My Guardian Angel
Posted On Monday, November 11, 2013 by Angelia
My daughter, Isabel, will be 1 in just a month. Last October, after my first 7 months of pregnancy being absolutely perfect, I began having an elevated blood pressure. At this point, I was having weekly check-ups. I wasn't so worried, my family (mother and teenage brothers) had just moved in with me, so I thought the high blood pressure was a result of stress. My doctor ordered me on modified bed rest, and to have Non-stress tests at the hospital twice a week. My blood pressure never went down, but it wasn't so high that they were too worried just yet. My doctor did find protein in my urine, so i had to collect my urine for 24 hours and take it back. The results of that urine weren't too high for them to worry, so I continued with my twice weekly NSTs.
December 8th, 2012, I went to the hospital for my regular non-stress test, and I couldn't be luckier that it was scheduled for that day. My blood pressure was through the roof, definitely hypertensive, so, being 5 days before my due date anyways, my OB decided to admit and induce me. Induction began at about 2pm. My membranes were stripped (ow!) and she put this little pill up there, (I never got to the point of needing pitocin). Everything began to happen about an hour later. I had one, very tiny contraction, I didn't even know I had had one, the nurse saw it on the paper. Very soon afterwards, I got a serious case of heartburn (at least that's what i thought it was).
I asked the nurse for tums, and over the course of 15 minutes, I ate 4 of them and the chest pain only got worse. So, I asked for milk next, drank 2 glasses and it still only got worse. Next was lidocain, 2 little cups full, and still no relief. Finally, the nurse came in with a syringe full of morphine and put it straight into my IV. That helped, for about 2 minutes, and then the pain was back worse than ever. At this point, my doctor had already decided that a c-section would be best. So she asked who was to be in the room with me (the father of course) and she left to help prep to room and I called baby daddy. By the time he got there, I was in so much pain I wasn't sure what was going on. I just remember saying "ow ow ow" over and over again, not even being able to cry because I could barely breath through the pain.
They then began to pull me out of the room and down the hall, right past the entrance as baby daddy and his mother came through the door. I managed to get out the words "where is he?" and the doctors informed me that they could not allow anyone into the room, that there wasn't enough time to have him get cleaned up and dressed. The last things I remember, them transferring me from bed to operating table, still screaming ow, the pain in my chest worse by the second. The screen went up and I could feel my belly being washed, and the Dr above my head telling me "It's okay you'll be asleep in a minute, the pain will be gone".
They actually sedated me for this surgery, which I thought they weren't allowed to do, but I understand that they had to, otherwise I would have died. Isabel was born at 5:28pm, and I woke up at 6:30, in ICU, very very groggy and unaware of who all was in my room. It was my father, his girlfriend, baby daddy and his mother, and the nurses of course. They brought my beautiful little Angel in, and as much as I wanted to cry, like every other mother does, I wasn't even strong enough to hold my own baby. I'm almost crying now, just writing this, because I still am so shaken by this experience. The nurse tried explaining what happened to me, but i couldn't understand. I was so out of it and weak, I had lost a lot of blood (HELLP) and was on IV MAG for the preeclampsia. I was in ICU for 30 hours. I still don't remember a lot of what happened in the first 24 hours. I have little flashes here and there. I do remember having my aunt feed me because even my fork was too heavy for me to lift. I was so weak I actually couldn't even chew. I remember receiving 2 units of blood (4 liters) and throwing up a lot. Sunday night, somewhere around 10 pm, I was moved to the regular OB wing, not so weak anymore that I could finally hold Isabel. The nurses wanted me to move from bed to bed as much on my own as I could, for any mothers that have had a c-section, you can understand why this was hard for me. they helped me along, but they didn't want to put me in anymore pain than was necessary, so this process took nearly a half hour. BUt, I finally did it, and was starting to feel better.
That night, however, I was having a very hard time sleeping, even after not sleeping a wink in the past 30 hours. Every time I fell asleep, I stopped breathing, or at least felt like I stopped, because I'd wake up immediately and take a deep breath as if I had been suffocating. I called my nurse and she said that was from the MAG. I was afraid to sleep after that, thinking I'd stop breathing and die. Monday morning, I sneezed and my nose started bleeding, a lot. My nurse went on to explain HELLP and what it was, and that the nose bleed was a result of that. Now, normally, I would have been released that day, but I had very low numbers, calcium and such, so I had to have tums at every meal. They were sure I'd still be there until Wednesday.
The rest of the day went by uneventful, and finally that night, I could sleep. Of course except for the fact that they were remodeling the building right outside my window, so I didn't get much sleep. Tuesday morning, my doctor came in and told me I could go home that day, and I still hadn't even gotten out of bed yet!! He told me my numbers looked great, so as long as I could get out of bed and move around, they would send me home. After lunch, my nurse came and helped me out of bed. It wasn't as hard as I had thought it would be. I went home that night with little one, and spent the next six weeks pumped full of pain killers and other medications, stool softener and calcium chews. The day after I was released from the hospital, I got my staples taken out, and while there, my Dr told me I was very very lucky to be alive.
Here's the kicker, Isabel was perfectly fine the whole time, never in distress, heart rate perfectly normal the entire time. I seriously do believe that if I would have gone, Isabel still would have made it out safe. It really all boils down to the fact that if I wouldn't have already been at the hospital that day, I wouldn't have known that the pain in my chest was caused by my liver swelling, and both Isabel and I would be dead right now. I healed very quickly though, but still to this day, I am so very very depressed that I have never, nor will I ever, get to experience childbirth the way it's supposed to be. I feel like I lost an important part of being a woman, of being a mother, but at the same time, I feel that without that experience, I would not appreciate my life as much as I do now.
Isabel and I are both very happy and healthy, she has a new daddy, (well 2, her bio dad is there, but works way too much for her to know who he is, and my fiance, who I think does it better anyways). I know it's so soon, but we are planning for our second child, which we will try for in just 2 short weeks! IN this planning, alone I have gone back to that day, and have replayed it over and over in my head, so very afraid that it will happen again. That is how I came upon this site, hoping to find some answers, to find out how common it is for recurrence, especially since my experience seems like a freak happening, with a perfect pregnancy the whole way. When I saw that I could share my story, I was comforted by the fact that I now am part of a community of women that have had an experience like mine, and great full that I can share my experience with them and those women simply looking for answers. So, to those women who have not experienced this, and are only researching for now, please, do not be scared. There is no way to prevent Preeclampsia. If it happens to you, you have done nothing wrong. It's not your fault. And please, put all negative feelings about the experience aside, because no matter how scary it is, no matter how much it hurt, or how much you can't remember, when you wake up to a beautiful, smiling face of the life that you made, your heart fills with so much love that you just know, it was supposed to happen this way, there was some lesson that you were supposed to learn from this, and honestly, because of it, I am a much happier person today. I am NOT saying that I am glad it happened, because I would opt for a natural birth any day (by natural I mean vaginal, I would most definitely get an epidural, lol) I am simply saying that I enjoy life much more because I really am very lucky to be alive.
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 ...