“You’re going to have this baby today!”, the nurse said as they wheeled me into the delivery room. I had just arrived at the hospital, just after midnight meanwhile experiencing the worst headache of my life as well as three weeks with the flu. The nurse said that my labs had come back and I had severe Preeclampsia. Previously, I had never been sick, nor had I ever been admitted to the hospital, so I was a little bit nervous leading up to the delivery. My entire pregnancy was perfect until the last three weeks as my blood pressure started to escalate, but always came back down below 140/90. So, it was quite a shock that this was how I would be welcoming my first child into the world.That night, before going labor and delivery, it was 172/96(in three days it did not come down, later giving me a horrible headache) and when I finally arrived, it had skyrocketed to 200/119.
As they wheeled me into the room, they started to prep the room for delivery and started to give me labor inducing drugs (cervidil) and placed magnesium in my IV. A few minutes after they had given me the drugs, they had also run more labs and became concerned. I had been throwing up many times, just like I had previously and several nurses walked into my room to tell my husband that they were placing me on “seizure watch”. Nurses started to use pillows and towels to pad the rails of my bed, while my husband looked on, no doubt in a state of worry.
While they were padding my rails, they gave me oxygen and told my husband to ensure that any visitors were not a good idea. As my mother, stepfather and in-laws entered the room, I could see the worry on their faces. I can’t imagine what must have been going through their minds as I was hooked up to many IVs and oxygen. I continued to reassure them that it would be alright, knowing that, soon, our little man would make his long awaited arrival.
By the time, our parents had arrived, it was about 8 or 9 am, so we had been there for about 9 hours. It was suggested to me that I be given an epidural, which was not in my “PLAN”. The way it was presented to me was that my “blood pressure is so high, it might cause you to go into seizure”. That’s enough to freak a woman, who’s about to have a baby, out! I looked at my husband disappointed that my “PLAN” was not working out. You see, I wanted to go into labor naturally, have no drugs, nurse him and live happily ever after. Well…that was not God’s plan.
I was given an epidural and because of the high blood pressure, I was actually relieved. My headache was gone by the time I started hard labor, right before 11am. I was so excited that I could barely feel anything and ready to meet Ethan. As I labored, I was having a hard time breathing, but didn’t think anything of it. Finally, after having the most amazing experience and the support of the most perfect husband in the world, our baby boy was here! I held him as my husband was running around so excited. He kept saying “Thank You! Thank You!”.
Five minutes later, as I was holding Ethan, I began to feel like I was fading. Kevin was out of the room talking to our family as I told the nurses that they would have to take him from me. I was afraid that he would fall out of my arms and I’m glad I handed him over. Because, as soon as they took him from me, I began to hemorrhage and my blood pressure started drop rapidly. I remember one of the nurses asking me to “stay” with her as “Code Blue” went over the hospital loud speaker. Shortly, thereafter doctors and nurses rushed into the room asking me many questions to keep me conscious. I began to start violently shaking right after everyone left the room and kept telling them to “help me” over and over. “Code Blue” was then called again and they were in a panic to figure out what was wrong. As X-Ray techs rushed into the room, they soon found out that I had pneumonia as well as HELPP Syndrome.
Soon after, they rushed me to the intensive care unit, where I stayed for three days. That night, I begin to violently shake again, from loss of blood I was told, as my blood pressure began to drop. I was given two units of blood, while hooked up to a magnitude of different fluids, antibiotics and drugs. Later, I overheard the doctor that I feel saved my life(I kept closing my eyes and he kept me awake) and the nurse talking about how the whole situation had scared them and that I almost went into cardiac arrest. I did not know how serious the situation was, because I felt at peace the entire time.
Apparently, this was a rare thing to have a new mother in ICU, because I even had to teach my nurses how to change my dressings(I felt bad for them and they felt bad for me). We got through it together and two days later, I was able to go back to another room that they said was an observation room. There I was reunited with my son for the first time since the moment he had to be handed over (my husband had to care for him for two days without me).
It was three days later and after many drugs, unfulfilled plans and a baby boy that was the most amazing thing I had ever seen, we were allowed to go home. I begged the entire day and finally they let me go home on four different blood pressure medications and a water pill. After I got home, it took three weeks of drinking lots of water and pushing my baby in a stroller twice a day to get my blood pressure down to a safe reading as well as getting off of the medications.
Ethan was a completely healthy boy and had no health problems whatsoever. I would gladly do it all over again, to be a mother to my little guy. I’m so thankful for every experience that brought me to motherhood. I’ve debated as to whether or not I should share my preeclampsia-hellp syndrome story, but this experience was the reason I started this blog. If this post help anyone be more aware of what can happen in pregnancy even after having a perfect one, then I’m glad to share!