Wow! I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. Last time I posted, I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was nervous about my glucose test, I had gained 20 lbs in 24 weeks, and my blood pressure was great.
So much changed very shortly after that post.
If you don’t want to read the full story, here’s the cliff notes of my life update: I have a baby! Madalena Anne (Maddie) was born on October 11, 2015 at 35 weeks, 2 days gestation after an induction due to severe PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension)/ pre-eclampsia.
If you want to read the full story, keep reading!
My blood pressure stayed steady until 28 weeks almost to the day. I went in for an appointment one morning and my blood pressure was 150s/90s after multiple readings. My OB sent me to Labor and Delivery (L&D) triage to be monitored. My BP lowered a bit after a couple of hours so I was sent home with a medication to keep it low. I was also told to take it easy- no exercise.
A week later, I was back in L&D for contractions. I was released soon after since they were non-labor inducing contractions.
Around 30 weeks, I woke up incredibly nauseous. I could barely walk, I was vomiting, and even sitting made my BP spike. I called my OB and she decided to admit me to the hospital for overnight observation. Overnight observation turned into 3 nights of observation because no medication they tried would help lower it without making me incredibly ill. Instead, she increased the dosage of my original medication and discharged me with instructions to be on bed rest.
Around 33 weeks, I was back in L&D with yet another BP spike. My OB increased my medication one more time with the hopes that it would help at least prolong an induction. At this point, I was visiting the perinatologist 2x a week to make sure my blood pressure wasn’t inhibiting blood flow to the baby and I was also visiting my doctor 2x a week to make sure I was ok. My doctor was keeping a very close eye on me because I had all the symptoms of pre-eclampsia without proteinuria (when you spill protein into your urine indicating kidney issues). It was important to catch proteinuria if/when it happened because it could have turned a bad situation into something much worse.
At 34 weeks, 6 days I went to my perinatologist appointment and he was very unhappy with my blood pressure. When I went to my OB appointment immediately after, my blood pressure was 160s/90s and I was admitted into the hospital until I delivered. At that point, I didn’t know how long my admission would be. At the very most, it would have been 2 weeks since my OB would have delivered me at 37 weeks.
I was admitted on a Thursday. My BP stayed relatively under control for a day but I had a very high reading (174/90-something) on Friday night. My OB said that if I got another high reading, she would induce me. Sure enough, early Sunday morning (around 4am), my BP read as 180/90-something. 10 minutes later, it was 188/100. My nurse called my doctor and I was moved to a delivery room. My husband arrived shortly after and pitocin was started. After 30 minutes on pitocin, my IV fell out. I was bleeding everywhere (who knew so much blood could come out of your hand?) and the nurse had to- obviously- re-start my IV. She let me take a shower before starting the induction over, which was nice.
After re-starting the pitocin at 7:00am, I waited around for contractions to start. I had a lot of back labor, which sucked. I got an epidural around 10:30 when I was about 3cm dilated. The epi only took on one side so I had to be re-dosed around 12:30. Those two hours were incredibly uncomfortable. At 12:30, I was checked again and had progressed to 4cm dilated. I was preparing myself for a long labor so I tried to close my eyes for a little bit. At 1:45 I was checked again. The nurse said, “Oh, woah,” which prompted me to get nervous. She said, “You’re 8-9cm.” I couldn’t believe how fast I had progressed! My OB came in at 2:00 and said it was time to push. At 2:41pm, Maddie was born!
I wish the story stopped there, but it doesn’t. Maddie was quickly taken from me for breathing issues. I was assured that it was normal for a preemie and was told she would probably only be in the NICU for a couple of days. A couple of days turned into a week which turned into two weeks. To top it off, I wasn’t able to see her for over a day because I was put on a magnesium drip to make sure I didn’t have any seizures as a result of my blood pressure post-delivery. Not only was I physically ill, I was literally bedridden to the point of having these things put on my legs to keep blood flowing. I was released after a few days, but I had to leave Maddie in the hospital. Let me just say, leaving your baby in the NICU day after day is such a taxing and emotional experience. For a week, I sat and cried (sobbed) uncontrollably. I wanted my baby home so badly. I felt so lonely. I was so used to her being with me and kicking me at night. I felt like I lost everything. I was so empty without her. After a week and a half, I was asked to room in with her in the NICU to help with her feedings and 3 days later she came home!
On top of ALL that, we had a pipe burst in our home right after I was admitted for the first time. We had to vacate our home for nearly a month while it underwent renovations. The only reason Maddie came home to our house is because she was in the NICU. They finished renovations 1 week before she was discharged. To say this past month has been a roller coaster is the understatement of the year!
We’ve been home for a few days now and we’re finding our rhythm. I am so happy to have her home with us! She is almost back up to her birth weight- very exciting since she lost almost half a pound after being born.
As for me, I am still restricted from physical activity. I am being weaned off BP medications since my pressure looked good at my last appointment. My next appointment is my 6 week post-partum appointment and I should be cleared to exercise then. I can’t wait to start running again!
Some other pretty cool news: I ended up only gaining about 30 lbs during pregnancy and I’ve already lost 15 of it! I’ll be back in shape in no time!
Now, if you made it through all of that, here’s a picture!
Obviously, I’m biased, but I think she’s the prettiest baby in the whole world!