Monday, March 28, 2011

A Preeclampsia Survivors Story {Mine}

3 years ago Easter {2008}changed my life forever. I was 25 weeks pregnant with our second child who we had previously learned was a girl, Peyton Elisabeth. I suffered a miserable pregnancy from the minute the first 2 pink lines appeared. I had hyperemis {severe nausea and vomiting},and couldn't even get out of bed. It was horrible, Finally relief came around 15 weeks and at that same time my AFP testing came back positive for downs Syndrome. 1:18 to be exact. I will never forget the day my then OB called to give us the news 1/8/07. That day also rocked my world. We decided to have the amnio done so we could have results and prepare ourselves in case the test was indeed right. We did learn that we had received a false positive. Baby girl was fine, but a little on the small side.

Fast forward back to Easter 2008. I felt like crap again,I had some weird pains in my chest, like I had to burp but couldn't. Almost a tightness. After 2 visits to my OB it was determined that I had gallstones. {which by the way is a sign of Preeclampsia}

I had a visit with my OB and my blood pressure were getting a "bit" elevated. no protein in the urine so pree was ruled out. Little did we all know that my baby and I were quickly going downhill

On March 29,2008 I finally listened to my body and went to the ER. I could NOT bear the pain from the gallstones any longer. Upon arriving at the ER my blood pressure was 200/180!! Totally ready to have a stroke. I was sent back to the waiting room, yep sent back to wait.

During that time I was also sent down to have an ultrasound to check my gallbladder and my baby. The us tech said baby looked good {she was totally wrong} and I was placed in the hallway for almost 2 hours to wait. I could have died waiting in that hallway on a stretcher.

My OB finally arrives and immediately send me up to L&D. Administered Magnesium Sulfate asap. That is the worst medicine I have ever had and do not wish it on my worst enemy. Your entire body feels like it is burning from the inside. I am immediately transferred to a High Risk Hospital with a Level 3 NICU.

I had the most amazing Dr who took the best care of me and my baby. I'm so thankful for all that he did.

I am of course admitted to the High Risk Floor and am told I will remain here until I deliver. The plan was to hold off a few weeks. After having multiple ultrasounds done it is determined that my baby girl has severe IUGR and only weighed about 2lbs. She also was the size of a 24 week baby.

I of course am diagnosed with severe Preeclampsia and Hellp syndrome. I'm on strict bed rest and only allowed to use the bathroom and shower ever other day.

On Monday March 31,2008 the Director of Neonatology came to speak with me. He suggested that my husband and I take a tour of the NICU. My husband really didn't want to for personal reasons I will not share her but I felt the need to be prepared, just in case. We took the tour and I was absolutely heartbroken. Babies so tiny and hooked up to so many machines and wires. So scary.

Tuesday April 1,2008 My high risk Dr. comes in checks me and baby out, all looked good. Still holding off for delivery for a few weeks. Told me to tell hubs to keep working were hanging in there.

Call hubs and am in the middle of telling him all this when Dr comes back in and says " tell your husband to get here right away, baby is getting too sluggish and having too many desats, were delivering now!"

That's when my world shatters. I'm all alone and helpless. Thank goodness my nurses wee absolutely amazing and stayed by my side. I'm prepped and rolling into the OR and my hubs is still not here. I can't do this without him. Epidural in place and just in the nick of time my hubs arrives. According to my hubs parking receipt he paid at 12:09pm and Peyton Elisabeth was born at 12:29pm on April 1,2008. She weighed 1lb 15 oz and was 13 inches long. I saw her for a brief minute and she was whisked off to the NICU.

Peyton 1lb 15oz 13in

teeny piggies

My blood pressures were still totally out of control after delivery and I was sent to the ICU and not able to see my baby or hold her. In fact I wouldn't hold her for another 8 days.

April 2,2008 I am finally in my own room {across from the nursery, talk about pure hell} but still not allowed to see my baby girl because now I have a fever. My hospital does have web cams so I was able to see her on the computer at least.

April 3,2008 I finally get to see my baby girl. She is so tiny and I feel so helpless and to blame for this. She is on a warming tray wrapped in plastic wrap to keep her warm, wires and tubes and machines everywhere. I was not prepared for this even though I took the tour of the NICU. Nothing can prepare you for this.

April 5,2008 I am discharged and have to leave the hospital without my baby. One of the hardest things I would ever have to do in my life.

Peyton was in the NICU for 66 days and came home 18 days before her actual due date. She endured countless blood tests, a blood transfusion, chest tube, brain ultrasounds, heart ultrasounds. She also had a grade 3 brain bleed at birth and a PDA.
I'm going HOME!!! 6.5.08

Today she is an energetic,healthy,happy,rambunctious 3 year old.

{boogers and all|}

Preeclampsia is a horrible disease and I can honestly say that I HATE it!

I did go on to have another daughter and delivered at 36 weeks due to the onset on pree again.

exerpt from The Preeclampsia Foundation:

Thousands of women and babies die or get very sick each year from a dangerous condition called preeclampsia, a life-threatening disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Preeclampsia and related disorders such as HELLP syndrome and eclampsia are most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure and death of the mother and/or baby.

The Preeclampsia Foundation is an empowered community of patients and experts, with a diverse array of resources and support to help you have the best possible pregnancy or to help you navigate the questions you’ll have if you don’t. We provide unparalleled support and advocacy for the people whose lives have been or will be affected by the condition – mothers, babies, fathers and their families.

We are steadfast in our resolve to improve diagnosis, management and prevention of preeclampsia through research and improved health care practices.

In the meantime, because all pregnancies are at risk, our best defense against the worst outcomes is to ensure patients understand and appropriately respond to the warning signs of preeclampsia. The problem is, few people are aware and adequately informed.

This year I am hosting The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in Cranford, NJ

If you would like to donate to this cause please click this link

{ The amazing Hospital that I refer to is St.Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick. The amazing Dr. is Dr. Edwin Guzman. The amazing Neonatologist is Dr. Hiatt. Without them I honestly don't know what would have happened to either myself or Peyton}


karajwardell said...

I was also on "the mag" for 2 days when I went into pre-term labor with my now 8-month old. You're right - it's the worst drug EVER. Thankfully after maybe steroids and mag treatments, my labor stopped and I was able to deliver full-term. So glad both you and your baby girl are safe. It's true - you have to listen to your body more than the docs sometimes. They tried to send me home 2 separate times I went into labor - my baby wouldn't have made it if I had listened to them the first time.

Lesley said...

I had my daughter early due to pree at 34 weeks. She was 3lbs 2ozs and 16" -- very scary. I had the magnesium but don't remember anything about it. My bp was crazy high and her fluids were low. After my c-section I wasn't able to see my daughter for 2 days. It was the longest 2 days .. but I was very out of it the 1st day I don't remember anything much.I was very grateful she was healthy all except for being small, she was only in the hospital 18 days.

I had my son early also at 36 weeks by emergency c-section (again fluids were low). His birth was totally different and much easier. However I had to have the c-section by myself because there was no one to watch my daughter. Hubby made it to OR just as they were taking him to the nursery.

You have such a sweet daughter and I am so glad she is doing good. Having a baby early is so scary and it's wonderful of you for sharing your story.

Fresh Mommy said...

Oh my goodness!! Pregnancy brings with it enough with all the hormones, but to go through ALL of this as well... you are one strong woman! It's not easy. I also delivered early because of Pree, but made it to 37 weeks, so I was only without my baby for a few days, and that was heart wrenching, I cannot even imagine 66!! And Mag Sulfate?? HORRIBLE!! I was so sick because of it, and couldn't even hold my baby when they said I could after, I had no muscle control, it was the strangest thing. You have a gorgeous three year old, btw!!!