Thursday, January 16, 2014

Whirlwind of a Week

Words cannot even describe how much our lives have changed in one week. Last Monday morning (1/5) I was about to go back to work after winter break. I wasn't feeling well Sunday night, I thought I had indigestion or something. I've never had it before, so I didn't really know what it felt like. I got up Monday morning to go to school and got sick twice, so I decided to take the day off. You have to realize, I've probably had the easiest pregnancy ever, only some fatigue during the first trimester. I was at home and feeling a little better, but only as long as I was laying down. I decide to see if my doctor would see me that afternoon for my 29 week check up instead of having to take time off of work later in the week. I went in at 3pm, and the first thing I noticed that was odd was that I had gained 10lbs since my last appointment, which was just two weeks before. I had gained about 10 lbs total in 6 months. They took my blood pressure three different times and they were all somewhere between 155/80 to 170/90. Thats when I was told that I would immediatly be going to the hospital.
Once I was at Forsyth, they admitted me and took me back to a labor and delivery room, this is when Hunter and I started to freak out a bit. They told me I needed to be evaluated for preeclampsia and that I would at least be staying the night. My blood pressure continued to rise, imagine that? Doctors came in and explained the process and started talking about the possibility of delivery, and more freaking out by Hunter and myself occurred.  The same doctor was giving us all of the updates, and every time he came into the room he said "We gotta talk." Every time, the news got worse and worse and I thought Hunter was going to punch him in the face by midnight. Hunter called him Dr. Death, because each time he spoke to us, he was giving us bad news about how close I was to death. Finally, at around 2 am, they had not only established that I had preeclampsia, but that it was severe and I had something called HELLP syndrome. Basically, my body was shutting down and the only way to "cure" it was to deliver our son 10 weeks early. Scariest. Moment. Ever. They pumped me with steriods to help his lungs mature and they put me on magnesium sulfate to prevent me from having seizures or a stroke because of the high blood pressure. They drew my blood every 6 hours for 48 hours to monitor my liver and kidneys, as well as my extremely low platelet count. Another concern was that if my platelet count continued to drop, my blood wouldn't clot, which creates a problem when you want an epidural. Its also a concern when you think about blood loss during a vaginal birth and it especially presented a problem if I had to have an emergency c-section.
The doctors made it clear that a vaginal delivery was the best option and we should pursue that first. When you have preeclampsia, there is a fine line you have to dance around, keeping me alive but also attempting to keep Jackson in me as long as possible to allow the steroids to help out his little lungs. 
So they induced me by (sorry, about to get real up close and personal) placing a medicine up into my cervix in an attempt to get it to "ripen" (their term, not mine) or basically soften. Every 6 hours for 30 hours they stuck their fist up my who-ha, and for some reason whenever it was time for that stupid procedure, the only doctor on call was the little girl with short fingers.... it made it WAY more painful.
During the 30 hours of waiting on dialation, we decided to go ahead and do the epidural procedure before my platelets dropped any lower. They just placed the catheter, they weren't going to numb me up just yet. It was painful, but I expected that, and was just glad when it was over. Then I decided to role over on it while sleeping and pulled off the piece that connects the catheter to where the medicine is administered. Yeah, I broke my epidural. So they had to do the whole procedure over again. If that wasn't bad enough, the poor anisthesiaologist could not figure out my crooked spine. He attempted to place the needle, not once, not twice, but three times before stopping and calling for back up. Yes, that means three different times he took a 6" needle and stabbed it into my back until he hit bone before pulling it out and trying again. When the second doctor came in, he got it on the first try...
After the 30 hours of cervix ripening, I had dialated only 1cm, even though I think they were being nice, it was actually just a "finger tip." Thanks for that. They then decide to place 2 balloons in my uterus and cervix in order help the ripening process and they also started me on pitocin to induce labor. This was when I asked to take advantage of that wonderful epidural that I worked so hard for. I could feel the effects of the epidural at first, but early on Wednesday morning, I was feeling my contractions, the catheter, and I could feel the balloons in my cervix and uterus... yes, I was pumping that button like crazy for more meds, but to no relief. Come to find out, that special piece that I had pulled out after the first epidural, well the second one they put on was BROKEN and LEAKING the medicine all down my back instead of it going in me. I think its fair to say that by this point I've had the worst experience possible with epidurals. After 12 hours of that inflatable fun and labor pains with a broken epidural, they checked my cervix again, and I was only 3 cm dialated. 4 cm was the magic number we were looking for. It was safe to say that while my liver, kidneys, blood, etc. did not want me to be pregnant anymore, my cervix had every intention of keeping me pregnant. At around 3:30pm on Wednesday, we decided to proceed with a c-section. Within an hour we got to meet our sweet son.

1 comment:

  1. Being a former Labor & Delivery nurse, I enjoyed your account of your experience so much!! Humor helps the tough times!!