I had never heard of preeclampsia before I was admitted into GBMC and the killer is I was reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” throughout my entire pregnancy. I’d like to make a suggestion to any pregnant woman or any woman thinking of becoming pregnant- GET THE BOOK. You will understand so much about yourself as you change, your body as it changes and the baby as he/she changes. Can I make another suggestion??? Read the section on problematic pregnancy. Not to make you nervous, paranoid or upset but to inform you. Honestly I wish I would’ve read it because I automatically assumed my pregnancy would be normal (plus there is a section on preeclampsia and other issues in it that are extremely helpful to know even if you never have those problems).
My experience with preeclampsia has taught me that it’s pretty much your body’s way of rejecting the pregnancy and that most woman that have it don’t even know they are sick. I honestly had no idea how sick I was until I had him. I felt like a whole new person when I had Xavier and kept telling the nurses I could do laps around the Labor and Delivery hallway. Looking back though I did have symptoms of it. The symptoms I dealt with were swelling in the feet and legs, sudden weight gain, headaches that wouldn’t go away, and pain on the right side under my ribs. And the reason why I got preeclampsia was because it was my first pregnancy. I didn’t have diabetes, high blood pressure, an auto immune disease, a blood vessel problem, a bad diet (because all I ate was fruits and vegetables while I was pregnant), and I wasn’t obese.
While in High Risk from November 9th until November 23rd, I was constantly monitored. I was on 24 hour urine watch (to check the protein in my urine), had sonograms every two days, had my blood pressure and temperature taken every 3 hours, my reflexes were checked as well every 3 hours, and I was weighed once a day. My arms had been pricked by needles so much to have blood drawn (in order to watch my platelet count) that I looked like I had a drug problem. I was constantly laying on my left side because that side provides the least amount of pressure on the placenta so that more blood and oxygen can flow through to my son. I couldn’t get up unless I had to use the bathroom and I was limited to a 5 minute shower.
My plea to everyone who is having a normal pregnancy or who has had one…please don’t ever complain about your normal pregnancy. Because if I ever hear you I will punch you in the face. Enjoy feeling fat and weighed down (your baby is healthy)…enjoy swollen feet (your baby is healthy)…enjoy back pains and pinched nerves (your baby is healthy)…I could go on for days…Just count your blessings that you haven’t experienced a problematic pregnancy.
Whew, now that I’ve voiced my thoughts and opinions lets get back to the adventure..So now that you know what it is I dealt with lets get back to the part where I was in the hospital until he was born. I had many visitors which pretty much kept me sane. My best friends, friends from church, family, an advisor from my school, and my placement supervisor are among those who came to see me and made my stay so much more easier.
I also had my family decorate my room. There were pictures, a countdown until my gestational goal, flowers, and plenty of magazines, coloring books, and books to read. On top of all that my baby shower was scheduled for one of the weekends I was on bed rest at GBMC so my family made sure to bring people who wanted to visit and the cake my sister had made so that I could still have a little shower throughout the day.
Preparing to huff it out until 32 weeks gestationally, I was all set with plenty of things to keep myself occupied. Little did I know that while my plan was to make it that far, God had other plans. It was Thanksgiving night and we had just enjoyed a fabulous feast my family brought for us when I got a headache that wouldn’t go away. The nurses gave me percocet and it did nothing. I was miserable. I couldn’t even sleep. My blood pressure over the past 24 hours had skyrocketed, my platelet count had gotten lower, and the protein in my urine had doubled in 12 hours.
At around 1am, I was moved to Labor and Delivery where I was hooked up to more machines and had an IV inserted. The on-call doctor had one more final sonogram done Black Friday morning to check on the baby since my symptoms had worsened. The placenta was either giving Xavier 0% or 50% of the blood he needed. It was time to make a decision. The doctor (who had told me I wouldn’t last until Sunday) came in and told me at 10:30am they were going to do a C-Section. It was 10am when we were told the news…my husband immediately got on the phone. He called each of our families as I was being prepped. I had to have a catheter put in without pain meds (that was not fun)…and was put on a mag (in order to help me not bleed out to death)…my family came in to see me one last time before the surgery…I can barely remember speaking to them…I wasn’t scared and I wasn’t nervous. My soul focus was making sure my son survived. I was wheeled into the OR room and my husband had to wait outside as I got the epidural. The anesthesiologist missed the first time…AWESOME…so he had to do it again…so not only did I get stuck with one needle to numb the area where the epidural needle got put, I got to experience that twice! Finally I was set…with both of my arms spread left and right and strapped down, my legs strapped down long ways, and my entire body tilted, they brought my husband in. The surgery began as they cut me open..I couldn’t feel pain but I felt like a super fat person having someone else jiggle all their fat around as the doctors were moving everything around in order to get to our little man…My husband wasn’t allowed to watch but at his angle he could see it all unfolding…I apparently squirted on the doctors as they cut me open and both doctors yanked my sides in order to get to Xavier to bring him out.
When they got to him and pulled him out, I heard the doctor yell “Time of birth 11:10am” and I heard Xavier making squeaky, high pitched noises to let us all know he was here. My husband got up and went over to see him and take pictures. They immediately put him in a crib to head up to the NICU and showed me before they left. I saw his small little face just looking off to the side and was so thankful he was alive and okay. Then I felt unusual pain in my chest and my heart. I started to throw up and feel even more pain. I honestly thought I was going to die on the table and my only thought is “I will be so pissed if I worked this hard to die”. Needless to say I lived and am so thankful I didn’t encounter any complications.
Our joke is that on Black Friday while everyone else was shopping, we were shopping for a kid…Xavier Eli Chin born 11:10am on 11/23/12, the greatest miracle in our lives and he was so beautiful that only God could’ve made him!
Now the next part of our journey was recovery and having a NICU baby…