It started with my scheduled OB appointment in Tuesday morning, and ended with a midnight, emergency C-Section on Friday.
Thing started to go South at my scheduled OB appointment on Tuesday morning. My blood pressure was elevated, and I had a small amount of protein in my urine. I felt fine, but my doctor sent me home from work and ordered me to rest.
Wednesday at work I started to feel a little “off”. Luckily I work in the hospital, so one of my RN coworkers ordered me to take my blood pressure… It was even higher than the day before. I called the clinic and was sent home from work, only to be recalled back to labor and delivery after the on-call OB took a second look at my chart.
I was released from the hospital on Thursday night, after a 26 hour hospital stay. I was switched from Lovenox to heparin, given a round of steroids for baby’s lungs, and started a 24 hour urine culture. Baby and I were stable, my blood pressures had remained slightly elevated but not too high. I was officially diagnosed with Preeclamsia.
Friday morning I went in to see my regular OB, had an NST, biophysical profile, and rechecked my blood pressure.
It was not good.
My fluid was low, my blood pressure higher, and so I was sent back to labor and delivery. All day I felt fine. I was tired, but I was also 32 weeks pregnant! I had scheduled labs, they were keeping a close eye on my blood pressure, baby’s heart rate, and planning on rechecking my amniotic levels after a day of IV fluids.
Unfortunately, some time in the evening one of my labs changed. My liver was starting to get stressed, and the on-call Doc began to worry. She ordered a round of emergency labs and told me I would be in the hospital until I delivered, but she hoped to keep me pregnant for another week or two. I was developing HELLP syndrome.
An hour and a half later James was born.
I didn’t even need the results of my stat labs, shortly after they were ordered my body realized how sick I was. Suddenly I was sick. Vomiting, dizzy, exhausted. I called my nurse, and after she helped clean me up and get me back to bed, she went to check if my labs were back.
She came running back in and this is what she said, “Well, I have news. You are going to become parents tonight.” She told me my liver was shutting down. My placenta was dying and if I didn’t have a C-Section now, baby and I could die.
After that it was a blur.
Countless nurses prepping me, the anesthesia team explaining that I was too sick to be awake, and would need general, the doctor explaining the procedure, and being whisked down the hallway.
Do you remember the scene from Monty Python and the Meaning of Life where the women is giving birth? The doctors keep looking at each other and repeating “doctor, doctor, doctor”.
That’s all I could think of. I even quoted the line as I transferred myself to the operating table. No one laughed.
I remember that someone made sure my hands were held, I remember the soft voice of the CRNA whispering comforting words, explaining what countless hands were doing to my body, and I remember tears streaming down my face.
That day is both the worst and best day of my life. It’s the day modern medicine saved mine and my son’s lives. It’s they day so much was given to me, and stolen from me. It’s the day I became a mommy.