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I'm sorry if this runs a bit long, but the whole experience was a bit long really...
On August 31st I had a routine doctor's appointment. When I got there, we learned that my blood pressure, which had been great my whole pregnancy thus far, had suddenly shot up. Also, I had some protein in my urine. While at that appointment the doctor discovered I was not dialated, but was 50% effaced, which she said was normal. She decided to send me over to labor and delivery just to be monitored. When I got there, the nurses put me in a room and got me a gown. This scared me because I thought I was only going to be there for a couple of hours. Two weeks before I had been sent to be monitored, and only had to stay a little while. After I got in my gown, the doctor came to see me. She told me that if my blood pressure went up, we would be having the babies.
As it turned out, my blood pressure stayed about the same. I was kept overnight to be monitored and they did a 24 hour urine sample (gross), which came back with protein, but not with TOO much. It was decided that I had preeclampsia, but it wasn't yet at a severe level. I was told to go home on bedrest.
I was sent home on Saturday, and I had another doctor's appointment on Tuesday. In the meantime I discovered that bedrest is very boring. By this point I was huge and incredibly swollen. My feet were about two times the size they normally were, and I could literally feel water sloshing around in them when I walked. It was no fun.
I went to the doctor on Tuesday. I had to see a different doctor as mine was in a surgery. My blood pressure was still elevated. I told the doctor I had been having headaches. I never have headaches and I know it's a sign associated with toxemia, so I felt it was relevant. He told me to take tylenol and that was it. He sent me home and said I could "do some gardening" if I wanted to. ***? Gardening? I can't even put pants on myself dude!
Anyway, I called the doctor's office on Wednesday to report that I STILL had a serious headache, and the same doctor I had seen the day before again recommended tylenol. On Thursday I got a call from the doctor's office and MY doctor wanted to see me that day. She had heard about the headaches and was concerned. When I got to the office I was weighed and it was discovered that I had gained 10 pounds in 6 days from all of the swelling and water weight. Also, I still had protein in my urine and my bp was still high. My doctor decided it was time to go ahead and evict the babies. She said "how about giving birth tomorrow?" That sounded pretty alright to me, since I was very uncomfortable.
I was sent to labor and delivery to stay the night, and my surgery (both twins were breech so we knew I'd have to have a c-section) was scheduled for 10am the next day. At that point, I was 35 weeks, 5 days pregnant. It was far enough along where everyone thought it would be okay to have the babies.
On the day of the surgery, the nurses put an IV in me around 8 in the morning and started pumping in fluids. Great, just what I needed, more fluids in my body! 10 am rolled around and there was no action. Nobody came to get me, even though they had me get naked already. It turned out that someone had to have an emergency c-section, so mine had to be postponed. That sucked. My husband's family was there in the room, and I felt like I wasn't providing the entertainment they had all come to see.
At around 1:45 I was finally taken to the OR. A couple of nurses came to get me and put me on a moveable bed. They rolled me to the OR with DH in tow. He had to put on scrubs and then go sit in a waiting room because he couldn't be in the room while I got the spinal block. Once in the OR I was told to hop up on the table, which was no easy feat. Then I had to sit with my legs over the side and hunch over. That was really no fun because I had a major headache from the blood pressure stuff. I had to keep my head way down, and a nurse was in front of me holding me in that position. All I wanted was to put my head up and get some relief, but I couldn't. It took about 15 minutes for the dr. to get the spinal in right. During that time I was crying pretty bad. The spinal itself didn't hurt a whole lot. Occasional moments of pain is all. I think I was just scared and became overwhelmed.
As soon as the spinal took effect I was a lot happier. It was like a warm feeling spreading throughout my body. Everything was tingly. My blood pressure immediately went down (the spinal does that for ya), and I felt good. My husband came in the room and the surgery started. I didn't feel anything during the surgery. Not even a lot of pressure, really. My DH had to leave the room for awhile because he couldn't breathe through his mask. I was afraid he would miss the birth, but he made it back. Soon, we heard a very loud scream as baby A, Cadigan, was born. It was 2:15pm, and weighed 6lbs. 1oz. They brought her to the side of the room to clean her up and get the gunk out of her throat, and I could just barely see her little body. I couldn't believe that was my baby! Baby B, McLaine was born at 2:17pm, and weighed 6lbs. She was quiet. They had to bug her awhile before she let out a cry, and hers was more of a squeak.
DH got to hold both babies and show them to me for about 10 minutes. Then they were taken away while I was stitched up. I went to recovery for about 45 minutes, and then was brought back to my room. I still couldn't move my legs. I got to hold Cadigan first. I wanted to try to breastfeed immediately, but she was making some noises every time she breathed. The nurses were worried, so they took her to be examined. Then I held McLaine for a good while. We didn't hear about Cadigan for over an hour, but then we were told that they thought she had pneumonia. They decided she needed to go to a hospital with an ER, so they were getting a helicopter to air lift her there. This, of course was bad news. Worse was that we couldn't go with because my insurance company saw no need for me to go. However, the NICU people told us when they arrived that Cadigan looked good and they were just bringing her in to be safe.
DH, McLaine and I spent the next 3 days at the hospital. DH mostly took care of the baby as I recovered. We got a call Sat. night letting us know that Cadigan had gotten worse and had to be intubated. This upset me a whole lot. They told me she might have persistant pulminary hypertension in a newborn. I looked up information on that and found out that it causes death for 20% of babies, so it scared the crap out of me.
I was supposed to be released on Monday, and we planned to go right to the bigger hospital to be with Cadigan. However, on Monday morning my blood pressure was high. It stayed high and so they couldn't release me. They decided to give me some blood pressure medication called Nifedipine. 30 minutes after they gave it to me my heart started racing and I started having convulsions. It was literally the scariest moment of my life, and I was convinced I was having a seizure and would die. It turns out I was just having a reaction to the meds, but this little incident did earn me a trip to the bigger hospital, via ambulance, where Cadigan was. In the ambulance my bp sky rocketed to 225/120. This was very concerning. When I got to the other hospital they started an IV with drugs to bring my bp down. Later that night I was allowed to go see Cadigan, who by this time was dong better. She was off the intubater, but being fed through a tube.
I spent the next 6 days in the hospital trying to get my bp down. For awhile it seemed like nothing would work. A nurse would come in practically every hour to check, which was annoying and nerve racking. I was eventually released, on two medications. I'm still on meds.
Cadigan came home 4 days later. She has some trouble eating and doesn't sleep very long stretches, but is gaining weight. It's nice to be together, even if I've become a zombie due to lack of sleep