It was one of our favorite days… appointment day with our midwives. I was 32 weeks. That weekend we had traveled to Longview (a 4 hour one-way trip) for one of our baby showers with family and friends.
When we arrived, Jackie, our midwife immediately knew something was wrong. She mentioned how swollen I was, checked my bp which was elevated, then checked for protein in my urine which there was a trace. All signs pointing to possible pre-eclamspia. She then drew blood to check my liver enzymes, and a couple days later showed they were slightly elevated.
I immediately started trying to think of reasons why these things could be happening, I didn’t want to have pre-eclampsia. I was swollen due to traveling and being tired. I did too much when we got home on Sunday and didn’t rest, etc, etc.
The following week I did nothing, but lay on the couch. I tried my hardest to fight all the urges I had to work on the nursery and any other kind of nesting that I so badly wanted to do.
I also tried my hardest to stay off the internet, but I failed. I did however find information on herbal supplements such as cayenne pepper and turmeric powder aiding in lowering blood pressure and helping to keep the liver healthy…So later in the week I headed to health food store.
Jackie referred us to a maternal fetal specialist for a consultation in Houston, and our appointment would be the following week on Tuesday May 5th with me being 33 weeks 1 day. I was anticipating he would send me home to be on bed rest.
They checked my bp during triage before I went back to see the dr. and it was through the roof. Once they had an ultrasound room ready they took us back, and I just lost it. I was scared, confused, and didn’t really understand the danger of what was happening to our baby or my body.
The ultrasound tech checked measurements on Kerrington, etc. Then in walked the doctor. I’m going to refrain from being too open about our feelings for him, but I will say we didn’t “click” and try to just share how the appointment went objectively.
As soon as he walked in, before he really said more than 3 words to us, he diagnosed me with severe pre-eclampsia due to the swelling in my feet and legs and my high blood pressure. He then told us he wanted us to check in to the hospital adjacent to his building because I wouldn’t be pregnant much longer and I would be in the hospital until I had her. He then listed out all the complications that could happen with pre-eclampsia if we decided to go against his recommendation to get admitted. He also told us the only treatment for pre-eclampsia is delivery of the baby.
We then communicated that we really wanted a vaginal birth even if it couldn’t be completely natural (meaning with no medical interventions) and he even spoke to Jackie our midwife, but he told us it wasn’t going to happen because I was so early. I would have to have a c-section.
We were heartbroken for so many reasons and fearful at the same time. He let us use his office to talk and attempt to process how fast everything was happening. We prayed in his office and just asked for guidance. Do we trust the Lord to keep us safe and go home? Do we go get admitted to the hospital? Do we trust this doctor’s opinion on the diagnosis?
We decided to trust the Lord, but surrender to the knowledge and education of the doctor. We were, however, thankful that he was just a consulting doctor.
He called one of colleagues at the hospital who would become my admitting doctor and would ultimately be the one to make the decision on the necessity of an immediate delivery. His name was Dr. Maximos.
As we walked from the professional building to the hospital next door I couldn’t contain my tears. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. I believed God was powerful enough to give us the birth we prayed for, so why were we getting admitted to the hospital at only 33 weeks and 1 day?
We found our way to labor and delivery, got checked in to a room and I lost it again. Then entered my first nurse, LaDawn (or Ladonna?! I was pretty hysterical, and I’m terrible with names even when I’m not!) However, she was incredible and truly set the precedent for the rest of the hospital staff we would encounter. She began to pour so much love and comfort into me, and within 45 minutes or so had me calmed down and even smiling.
This was all Tuesday May 5th around 1pm.
Then began a whole slew of staff and nurses, and Dr. Maximos. He came in to introduce himself and said we will monitor you, draw blood, and if we can get your blood pressure down maybe we can send you home and have a check up in a week. He gave us hope that perhaps maybe I didn’t have pre-eclampsia, maybe my BP was just high, which was 180 degree difference from the “for sure” diagnosis we had just received a few short hours earlier. He wanted to keep me pregnant as long as possible, Praise the Lord!
Later that day labs came back that weren’t terrible, BP seemed to level out, wasn’t back to my pre-pregnancy normal, but better than it was when first admitted. He also went ahead and ordered a 24hour urine test (yummy right?!).
On Wednesday afternoon, May 6th, after having repeat labs come back as “beautiful” and my BP continuing to be sort of decent, we felt confident that the urine test would be good as well so we continued to trust the Lord that He was still in control, and we would be able to go home soon!
Another incredible nurse (literally every single one that helped us was a blessing!) came in to tell us the urine test results, she said they look “normal” so we just had to wait for Dr. Maximos to give orders on what to do next…
However, not even 10 seconds later, she came back in and said “Oh my goodness, I am so sorry, but I looked at the wrong number when reading it! She said the beginning amount of protein for a preeclampsia diagnosis is 300 grams of protein…and you have 6,800 grams.”
She then told us that 5,000 grams is grounds for immediate delivery and Dr. Maximos was on his way to talk to us.
Because my labs were still OK and my BP hadn’t spiked all day, he gave me the option to be gently induced because he knew how badly we wanted a natural birth. He then checked me and I was actually 1cm dilated and 50% effaced, and he seemed to be suprised at this since I was so early. Again we had hope! I thought OK Lord, YOU can do this!
They transferred me to another room and started me on magnesium sulfate IV to help keep my BP regulated. (Y’all this stuff is no joke…it made me feel terrible.) Again they monitored both of us all night and the next morning checked me again and I was still only 1cm, but was 80% effaced I think.
I was also having my BP checked every 15-30 minutes from the time we were admitted.
Sometime after lunch on Thursday May 7th, the nurse came in and said Dr. Maximos wanted to check my BP in different positions, up until this point I had been laying on my left side the entire time because that is the optimal position to check it. She said he was concerned we were kind of “cheating” it by doing it the same way every time. So I sat up, she checked it. I stood up, she checked. Both times it went up further.
About 10 minutes later she came in and told us Dr. Maximos was on his way in and that she was fairly certain he was going to highly recommend a c-section…
Part 2 coming next…Delivery Day.