For 29 weeks, my pregnancy was nothing but enjoyable. I did not experience morning sickness, I was active and able, and ready to finish out my last trimester while on summer break. At about 30 weeks, I started to feel a heavy feeling in my pelvis. At my 30 week checkup, my OB advised me that my cervix had started to soften and that she wanted me on bed rest until further notice. Luckily, I had just started my summer break as a teacher and did not need to take time off from work.
At 31 weeks, I went back to my OB to see the progression of my cervix. My cervix had not progressed any more but my blood pressure was high and there was protein in my urine. My OB said that I was showing signs of preeclampsia. I had no idea what that word meant. All I heard from her mouth next was, if I don’t show signs of improvement in a week, I might have to deliver at 32 weeks. “32 weeks? 8 weeks early? Can a baby survive at that age?” These were some of the questions swirling around in my mind as I sat in stirrups. But, I sat there silent, I didn’t ask any questions. I was in shock. My perfect pregnancy had suddenly come to a halt and I may have to deliver early. My OB did a blood test to see if I was preeclamsic or not. My doctor asked to see me again in three days.
I made it out the doctors office, down the elevator and into the car. Then, I began to sob. I was scared and afraid of the unknown. When I got home, I did the worst thing possible, I googled preeclampsia. I read about the worst case possible and it made me feel sick to my stomach.
There are many theories as to why preeclampsia occurs. All experts really know is that it has something to do with the placenta and the woman’s body reacting to it negatively. You can read what the experts say at the preeclampisia foundation here: http://www.preeclampsia.org/health-information/cause-of-preeclampsia.
Three days later, my husband and I went to see my OB. She explained that the blood test showed that I was not yet preeclamsic but my BP was still high and there was still protein in my urine. For that day forward, I went into the doctors office every week (sometimes twice a week) to have my BP, protein and a 40 minute NST (nonstress test). The NST checks the baby’s health. It measures heart beat, movement and contractions. Some weeks, my body showed improvement and then it would decline the next. I was on close watch and bed rest for a total of 7 weeks.
At my 38 week checkup, I had my NST first and the baby was doing great. When the doctor came into the room, she had a strange look on her face. She said my BP had skyrocketed and that she wanted to see me again the next morning. The next morning, I went in for a blood pressure check and my blood pressure was even higher than the day before. She then said, “You have come such a long way from thinking we would deliver at 32 weeks. Your blood pressure is so high that we need to begin the delivery process now. Go directly to the hospital and they will induce you to deliver tonight or tomorrow.” Again, I left the office in shock. I took out my phone and called my husband.
I had all of my bags ready in the car. When I got to the hospital, there was NO parking and NO valet. I lugged my hospital bag across the parking lot to the main lobby. Not exactly how I pictured getting to the hospital.