, as we were extremely scared and worried. We didn't want to worry our families, so we resolved to call them first thing the next day. Blood tests were ran at the hospital and I was discovered to have low platelets and had developed HELPP syndrome. My doctor continued to monitor me throughout the night, and watched as my BP kept rising. Needless to say, an emergency C-Section was performed within minutes when the doctors were not seeing any signs of improvement.
The hardest part for me to come to terms with was the fact that I would have to deliver my first child under anesthesia. I could not have an epidural, since I now developed HELPP syndrome. I would bleed and not clot, so an epidural was out of the picture. My husband was not allowed in the operating room, and we had no time to notify our families of this turn of events. I was whisked away and delivered a healthy baby boy within minutes.
The next 24 hours I was still under constant monitoring as my BP stayed extremely high. I was released from the hospital on BP meds, and still remain on them 16 months later. I am constantly monitoring my BP, but is now in the "normal range".
My son is healthy, I am healthy, and that is all that matters. But I still long to have the "typical childbirth" where you can see your baby being delivered, and share that intense emotional surge at delivery with your spouse. First cries, hearing "It's a Boy", cutting the cord, all moments that I feel I was deprived of. I do not remember my son's first day of life all that well, as I was still recovering from the anesthesia. I just have to remind myself that we are both healthy, and things could have been worse.
My biggest fear now is that our next pregnancy will also have these complications. All we can hope for is the best, and continue to monitor and know the symptoms. As a new mom, there are hundreds of things to worry about and read about. It is impossible to prepare yourself for every medical issue that could arise. I had been having symptoms for a few days, but didn't think they were bad enough to call my doctor about. I was 37 weeks pregnant, and was expecting to have more discomfort. My point is to tell your physician EVERYTHING and let them decide what is relevant. My son is healthy, and we are blessed. Just glad we went to the doctor that evening for our appointment.
After surviving a very traumatic first pregnancy with a nightmare delivery (30 hours of magnesium-induced hell, ending in an emergency c-section) and even more debilitating recovery, one would think I was DONE having children. Let's be ...