Talk about taking on a lot this holiday season! Thursday, December 18 was like any other besides the fact that I felt a little off, but I chalked it up to all the craziness happening around the house. Around 9 pm Sean arrived home to me sitting on the couch watching TV, feeling pretty useless, which is very uncharacteristic of me. By midnight we were getting ready for bed when I complained to him that I had a weird dull ache in my abdomin and chest area.
At 3 am I woke up to the same pain except it felt very persistant and much stronger. I took a 2 hour jacuzzi and tried some Tums as well as stretching with no relief. At this point Sean urged me to go to the ER, so off we went around 6am on Friday morning. We were expecting to be looked at, maybe given something for indigestion and sent on our merry way. We were WRONG!
Within moments of arriving I felt light headed and a quick check on my blood pressure showed elevated readings so they called my OB and set us up for observation. Over the course of the next 8 hours they ran a variety of tests, exams and regular checks on my blood pressure which would fluctuate from normal (110 over 80) to dangerously high (184 over 110). All signs were pointing to it being non-pregnancy related, but a quick check at about noon surprisingly showed that I was experiencing contractions and was 2cm dialated. After going the last 35 weeks and 4 days with no signs or symptoms of Pregnancy Induced Hypertension they discovered that I had severe Toxemia.
At 2 pm they told us that we would be having a baby, and probably before midnight! We were worried, excited, stressed and scared. We had no idea how big she would be or whether I would deteriorate any further. I was put on an IV with Citocin and the doctor broke my water around 5:30 pm. Over the next couple of hours things felt good, I had little to no pain during contractions and I was staying positive. Around 7pm things took a turn for the worse when my blood pressure started going dangerously high. A specialist was brought in and determined I had a very high risk of having a stroke or seizure at this point and that it was basically life or death to decide whether I would be put on various medications knowing that I would have a limited time to progress, or left to try and labor on my own. We obviously chose the medications! I was still determined to go natural and refused all pain meds offered which was a decision that I am glad I made, but we were later told by doctors that the anesthesiologist actually refused to do an epidural for me ahead of time due to concerns that my blood platlets were so low and would potentially not clot. If things didn’t go well our only option was a general anesthetic C-Section.
Despite my strong claims that I was experiencing frequent and strong contractions they were not appearing on any monitors and the team began to worry that things were not progressing. To their amazement I had gone from 3 centimeters at 7pm to 8 centimeters by 9:15. At 9:30 I insisted that I needed to push and off we went. 31 minutes later Wren Berry B**** was born!
It was all very scary as they had a team of 5 from the NICU in the room waiting for her as well as various other specialists. Due to her size and age they had to whisk her away pretty much immediately. After delivering the placenta they determined that it had an additional lobe and they were unsure if it all passed. Over the next 40 minutes they worked hard to stop the bleeding, but nothing seemed to help so the decision was made to rush me off to surgery to do all they could to stop any further bleeding and remove any remaining placenta. After this everything was a blur to me. Sean stayed with Wren until I came out of surgery and woke up. He showed me pictures of her and told me how pretty she is, but that she was smaller and less developed than they had expected and that she was looking at a 2 week stay in the NICU. The next several hours were still a blur until I got to hold my baby for the first time at 6 am for 10 minutes which was the most amazing feeling. I was also told that due to the blood loss I would probably need transfusions later that day once I was stable, but that I would be spending my Birthday and Christmas in the hospital.
At 10 am I received the best birthday present ever. Wren had learned to regulate her temperature and breathing and would be allowed to go to the nursery and would leave when I was able to as well!!! Thankfully I also seemed to do really well, and they held off on the transfusion and continued to monitor me. I feel so much better and was released today (December 22), a full week ahead of schedule.
Overall, it was the scariest couple of days of our lives but we are so thankful that everything turned out well and we are all together and healthy! Sean was absolutely amazing through everything and I feel so lucky to have someone there to support me and the decisions we made. I could tell how hard it was for him to be so scared and yet stay so strong for me. Wren already has him wrapped around her finger.
Hopefully we will be feeling better in the next couple of days and will share a ton of pics ASAP!