On August 17, 2008 at approximately 2:30 a.m., I called my husband, Richard, at work and told him that I felt like I couldn’t breathe and needed to go to the hospital. About 30 minutes later, when we left for the hospital, I noticed that my fingers were blue.
When we arrived at the hospital, I explained to the triage nurse that I was 35 weeks and 6 days pregnant, my fingers were blue, and I had been having trouble breathing for three days. He checked my blood oxygen level and immediately determined that I was not getting sufficient oxygen into my body. A normal blood oxygen level is between 95 and 100. My blood oxygen level was at 67. At that point, I was wheeled directly into a room and a swarm of nurses and doctors appeared around me. I was hooked to what seemed like every machine in the room and had a mask on my face forcing air into my throat and nose.
It wasn't long before they determined that I was suffering with Severe Preeclampsia, Cardiomyopathy, and Pulmonary Edema. My blood pressure was high, my heart function was very low, and my lungs were filled with fluid. I was told that they had to deliver my baby so that they could save my life. I was terrified!
At 1:05 p.m., Drew was born via c-section and, after seeing him for mere seconds, long enough to give him a kiss on the cheek, I was whisked to the ICU. Around 3:30 p.m., I went into respiratory arrest, as my body stopped breathing on its own. I was placed on a ventilator and my family was called in and told to prepare for the worst. A social worker went to speak with my husband and started asking questions to assess his ability to care for a newborn, if I were to die. After 3 days on the ventilator, my lungs were working again and the breathing tube was removed. After two more days in ICU, I was released to a Mother/Baby room and I was finally able to hold my baby for the first time on August 22, 2008. The hospital allowed my mom to bring Drew to back and stay in the room with me that night. We got to go home together on August 23, 2008!
Despite being a premature baby, Drew was born without any complications and has become a very smart, healthy, and active 9 year old!
I am hopeful that one day every pregnant woman and her physician will be aware of the signs and symptoms of this way too common syndrome associated with pregnancy. Please take the time to educate your self and your loved ones about Preeclampsia. You may be able to save a life or two one day!
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.