Every Expecting Mother should know-A must read...it could save your life!
What you should know when Expecting
With expecting if you are anything like me, your read everything! I work in the medical field and thought I had a good thought of what to expect. I read parenting books, what to expect when expectiong you name it. However, I learned the hard way what the Doctors don't tell you and if your doctor is like my Doctor it's because she didn't know the signs to look for. Now don't worry what happened to me can be avoided.
I had a lot of swelling during my pregnancy, in my wrist was the worst place, legs, ankels and even my face. Some of the swelling is normal. When I went for my check ups I almost always had high blood pressure & protein in my urine. One or the other not so bad, both together it's sign of something more. My cousin was due around the same time as myself her visits always where on tuesdays and mine on wednesdays so we were talk often about how we where feeling, what our doctors said at our appointments and the excitment of our soon to be little boys.
I worked in the OB/GYN field along with family practice at the time so I had checked the wheel as to when my due date would be Jan 23rd was what it had said. My doctor however gave a due date as the end of January. The second week in Janurary I received a call from my cousin saying that she was having signs of pre-eclampisa and that she was going to be induced. The next day when I went to see my doctor I told her about my cousin and pointed out that I to had high BP and protein in my urine did she think that I should be induced? She said no from the looks of my lack of softening I would go into the beginning of Febuary. That was wednesday the following tuesday is all happened!
I woke up with a headache that even with a very high pain tolerence was bringing tears to my eyes. My husband was already at work and I was not about to call 911 and maybe over react. I got dressed knowing something was wrong just not sure what andknew being alone was not good, so I drove to work an hour early sitting at my desk crying then pulling it together then losing it all over again.
My friend who was a medical assistance at the office came in, I told her I didn't feel well and something was wrong. After getting things ready to start her day she checked my BP. It was 222/121. WAY to high. She had me call my doctor and lay down. I called my husband and when my boss came in she was the one nonated to drive me to the hospital. (Not the baby story you see on TV)
Once getting there I was given a gown and told to change, when I came out of the bathroom, no one was in my room, so just climbed in bed and waited. A nurse came in to finish some notes and I told her I felt I was going to get sick. She said ok hold on just a minute. I waited for what seemed like forever and again I said I think I'm going to get sick. In the time it took for her to walk 5 steps I lost ALL vision. She said here you go, my responce "I can't see" she said what and I said I can't see she took my hands and directed me to hold the pan that I hope I was vomiting into.
My family was called and my husband arrived at the hospital not expecting I find his wife in & out of it, with high BP, a fever and no vision. Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition in which hypertension arisies in pregnancy is association with significant amounts of protein in the urine. Apart from a C-section or induction of labor, there is no known cure. It is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications; it may affect both the mother and the unborn child.
I layed there with no change to my BP and my doctor said well your not pregressing so I will see you tomorrow, I had been laying there 15 hours by this time with no vision. About an hour after she left the on-call doctor came on the floor, within minuntes of her seeing my chart I was in the OR having an emergency C-section.
During the beginning of the C-section the thought came to me what if they start cutting and I can feel it? So after thinking to myself I thought what the hey and I asked. The doctor said well we are cutting you now so do you feel anything and I said no but what is that smell? The smell of course was them cutting me and it smelled like skunk. The doctor said you are going to feel pressure, I remember the pressure and then shaking and saying why can't I stop? why can't I stop, then next thing was my husbands voice. I had had a seizure, first one in my life but at the time the doctors thought it was a stroke.
I was rushed to have a C-scan and MRI, the doctors thought that I had a stoke, after having the scans that was ruled out and it showed I had had a seizure. Had no history of having them, it was due to the high BP. By having the seizure that turned my diagnoses from pre-eclampsia to eclampsia. Eclampsia is an acute and life-threatening complication of pregnancy, is characterized by the appearance of tonic-clonic seizures, usually in a patient who had developed pre-eclampsia. Eclampsia includes seizures and coma that happen during pregnancy but are not due to preexisting or organic brain disorders.
There is not a room close to the nurses station but I was to be under 24 hour watch so a small storage room was used for my room, I was blind, what did I care? I had air cast on my legss that would blow up and down to keep from having blood cloths in my legs. Because of the storage room being to small I had to sit up in the bed which meant I had a lot of swelling from the waist down, the next day I was moved to L&D recovery room, still no vision. My OB/GYN came in with a print off from the internet saying well, it looks like had pre-eclampisa and of course after what happened in the OR you now are diagnosed with eclampisa. Thanks alot Doc where was that when I needed it?
Once in the L&D room I had pressure on my lungs and everytime I would lay the bed back to sleep it would feel like I couldn't breath and then i would start getting scared and anixety. When the nurse came in I explained it and asked for oxygen, the resident came in to look at me and listen to my lungs she said they sounded fine. I kept having the feeling and the nurse did finally give me oygen and the resident ordered an x-ray of my chest. I had called my work to give the girls an updated and my boss said yeah, we got your x-ray results you poor thing having pulmary edema on top of everything else. I said oh, was that the results I haven't heard yet. Pulmonary edema is an abnormal build up of fluid in the air sacs of the lungs, which leads to shortness of breathortness of breath. So when the resident came in she ordered another x-ray and I asked when were you going to tell me I have pulmary edema? the look on her face was priceless but by that time I had had it. After days of no vision, not being able to see my son, bad food, stress and everything else I wanted answers!
I kept asking my husband if our son was cute and of course the answer was yes but it was 5 days until I was able to see for myself. My vision started coming back slowly, first with red spots everywhere, over the day the spots faded and I was able to see as normal again. As soon as I could the first thing I wanted to do was see my son and hold him of course. He was cute, even cuter then I could of dreamed.
However, after 5 days of no real change in my blood pressure I had to be moving from L&D to UCI, the move took place at about 10pm which meant as they where pushing off the L&D floor I was able to kiss my son good bye. It was so hard, after 5 days of no vision, being scared as to if my vision would return and finally being able to lay eyes on my son, now I was being moved. My son was not going to be able to leave the L&D floor. God Bless the nurses that took pictures of him and brought them to my ICU room.
In ICU I was put on a strong drip that caused it to burn in my veins. Every so many hours it had to be moved from one wrist to the other. The needle was long, it was the worse and everytime that the dips started to burn I would hold out as long as I could before telling the nurse because I didn't want the pain of the new needle in the other wrist. The one time the nurse didn't get around to changing it for sometime after I told her it was hurting and so by the time she did my wrist was in pain and had swelling, they tried a heat pad that just made it worse so for 2 days had cold packs on my wrist. I had hot sweats that within an hour it made me have to change my gown 3 times. I had to use the bathroom all the time, so much that the nurse showed me how to un-hook and re-hook all the monitors.
Day 7 my birthday...yes how depressing is that to spend your birthday in ICU? To top it off my son was sent home, he was fine and had no problems the doctors and nurses allowed him to stay longer then the normal 2-3 days thinking that I would get out sooner, but after 7 days and still no improvement enough that they thought I was going to be discharged they asked us to make arrangements. So my mother-in-law and husband brought him home. My poor husband would spend the night at the hospital on the small little fold out chairs and being 6'2" the poor guy was not sleeping well. He would get up at 2am to be at work at 3am work, 12/15 hr shift, go to our house, shower, spend so time with our son, make me dinner or grab some on the way and come to see me to do it all over again.
Finally thanks to one nurse that worked and worked to wean me off the drips I was able to be move off the ICU floor after 4 days and was moved to the recovery floor. Once moved there I was told as long as my blood pressure stayed under control I could be discharged the next day. Lets just say it was like Christmas to hear that and I did not sleep the whole night waiting for 7am to have the nurse start the discharge paper work since they always seem to take hours. However, my Ob came in and said because of my BP I needed to be seen by a specialist and that he might want some more scans done before I leave and that it meant I might be there another day. I lost it! I had put on a front, tried not to stress out and this was it! I just started to cry, I wanted to go home then and now! Of course within a few minutes the specialist came in, he could tell I had been crying and explained that I had to follow up with him. In order to leave I had to have 24 hour watch for the next 2 weeks and that week I was had to follow up with him.
I had to under go MRI and c-scans 3 months, 6 months and 12months after having my son, A year after I had to have my vision tested and to this day I still have problems and take a daily thyroid medication. This all could of been avoided, because of what I had to experience I want my story to be seen, I want others to have the TLC baby story that I didn't get.
If you have a lot of swelling, protein in your urine and high blood pressure talk to your doctor and if you have a headache that tylenol won't make go away call your doctor.
My doctor told me at my follow up that had I stayed home that day alone I probably would have had a stroke and died or the baby die. I count my blessing for something telling me to not stay home. The one thing I wanted I didn't get at my follow up was an apology from my OB/GYN, however my son is healthy, happy and 4 years old now maybe one day I will be to.