The 12 Days of Preeclampsia: My Story (Part 1)

The 12 Days of Preeclampsia: My Story (Part 1)

With my baby boy just turning one, I’d thought it was time to get my birth story down in writing. This was such an important, scary, and confusing time in my life. Although, I’ve been procrastinating, I’m nervous to write it down and bring up all the emotion again but here goes. This is the 12 days of my preeclampsia and the birth of my son, Mr. C.

Day 1 (May 1, 2011): On the first day of preeclampsia, my pregnancy gave to me…  chest, back and stomach pains. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with terrible pain. It felt like heartburn and the baby pushing my stomach up into my diaphragm. The day before I had my three-hour glucose test which meant a special diet for three days prior. Of course this is upsetting to a pregnant woman. It’s not that I might have had gestational diabetes; I was upset that I had to only eat graham crackers and grapefruit for 3 days. Anyways, I was so excited after my 3-hour test and to eat normal food again, I pigged out at our favorite breakfast spot. So, when I woke up with the pain, I thought it was my stomach being upset from over eating.

By midday, I still wasn’t feeling 100% and we were supposed to look at new houses. I wasn’t going to miss that! So, I popped some Tylenol and we went on our way.

Day 2 (May 2, 2011): Monday at work. I still wasn’t feeling the best. I called my doctor and made an appointment. I kept up with the Tylenol since that was the only thing taking the pain away. I was able to function and get on with my work. Also, we started negotiating the sale of our townhouse.  It was quite stressful working with our realtor to get the sale price we wanted.

Day 3 (May 3, 2011): I still was having the stomach, chest and back pain. I had a lunch appointment with my OB. He checked me out, took my blood pressure and I had the mandatory pee in the cup. We both thought it was extreme heartburn (which is common during pregnancy). He put me on Pepcid and I went on with my day.

That evening I came home to a very sick dog. Our beloved viszla, Villain, could barely walk when I got home from work. He was stumbling to greet me and then just laid down. I couldn’t move him. I called my husband and he came home right away. I made a call to the ER Vet and we left immediately. He had internal bleeding from a tumor on his spleen. We spent the evening in the ER and they did as much as they could. Our precious, ten-year-old died that night. We were so heart broken.

Day 4 (May 4, 2011): This was a day of mourning. My husband and I both stayed home from work and stayed in bed.

Day 5 (May 5, 2011): I returned to work but still had the pain. They would come and go. I was able to function but I knew I wasn’t in the best shape. “This is what pregnancy is like,” I kept telling myself. I was hoping the Pepcid would kick in and I was watching what I ate in case that was causing the pain.  I was drinking a lot more water and swelling even more. I went to Payless to get shoes the next size up to fit my swollen feet.

Day 6 (May 6, 2011): This sums up the day. Here is an email I wrote to my girlfriend about going out that night:

“I'm going to skip the show tonight. I'm not feeling up to it and I'm still having these effin' stomach pains. It kept me up last night. Have fun tonight and say hi to everyone for me.”

I was starting to get sad. I was scared that I was going to be uncomfortable for the last three months of my pregnancy. The stomach pains kept me up at night. I would lie there in tears. I didn’t want the rest of my pregnancy to be so painful.

Day 7 (May 7, 2011): I was so happy for the weekend and my husband’s birthday.  We spent the most of the day looking at houses and decided to make an offer.

We had plans to go out with friends for Hibachi that night. I wanted to celebrate my husband’s birthday but I still wasn’t feeling well. I was very cautious of what I ate that night.

Day 8 (May 8, 2011): Mother’s day and my mom’s birthday. We filled out the paperwork to make an offer on a house. We spent the day with family and waiting to hear back from the sellers.

Day 9 (May 9, 2011): Back to work and we were still waiting to hear from the sellers on our house. The stress was not helping my condition as I was still having the pain and swelling. We finally agreed on a price and proceeded with the purchase of our now home. The stress was building.

Day 10 (May 10, 2011): I had a rough night and did not sleep well. I’m sure the stress of our dog passing and the sale of our townhome were not helping. The pain was worse and I could not get comfortable. I tried to sleep sitting up for most of the night. I was upset about the pain and I was still scared that I was going to be this uncomfortable for the remaining 3 months in my pregnancy. My husband kept telling me that something was wrong but I thought it was just apart of being pregnant.

I took a sick day and called the on-call doctor early in the morning. She told me to take a warm shower to ease my muscle pain. It helped and I rested as much as I could between calls to the real estate lawyer and our realtor.

This afternoon was probably the worst. The stomach and back pain were getting really bad. I couldn’t lie down or sit up. I remember trying to lie on the floor in different positions to see it that would ease the pain. I lay there crying because I felt so helpless.

By this time, I was very chummy with the nurse at the OB office since I was calling every few days. She sounded concerned had me make an appointment for an ultrasound of my gallbladder for the next day.

Day 11 (May 11, 2011): I was feeling a bit better. I think the day of rest helped. I was excited to have the ultrasound and to find out what was wrong with me. When I went in to the doctor’s office, they had me only see the ultrasound tech and I left. I was unsatisfied with the appointment because I didn’t get to see the baby. The tech only scanned my gallbladder.

I got the call later that day that my gallbladder was fine. So, I made another appointment to see my doctor the next morning at 11:30.

Towards the end of the workday, my co-worker who was on maternity leave came in with her newborn son. At this point, I was so cranky and mad at my pregnancy but when I saw her little boy, it brought back the perspective that I needed. I was in this for my baby!

After work I had a hair appointment with a friend that I’ve known for years. We spent the evening chatting about babies and our pregnancies since we were both pregnant. I was telling her all about my pains and all the doctors appointments I was had. We both went to the same OB group, so we were gossiping about the doctors and whom we liked and whom we didn’t like.  It made me feel better to talk to another mom about what I was going through.

Day 12 (May 12, 2011) Mr. C’s Birthday!: To be continued in Part 2!

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