Pascal’s Birth Story Part 1

IMG_1135I tried to think of how detailed I wanted to be about my experience, and determined that for the sake of other women who could go through the same thing, and for my own personal need to remember everything that happened, I’m going to make this a long story…a very long story. Over the course of 2 weeks I went from “perfectly” healthy third trimester pregnant woman, to a very ill pregnant woman, to a very ill mother of a premature baby boy. This is the detailed, sometimes overly personal story of how that came to pass.

Pascal’s Birth Story Part I

On September 4th, 2012 I came home elated that my OBGYN called me “an overachieving pregnant woman”, interms of my health that is. It seemed all was quite well with me and my little bun, and for the first time in my pregnancy I was feeling pretty good, on top of things, and ready to start thinking about my labor experience! Two days later I woke up per usual at 4:00 am for work, and was very alarmed by my appearance in the mirror. I was hardly recognizable  My heart started racing as I poked my giant lips and tried to open one of my eyes more but couldn’t. My instincts, and a prompting from the Holy Spirit, immediately made me think of one word “bloodpressure”. I have never in my life had problems with bloodpressure. I always prided myself on having low BP, but through all of my pregnancy reading and research I automatically thought of high blood pressure when I saw my swollen face.  Swollen feet and legs are normal, a swollen face like this is not. I knew it was associated with something called Preeclampsia, but I didn’t really read a ton about it. I ran to my book and flipped to that section, confirmed that was a possible sign, ran up stairs, told groggy patient husband I was going to Walgreens to get my BP taken (don’t blame him for not coming with me…it was 4:00 am, and I got over it :) ) By the grace of God, not only do I live by a 24 hr Walgreens, but a friendly pharmacist was on staff who took pity on me and agreed to come out and take a BP reading on me in the store (they don’t have one of those self serve machines). It read something like 153/95….I made her take it twice, because 2 days ago my BP was 110/64…that;s a big difference, and for a pregnant woman, a dangerous one.  Now, I was sort of unsure of myself, and I have this weird dislike of inconveniencing doctors on call not during office hours…even when that is WHY they have on call doctors, i’m just nuts, so I needed extra convincing to make a call (even though all my internal sirens were going off). I drive the entire hour to work actually thinking this could be an average day, see one of my coworkers who is a mother of 4 in the hall and casually ask her what BP would be alarming enough to call the doctor about. When I tell her mine she immediately tells me to call the doctor. That was enough convincing for me! By this point my face was back to normal, and I honestly felt fine, but the doctor told me come in to labor and delivery. I drove all the way back into the city, picked up patient husband because I was nervous, checked in to labor and delivery and spent the whole day there being monitored. They never got AS high of a reading, just slight BP elevation. My urine sample came back showing +2 protein, which isn’t a good thing, but not definitive  so after 5 or 6 hours of fetal monitoring (baby boy was fine!) they sent me home with instructions to do a 24 hour urine catch. All day Thursday and Friday I collected it in a little “hat”, and midday Friday I felt ridiculous walking through the hospital with my jug-o-urine, and extra jug, because I’m preggo and I drink A LOT of water people! I thought all of it was pretty funny, but all the while was researching Preeclampsia nervously on the computer, feeling in the pit of my stomach the dread of possibly having to be on bedrest and be done working early.

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Saturday morning I decided to make my grocery list per usual and make it all based on the summer’s bounty I could buy at the farmer’s market, because I was thinking I would have one last hoorah before I couldn’t move around anymore! Patient husband reluctantly agreed to take me for a quick trip to my favorite farmers market in the area and load up on the fruit and veggies, flowers from my dashing husband, and pie! A couple hours after we came home, me with my gigantic feet and legs and very tired out body, I decided to call and see if they had the results from the test. The doctor calls me back, and very calmly explains that to be Preeclamptic you need a 24 hour urine reading of 300 (don’t know the unit..ppm? and don’t quote me on exact numbers), and that mine was 3,000. She again calmly expresses that I should head to labor and delivery….now. Patient husband and I throw a few random things in a bag not knowing exactly what to expect, I take a few bites of my beloved farmers market peach pie, and drive away from my potato salad ingredients, fresh watermelon, and bag of Pure Michigan Honeycrisp apples to the hospital. I had no idea that the next time I would be home was 11 days later without a child growing inside my womb, and that the random trip to Walgreens to get my blood pressure taken may have just saved our lives.

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One comment on “Pascal’s Birth Story Part 1

  1. Heather Price on said:

    You do a great job of keeping your readers interested! Nice cliffhanger “to be continued” approach! Not that we need that to stay interested, since your story is pretty dang engaging–I just mean from a writing and story-telling point of view, it’s a good tool :)

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