Thank you for visiting my 2018 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia fundraising page.
I am grateful for your donations and for your help in spreading the word about preeclampsia. My goal is to help our community raise funds and awareness and save the lives of moms and babies!
Please make a donation to support our efforts to fund education and research into this life-threatening disorder of pregnancy.
Here is my story :
My husband and I were so excited when we first found out that we were expecting. We had been married for about two years at the time, had traveled, had mark some things off our bucket list, and were in the best shape of our lives working out and running half marathons. Just like any first time parents, we were excited about getting everything ready for our baby, doing house projects, and trying to get as much sleep in as we can because we’d heard that those first few months could be a blur!
My pregnancy was easy with no major sickness. I was still working out regularly, eating healthy, working, and even taking naps when I could. When I would go into my check-ups, my doctor at the time never mentioned any concerns. I was 35 weeks and 6 days pregnant when going for my regular weekly check up, my mom suggested that she would come along with me this time. She told me this later on, but in her spirit, she felt like she needed to come with me that day, and didn’t like it that I was driving myself to my appointment alone. I told her that I would be fine because I felt great, but she insisted on meeting me earlier for lunch, and then we could carpool together.
When I went in for my check –up, my protein urine level was at a 4, and my blood pressure was pretty high (155/105). My doctor made me lay on my left side (to help with better circulation) and wanted to check my blood pressure again. They asked me so many questions how I was feeling, and I told them that I felt fine. I really felt great! My mom was sitting in the corner quietly praying for me, which is why I think I felt so calm the whole time. After lying there for 15 minutes on my left side, they came back in again to check my blood pressure, and this time it was even higher (165/105). My doctor told me that she had already called the hospital and that I was to be admitted and there’s a chance that I would be induced. I didn’t understand what was going on, and she didn’t do a good job of explaining to me the situation. She explained to my mom that the hospital is already expecting me, and that we need to go to the hospital right away.
Thank God my mom was there with me. She drove me across the street to the hospital, and we both didn’t really didn’t have anything to say. We were quiet in the car, and I think we both were trying to keep each other calm. Once I was admitted in triage, everything else happened so fast! I remember trying to ask the nurse what is going on with me, and why am I being admitted? A doctor finally came out and explained to me the situation that my blood pressure is escalating so quickly and that they are going to have to induce me. She said that I had preeclampsia. I have never heard of that word before until she said it in that moment. I remember calling my husband telling him that I’m going to be induced right now because I had preeclampsia. I didn’t know what was preeclampsia and told him to Google it because he had no idea either, ha! He had a million questions just like anyone would, but I didn’t have any answers. My phone was dying, and I remember telling him to hurry up and get here and that my mom would call him for updates.
Labor was so hard and long. I was not dilating and I refused to have a caesarean (if possible) because I knew that we wanted to have more children later on. Magnesium sulfate is the main med that they give for preeclampsia. It gave me a terrible headache, made me nauseous, dizzy, vomit, and I felt so sick and weak. 24 hours later, our first son was born; Josiah had the cutest red fuzz hair, weighing 4.8lbs and 18 ½ inches tall. I really do not remember much of that delivery other than what my mom and husband told me because I was so sick from the mag sulfate and other meds. They took my son right after he was born and my husband went with them. I was to be left alone in the dark so that I could rest. The chance of having a seizure after a delivery when you have preeclampsia is really high. I just remember feeling so sick, and I didn’t have the energy to hold my baby. The first 36 hours of his life was spent with his dad in NICU because he was born early and had to do a lot of tests. I didn’t get to hold him or nurse him like I had dreamed of when having your first baby, and every time I would think about my first pregnancy, I could only think of the word traumatic, but I know that there is so much to be thankful for.
Looking back at that pregnancy, I was really swollen and gained a lot of weight (70lbs!)). My doctor assured me that it was because I was pregnant in the summer and because I was already so small before, she didn’t think that excessive weight gain was a concern.
Five months later, we were expecting our second son. It was another easy pregnancy, and we had decided to switch doctors (which I absolutely love my new doctor now) and was monitored closely. The second child was a quick and natural delivery, and it was everything that I had dreamed of when you have a baby. I felt all the emotions, and I remember all the details of that labor and delivery. The third child came 18 months after the second, and the labor was a repeat of the second child, natural and easy.
Our fourth son was expected to arrive 25 months after the third child. This pregnancy started out normal, but my blood pressure started to rise around 24 weeks in and I was having a lot of early contractions. Again, I was monitored closely and by 30 weeks, I was on complete bed rest. My blood pressure fluctuated often, which caused me to be in and out of the hospital often. Twice a week I was in the doctor’s office to check the baby’s stress level, my blood work, and my protein levels. Our challenge was to keep the baby in the womb for as long as possible to get closer to the due date. Daily monitoring of my blood pressure at home was very inconvenient, but necessary. At 35 weeks and 6 days into the pregnancy, I woke up from a nap because of heavy chest pain. I measured my blood pressure and it was dangerously high (195/110). I knew that it was time to have this baby, and I called my doctor and my husband and I went straight to the hospital.
Labor this time was just as long and difficult as the first time, but having an informative doctor who really cares and was there with me every single moment really made the difference. None of the pain meds were working for my contractions – not even the epidural, and my mag sulfate made me just as sick as the first time. 15 hours later, our sweet and perfect baby Titus was born at 5lbs 12ounces and 19 inches tall just like his biggest brother.
I am extremely grateful that our boys are all healthy and thriving today, and that I survived preeclampsia twice so that I could raise our children. I know that our story is different from other survivors, and my hope is that together, we can all help bring awareness and that more research is made so that more lives can be saved. My hope for the future is that Preeclampsia can be found early in a pregnancy and can be treated (something besides mag sulfate would be great!) and/or prevented before it develops into a more serious state.