It’s 10:45 on a Friday night. I’m sitting in one of the most uncomfortable chairs ever made at the local hospital. Why am I here you ask? My newborn son #LittleFace needed to have emergency surgery. Funny thing is that I was due two days ago and he ended up being 7 weeks early. Yet here I sit watching over him as he sleeps even though there’s nurses and monitors making sure he is ok.
As a mom of two preemies I want to say I’m pretty knowledgable about preterm labor a high risk pregnancy and the nicu. What I didn’t expect was the preeclampsia that hit me from pretty much no where.
I was fortunate with this pregnancy to avoid bed rest (considering I just started a new job in my second trimester) and was busier than ever with traveling all summer and my older son being in football. Which even for a five year old is a lot of work and time spent at practice and games. I did get busy at work towards the end even though I worked 32 hours a week. I found myself coming in on my days off and working late to rush and get things done before I went on maternity leave.
On Monday morning October 22 I went into the hospital. I didn’t think I was in labor but since I work a half hour away from home I wanted to make sure I was ok before heading out there. I was feeling a bit off and after another busy weekend I thought I was just tired but didn’t want to take that chance.
I was almost 33 weeks pregnant and in labor. While running routine labs they also found protein in my urine which is a sign of preeclampsia. Along with the swelling and weight gain I had during the pregnancy all signs pointed to preeclampsia. My blood pressure also started to sky rocket.
Turns out the meds they use to stop labor also is a blood pressure medication. It was working to stop the labor but my blood pressure was not coming down. With a family history of high blood pressure and stroke and considering my oldest brother recently passed away due to a heart attack they didn’t want to take any chances. I was transferred to the hospital in my area with a NICU since I was most likely going to give birth soon.
After taking a wait and see approach for a few days they decided that following Thursday to deliver. By that point my blood pressure was 190/98 and I could see spots in my eyes. For those of you who are not familiar with preeclampsia, you can actually have a seizure and the only cure is to deliver. I did some research and it can appear at any time during the second trimester. I was truly blessed that it didn’t happen until the third trimester with me.
My second son was born at 33 weeks 2 days weighing in at 4 pounds 11 ounces. His NICU stay was short and uneventful since he could breathe and eat on his own with no help and was in perfect health. I do consider my family blessed to have two preemies that were extremely healthy as other families can’t say the same.
Today also happens to be the day where 20 children were lost to the horrific acts of crazy monsters. There are parents out there who have lost their children. Who would never be able to watch over them as they sleep as I am watching over my son now. Someone has ripped their child from this earth senselessly. We send our children to school every morning without a second thought. How do we raise our children in this world? We can’t raise them to be paranoid and fearful. But this is our reality. We as parents have a harder job than any generation before us. I pray that we all make the right choices for our children.
Make sure to kiss your babies extra hard tonight. Because there are parents out there that won’t be able to do that again. And my heart goes out to them.