The arrival of my daughter was the most unexpected but amazing experience of my life. My daughter arrived 5 weeks and 6 days too early. My pregnancy up until that Thursday had been nothing but smooth. No morning sickness, easy first trimester, no medical issues or signs of upcoming medical issues. The only things when I look back that could have indicted what was to come was a slightly elevated blood pressure at one appointment and mild swelling. But there were no red flags, nothing to tell us that this was coming.
Thursday afternoon was when I started to feel off. It is hard to explain how I was feeling I just knew I didn’t feel right. I could tell something was wrong so I went to bed hoping I would wake up and shake off whatever was going on the day before. Instead I woke up feeling slightly worse. Nothing was happening, no seizures, no extreme swelling or anything to indicate a medical issue. But my mom has high blood pressure and since my last appointment showed a slightly elevated blood pressure I decided to check mine with my at home monitor. When I got the monitor out and started testing, I was showing numbers that looked like 140/90 even getting to 150/95 at one point. As soon as my doctors office opened up I called and told them I was feeling off and my blood pressure was rising. They had me rest for 15 minutes before retaking my blood pressure and trying again. The numbers remained the same so I was told to head into the hospital for a blood draw and to be evaluated by triage.
Fast forward to triage and my blood pressure is being monitored every half hour for 4 hours and it consistently staying high. I called my husband who is a resident at the hospital next door and told him he needed to head over so he could talk to the triage OBGYN with me. Come to find out I was presenting with preeclampsia but not normal preeclampsia, severe preeclampsia. At this point I was told my daughter would be arriving in the next 2-3 weeks.
Since we thought we had time and I was stable, Evan headed back to the hospital to finish seeing some patients that he was in charge of. I ended up needing to have a growth scan to make sure my condition wasn’t affecting my daughters growth. I called my husband and my wonderful nurse worked with me to postpone my growth scan until he could get to the hospital to go with me. He made it just in time to check on her. Luckily, she was doing wonderfully and while small there was nothing wrong and she wasn’t in any distress. Once we were back in triage we are told I need to be admitted for observation to get everything under control so I could head home until we would need to be induced in a few weeks.
Down in my room for the night I was settled and had ordered dinner. At this point my husband was still on call at the hospital and needed leave to get to a surgery that evening. I told him to head out as I was going to do nothing but watch tv and eat. We were not anticipating any changes at this point. Not long after a midwife came in and informed me that I needed to be induced THAT NIGHT. Talk about turning the tables! In a few hours we had went from a July due date, to a middle of June due date to an immediate induction! No lie, I freaked out on the midwife. I just wasn’t ready to hear that and her acting like I had no choice and they had made the choice for me. I told her nothing could happen until I talked to the high risk OBGYN and called my husband to come back.
We have a wonderful support system with my husbands coresidents and attendees. They completely understood what was going on and took over his responsibilities so he could be at the hospital with me. Once he arrived we were able to speak with the high risk OBGYN. They explained that even though our daughter was stable, I was at high risk for seizures and for both of our safety, she needed to come out. So we were off to a new floor with the high risk doctors and nurses to be induced.
After settling into our new room and getting induced we tried to be patient as we waited for labor to start. Let me tell you, the doctors said she needed to come but my body was NOT ready! We were induced early Saturday morning and didn’t have Mia until Monday at 12:38pm! After several hours they suggested using the balloon which only helped get us to 4cm (and was horribly painful!). They upped the pitcoin and we just kept waiting for things to progress. Once we hit Sunday at 12:30pm they broke my water and the 24 hour clock started. After 24 hours if Mia didn’t come on her own we would have to do an emergency c-section. Nothing and I mean NOTHING progressed until they upped the pitocin more about 4 hours before the deadline. About 20 minutes before the deadline I felt a bunch of pressure and told Ev I needed the nurse to come check me. Lo and behold I had progressed all the way to 10cm and she was ready to come! Suddenly there was a huge surge of nurses, residents and doctors as they prepped all that was needed for me and the baby. 7 minutes of pushing and Mia arrived in the world! She was little but perfect and doing so well. Evan and I got to hold her for a few minutes before she needed to go down to the NICU to be checked out and to make sure she was okay.
Once she was in the NICU, attention turned to me. Especially because I was really starting to not feel right. My breathing was tight, my chest hurt and I felt so off. My blood pressure was still running really high and because of my severe preeclampsia they ran a bunch of tests. I will tell you that during these tests was one of the first times I’ve seen my husband look truly scared. There were some irregularities in my heart rhythm and I think that’s what scared him the most. Having a medical background can be a burden in these situations as you overthink the situation. But luckily everything was evaluated and a normal part of what happens with my condition.
I am very lucky that I listened to my body and caught this early. Had I waited or thought it was nothing I could have put Mia and myself in a very dangerous situation. My advice to anyone pregnant or trying to conceive is to listen to your body. You know it best and advocate for treatment when you feel off. Unfortunately, things can change quickly in pregnancy so don’t be afraid to check in often and make sure you and baby are doing well!
Love and all the blessings! Kayla