At the time I was 30 years old - 1/2 Caucasian, 1/2 Hispanic descent, married,
At the time I was 30 years old - 1/2 Caucasian, 1/2 Hispanic descent, married, average weight, upper middle class, and receiving excellent prenatal care.
I had had an uneventful pregnancy until I was 32 weeks. At 3:15 am on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 after getting out of the bath I started to bleed pretty heavily. My husband rushed me to the hospital (only 2 miles away). Once there they hooked me up to the monitors and found that I was having mild, but regular contractions. To me it felt like very slight menstrual cramps or intestinal discomfort. After being examined I was told that it may have been a placental abruption, but they couldn't tell for sure. They started me on Magnesium Sulfate (pretty terrible stuff if you've ever had it) to stop the contractions and then I was kept for observation for a few days. While I was there they gave me 2 Betamethasone shots 24 hours apart to mature his lungs in the event he was born premature. By Sunday, February 18, I thought that I would be coming home. The bleeding had stopped completely and the contractions had stopped 3 days before, but by that evening my blood pressure started going up. I had had NO problems with high blood pressure ever!! As the evening progressed so did my blood pressure and I developed the WORST headache ever ( I couldn't even see)!!! By this time they had transferred me back to Labor & Delivery ( I had been in the Maternity Ward on bed rest) so they could monitor me constantly. In the very early hours of February 19th (2 am) a blood test confirmed that I had preeclampsia and that I was advised that I was going to be transferred to a hospital 25 miles away that had a NICU to care for the needs of my son after I delivered. Prior to being transferred they started me on Magnesium Sulfate again to try and lower my blood pressure and prevent seizures. After I arrived (at 3:30 am) I was immediately given pain medication in my IV for my headache. They also started to induce me with Pitocin and a catheter on my cervix. That wasn't working very well, so at 2:30 pm the catheter was removed and continued Pitocin. At 3:45 pm they then tried Laminaria (some type of seaweed sticks inserted into the cervix to help dilate), but after all this, I was only dilated to 1 1/2 cm . All the while I was being given Magnesium Sulfate to help lower my blood pressure (wasn't helping) and prevent seizures, but it also can slow/stop contractions. I don't remember most of this, only bits after about 9 am. Shortly after 6 pm with my husband by my side I had a seizure and then 15 minutes later I had another. At which point I was rushed to the OR for an emergency c-section, for which my husband could not be present.
Alexander John Paul was born 2.19.01 at 8:08 pm, 3 lbs 11 oz and 16 inches long!!! You can see photos at Alexander John Paul . (don't forget to sign the guest book) He had trouble breathing initially because I was given Valium to stop the seizures, but shortly after his birth was breathing on his own. His one minute Apgar score was 6 and 5 minute was 8. And was virtually trouble free his entire 3 1/2 week stay in the hospital . He just needed to learn the sucking reflex to be able to take a bottle (he was fed through a NG tube initially - a tube that went down his nose into his stomach), gain weight steadily, and maintain his body temperature and then he could go home.
I didn't know I'd had a c-section until I woke the next day in ICU and my husband told me. I had wondered how long my labor was!!! Since it was an emergency c-section, I was under general anesthetic and that's why Paul could not be in the room with me.
I wasn't able to see Alexander until he was 3 days old because I was so medicated. I couldn't stand up, I could barely open my eyes and when I did I saw double, I have very little memory of the next couple days. He didn't have a name until he was 4 days old because I wanted to see him first to see what name would suit him. I wasn't able to breastfeed him right away so I pumped in the beginning so that he could have the benefits of breast milk.
I feel I missed out on something. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. I was in the hospital and was so medicated I didn't know what was going on and then next thing I know I wake up and I've had all these things happen and have no memory of them. I have no memory of the birth of my beautiful baby boy!
It's just sad that I missed that transition into motherhood. But I am thankful that I have a PERFECT, Beautiful baby boy!
Alexander is now almost 8 months old and is just a perfect, happy baby (most of the time :-) and we are so thankful for that.
The Dr. has advised me that I have a 30-40% chance of this happening again. My husband and I have decided to have another child. We did consult with the high-risk obstetrician and they seem very optimistic that my next pregnancy won't be as difficult as the first. They will just monitor me very closely and we will pray for the best!
Thank you for letting me share my long story,
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 ...