“We have good news and bad news. The good news; you’ll be leaving the hospital with your baby. The bad news; it will be a few days before that can happen.”
A Preeclampsia Birth Story
Wednesday, September 6, 1:00 pm
I arrive at my 36 week check up appointment, the first appointment that my husband couldn’t attend throughout the entire pregnancy. The appointment my mom attended with me. The appointment I thought would be like all the ones before it; five minutes long, including the time it takes to pee on a stick.
The doctor walks into the room, takes one look at me, and says, “We’re going to run a couple of tests.”
What was it? The fact that my nose had swollen to the size of Texas and my feet got lost somewhere inside my ankles? I just thought it was the summer heat.
Wednesday, 2:00 pm
I call my husband and tell him the news, I’m still at the hospital and they are running a couple of tests. I’ll probably have to take a urine test home, which means I’ll have to collect all of my urine for 24 hours and bring it back in the next day. Fun.
Wednesday, 3:00 pm
Still at the hospital, blood work finally comes back. They are keeping me overnight for the urine test. I call Chris, he sounds almost excited and asks if he needs to grab the car seat and the baby bag. “Nope.” I’m certain it’s just an overnight visit. So he grabs our bag and is on his way.
Wednesday, 3:30 pm
Nurse BREAKS VILE containing a shot they’re giving me (I can’t even remember what it was) on my behind. We have to wait for them to make a new mixture.
Wednesday, 4:00 pm
Nurse BREAKS SECOND VILE on me. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? She says it’s never happened before.
Wednesday, 6:00 pm
Chris is at the hospital with me, we are finally settled into our room for the night. I’m getting used to having my blood pressure checked every hour and peeing into a bowl in the toilet. I comment, “Well, this was an interesting appointment.”
Thursday, September 7, 12:00 pm
Blood pressure stayed steady, though high, throughout the night. They’ve collected the urine and are testing, results should be in soon.
Thursday, 2:00 pm
We get the news. Diagnosis is preeclampsia. We’re going to be leaving the hospital with our baby! We’re going to be parents.
OMG, we’re going to be parents. I don’t know if we’re ready. I guess it’s too late now.
We have to wait until Sunday, 37 weeks, for induction. I plead to go home on bed rest until Sunday, but they want to monitor me. I resign to the fact that I will have someone checking on me every hour for the next 3 days. I’m now being hooked up to an IV for fluids.
Friday, September 8, 5:00 pm
I get scolded by a nurse for trying to go for a walk in the hospital. I’m on bed rest, the farthest I can travel from my bed is the restroom 5 feet away.
Saturday, 7:00 pm
Chris requests an epidural for the pain caused by sleeping in a hospital chair for the past couple of night. The nurse didn’t laugh.
Sunday, September 10, 8:00 am
The nurse hooks me up to a magnesium sulfate drip to ward off preeclampsia becoming eclampsia. Basically, I’ve been hooked up to an IV of liquid satan. I feel fiery heat through every blood vessel and it’s traveling down every part of my body. Suddenly I become very hot, and nauseous. Deep breaths help.
Sunday, 10:00 am
I’m already dilated to a four and it’s now time to start the Pitocin drip, the hormone used to start contractions. The nurse also starts up the contraction monitor. Oh! There’s one! Hey, there’s another. This really is no big deal.
Sunday, 11:00 am
Chris is holding my hand, watching the monitor. “It’s looks like you’re having another contraction.” At this point he’s just telling me when they’re coming, because I haven’t felt one yet. What’s all this hype about contractions anyway?
Sunday, 11:15 am
I’m dilated to a five, and still not feeling much, so we decide to take a nap, and Chris gets everyone out of the room.
Sunday, 12:15 pm
The nurse wakes me up for an epidural as per the doctor’s orders. I still haven’t felt much in terms of contractions, but they want to make sure my blood pressure doesn’t rise.
Sunday, 12:30 pm
The anesthesiologist shows up.
Everyone has to leave the room save the nurse and the anesthesiologist.
Because of the strange burning numbness from the magnesium sulfate, the nurse has to actually hold me up. I can feel myself swaying back and forth in an effort to sit up. I grab my pillow and lean on it, try with all my might to hold still. I have to hold still so that the anesthesiologist can stick the long needle in the right place. Holding still is the hardest thing I have ever done.
Sunday, 12:35 pm
I feel a small prick in my back and the anesthesiologist says that he’s done. I don’t believe him. He can’t possibly be done. It’s supposed to hurt and I’m supposed to freak out about the crazy, long needle! He’s done?!
Sunday, 1:00 pm
I’m only dilated to a six. The Pitocin drip gets turned up.
Sunday, 1:30 pm
Nurse: “Do you feel any pressure?”
Me: “What do you mean?”
Nurse: “Do you have any pressure yet?”
Me: “Ummm, you mean feeling like I have to go pee?
Nurse: “Nope, I guess you’re not there yet.”
Sunday, 1:40 pm
Ok, I feel pressure. Yep, that’s definitely pressure! I’m I going to go to the bathroom right here?!
Sunday, 1:45 pm
I’m dilated to a 10, oh and there’s the baby’s head. Lights open up overhead, the end of the bed gets flipped down, and the room is converted to a delivery room within seconds. The nurse calls my doctor, he’s not going to make it.
Sunday, 1:52 pm
It’s time to push, there’s no stopping it. The on-call doctor comes in. She seems nice.
Sunday, 1:53 pm
I push. My head feels like it’s going to explode. I can’t tell what’s going on. My mom is holding up one leg and Chris is holding up the other, I have no control. Everyone is telling me I’m doing a great job, so I must be doing something right.
Sunday, 1:55 pm
With the second big push, the baby’s head is crowning and at this point I feel a little snip and then release. THE BABY’S HEAD.
Chris never looked so glorious. His smile was beaming as he kissed my head. He could see all of the baby’s hair, she has hair!
Sunday, 1:56 pm
The next push brought out her shoulders and then within moments she was laying on my chest. I couldn’t believe it. The most incredible moment of my life. She whimpers, Chris kisses us both and then cuts the cord. This husband and wife team had now become a family.
We are a family.
That was the last time I was able to hold my baby girl for a couple of days. The next few days were a whirlwind of highs and lows. Because of being born early and the medications that I had to be on during delivery, my daughter was soon whisked off to the nursery to be monitored.
Her heart had to make it 24 hours without any irregularities. She was poked and tested and checked over and over. Every day seemed to last so much longer than 24 hours.
After a couple of days, I was discharged and we had to leave without our new little bundle of joy. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done. We would stay at the hospital as long as we could, to watch her, to nurse her, to be there. Those 5 days seemed to last a lifetime, and finally our healthy baby girl was released into our arms and into our home.
Our life was changed forever. Changed for the better.
We are a family.
About the Author
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