Many people have asked why Mia came to us so early. It seemed one week I was fine and the next I was struggling to just do the everyday. The answer? Preeclampsia. Or in my case, severe preeclampisa and the help syndrome. Preeclampsia can range from mild to severe. It usually comes into play around the last part of your 2nd trimester and into the beginning of the third. It has many different characteristics but mainly the big one's are:
- change in blood pressure. for example, mine before preeclampsia and help were around 110/70. the night i was admitted at wvu they were going as high as 177/110.
- swelling of the hands, feet, face. i looked like a big balloon. my rings no longer fit, i was swelling u and out of my shoes, i couldn't bend my fingers, etc.
- protein in the urine
- weight gain of more then 2lbs per week. i gained 16lbs of fluid in 2 weeks.
- pain in the upper abdominal area. we had originally thought mia had her hand or foot up under my ribs on the right side but it turns out that it was my liver enflaming and acting up due to the preeclampsia.
find out more here:http://www.preeclampsia.org/
all these factors can range from mild to severe.
by the time i was admitted in morgantown, mine were severe. i was pumped full of magnesium sulfate for 2 days by iv and that alone left me feeling horrible. i was told it would make me feel like i had the flu, but it was way worse. to move even the smallest of body parts took the breath out of me. i felt like i weighed 500lbs and that no matter how hard i tried i just couldn't move and get comfortable like i wanted. i had labs done every 2hrs, a catheter put in, put on a clear liquid diet, etc.
mia was monitored for 2 days very closely. they watched her by ultrasound 4x to determine her size, maturity, etc. i was given 2 steroid shots over the span of 48 hours that would help mature her lungs and get her ready for delivery. they wanted her to be able to breathe on her own. after the injection of the 2 shots, she was watched by ultrasound again. the ob was checking to see if she was mimicking lung movement for 30 seconds or longer. this alone would tell her if she was ready or not. mia passed with flying colors. she mimicked lung movement for more then 30 seconds a handful of times - just what they were after.
at around 4:00pm thursday evening, i had blood drawn one last time. this would tell the dr whether i could be pregnant longer or if she needed to come now. the news was what we had all dreaded to hear: my levels weren't getting better so the decision had been made for an emergency c section.
i remember hearing the words 'c section' and just losing it. this wasn't what we had planned. we had planned on natural child birth, no complications, etc and now here i was being prepped for surgery in a matter of minutes. i don't think i've ever been so scared in my life and i wasn't scared for me. for once, i remember not really caring about what would happen to me. it was mia i was worried about. i was worried she wasn't ready - that she needed all the time in the womb i could give her. my nurse was wonderful and assured me that i had given mia almost 7 months in the womb already and that now she would be doing so much better out of me. she wouldn't be getting sick due to my preeclampsia and that was worth everything.
once back in the operating room, things just seemed to be happening so fast. in no time i had been given my spinal and everything from the chest down had gone numb. they were poking me with a needle asking me if i felt anything and i didn't. that was weird. shortly after that, drew came in and they had already started cutting.
funny things happen while you're on the operating table. while you're having major surgery, you're operating team could be discussing anything from the weather to dogs. this was my team. they were just talking like it was just another day and that weirded me out. after a few big pushes of pressure, i heard one of the dr's yell 'time' and that told me that mia was out! they took her quickly and after cleaning her up a bit, drew was able to see her before they took her back to the nicu.
everything since then has just been so strange. my recovery has been slow due to the preeclampsia and the help syndrome, but everyday i feel myself feeling better then the day before.
so there you have it - there's kind of our story in mia's arrival in a nutshell and there's kind of a run down in preeclampsia. hope that answers some questions that many of you had!