My Birth Story and Experience with Pre-Eclampsia

I figured I’d stay up and finally post this. I’ve been putting off this blog post for a while now. I’ve been overdue with my writings for some time now. Sorry for that. Life happens! I’ve been trying to figure out where to start, I’m still trying to figure out how it all happened, since it apparently, just did. I know you’re probably reading this like, and saying to yourself, “huh, what is she rambling about?!” I tend to do that often, but here’s my story.

On April 2nd, 2013, I left work and went to the Labor & Delivery Triage because I had been having swelling in feet and ankles and I had been having really bad headaches that didn’t go away with medication. Everyone with children kept telling me that it was normal to having swelling. I felt otherwise, so I went to get checked out. My husband was at my side that evening as the nurses prodded, probed and drew blood for several labs and monitored my blood pressure which was considerably high. They checked my urine and told be that it was +2 protein in my urine, which wasn’t good. Plus 2 protein means that the filter in my kidneys wasn’t properly filtering. Scary stuff I know! They eventually gave me medication to help lower my blood pressure and sent me home with a huge bottle for a 24 hour urinalysis. That means I had to stay home and collect pee pee in that huge bottle for a whole day and take it back to the lab for testing.

The next day, I returned to work with more swelling that continued for the rest of that week, my feet, ankles, hands and face began to swell. I did some research online and my symptoms were congruent with Pre-eclampsia. I continued to monitor my blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff that hubby purchased for me from Walgreens. My blood pressure readings were off the chart. Blood pressure readings like 212/114 had me very unsettled, so on 4/11/13, I drove myself back to L&D triage where they immediately admitted me and began more of their poking and prodding. I was immediately given the first dose injection of a steroid shot that would help my baby’s lungs mature faster in the event that she had to be delivered early.

After several high blood pressure readings and high levels of protein in my urine, I was hooked up to a magnesium sulfate IV and fluids to help lower my blood pressure and keep me from having seizures I didn’t understand how much of a serious situation I was in and I felt like the doctors were being vague in answering my questions. I later learned that they we doing so so that my blood pressure wouldn’t elevate any higher from worry and panic. The nurses continuously monitored my baby’s heartbeat around the clock. My doctor came in and spoke to me and advised me that I was had severe Pre-eclampsia/Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension.

The Preeclampsia Foundation’s website states that:

Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms.

Typically, preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks gestation (in the late 2nd or 3rd trimesters or middle to late pregnancy) and up to six weeks postpartum, though in rare cases it can occur earlier than 20 weeks. Proper prenatal care is essential to diagnose and manage preeclampsia. Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and toxemia are outdated terms for preeclampsia. HELLP syndrome and eclampsia (seizures) are other variants of preeclampsia.

Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.

I’ve never had high blood pressure in my life. Are you kidding me?! My doctor advised me that I wasn’t going to go back to work or leaving the hospital anytime soon and it was likely that I was going to be on bed rest until I delivered.

The daunting reality of bed rest was all the torture that I could stand. I wasn’t due until July 27th and I couldn’t imagine being on bed rest for 2 days let alone 2-3 months. The nurses advised me that I wasn’t going to make it to term with this pregnancy but not to worry because my baby should be fine since I was given the steroid injections.A preemie at 25 weeks has a greater chance of survival when the mother has been given those steroid injections because it helps the lungs mature better.

Nervousness began to settle in my spirit but I was very aware that I didn’t need to do anything that would affect my already elevated blood pressure, so I began to do what I knew best to do, which is to pray. I prayed and asked God to take control of the situation and to give my strength. I asked him to cover me with his precious blood and to cover my daughter. I gave the entire situation over to God and I asked him to comfort me, give me peace and give me a good night’s sleep. He did! That night I slept like a baby and woke up the morning of April 16th with a calmness and a peace that I still can’t understand. It felt good and that was the day Dr. Hume and Dr. Friall ordered an emergency c-section.

One of my friends from church, Ghia, was on her way to visit when she arrived I told her the news and she stayed the remainder of the evening, along with Chris, Quiana, my Pastor and of course my hubby. They prayed over me before the delivery. It was great to have a support system there.

This was really happening! On April 16th, 2013 at 6:18pm, Aerione Soleil was born at 25 weeks gestation. She was 1lb. 1oz and 10.5 inches long. She’s our superstar preemie!

 I can’t believe I’m a mommy to this little ball of sunshine. I didn’t get to hear her cry but I was told that she did cry right before they cleaned her up and whisked her off to NICU to begin her journey of growth. When I saw her, I cried. She was all mine… well ours, hubby had much contribution. LOL.

I can’t be more happy to be her mommy. God blessed us! We are thankful that God chose us to be her parents. She’s currently in NICU and doing very well and overall she is healthy and strong. We give God all the praise and glory for his hand of protection over us. I always lay my hands on her and pray for her every time I see her. The nurses say she’s very feisty *raised eyebrow*. Shes tiny, but she’s our BIG miracle. She has to be able to reach her milestones before she is able to come home such as; breathe without oxygen or help from the ventilator, take all feedings by mouth, maintain a stable temperature, and weigh at least 4-5lbs. She has a little ways to go but we are believing and trusting God for her growth and progress and we know that it is already done!

We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of love, support and prayers from everyone across the board. I am currently home for about eight weeks on maternity leave recovering from this c-section. Ugghhh… c-sections! I intensely desire to have my baby with me but she has to stay in NICU until it’s time for her to come home. I call and visit the hospital daily. I’m a proud mommy and WE ARE PRE-ECLAMPSIA SURVIVORS!

If you have never heard of pre-eclampsia, click here READ ME! to read and learn more about the disorder.

Thanks for reading my story & God bless.

ALWAYS RADIANT EVERYDAY

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