Kristi - posted on 01/08/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )
Telling my story is cathartic for me, so if you don't want to read a big story, stop reading now. I should start by saying that Wes is our first child. We had no previous pregnancies, and up until November 7, 2008 the pregnancy was completely normal. No high blood pressure, no nothing.
On November 7, 2008 I went into the hospital in our hometown (small town of about 8500) with some massive upper abdomen pain, and since I am a tough one, you can imagine what the pain had to be like. I was admitted pretty much immediately and put on bed rest. My blood pressure was high, but I didn't really know what was going on. I was at that hospital until Sunday afternoon, when it was decided that I had "HELLP" Syndrome.I was transferred to a hospital in a larger centre to be induced, as I was told they have the "facilities and knowledge" to deal with HELLP Syndrome.
No one really explained anything to me, other than I was being moved to a new hospital because my issues were something bigger than my small town’s hospital could handle.
So, then we were in the next hospital and an Obstetrician took over my care. They attempted to induce me from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon and then I started to bleed. The induction wasn't working, and now there was an issue with clotting. The decision was made at about 5:00 pm on Monday to transfer me to the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary because now my health was in danger, therefore Wes's was too. Still none of us (my family) really understood what was going on. I arrived at FMC sometime around 7-ish. I was admitted to the ICU Obstetrics Unit, with a platelet count that was so low the Doc's had never seen it before. I was pretty messed up on drugs by that point, and all I knew was that people were coming in left and right (friends and family) and telling me things. I don't really remember a ton of it though. I know that I ended up needing 3 separate platelet infusions before the Doc felt confident that I could possibly make it through surgery. Finally at just before midnight on November 10 they wheeled me into the operating room and proceeded to knock me out and take Wes. He was born at 12:19 am on November 11, 2008. Don and my mom watched him be born (sort of) but I was completely knocked out. My doc talked to my mom and Don after word and explained that for now things were touch and go for now with me, but were great with Wes (except that because he is a preemie (35 weeker) and could possibly face lots of issues. He was sent to the NICU. I saw Wes for the first time on Tuesday morning around 8am. The fantastic people from the NICU brought him over to the ICU and put him on my chest. Apparently my blood pressure dropped to normal for the 1/2 an hour that I held him, then skyrocketed again once he was taken away. It was amazing to see him, but I was still having a hard time believing that I had a son.
I was in the ICU from Tuesday early am to Wednesday late pm. I had tubes coming out of me and was on oxygen. I was black and blue from the many many many attempts at putting IV’s in me, and then having the veins fail. I was seen by a hemologist due to the major blood issues related to HELLP Syndrome. I can’t believe how many doctors needed to see me and monitor me. I was transferred from the ICU to the normal postpartum unit to attempt to feel functional again. I knew my only goal was to get my son and to go home. I didn't get Wes in my room and out of the NICU until Friday afternoon. I did what I had to do and was finally allowed to go home, with my son, on Saturday, November 15th.
It still bothers me that I didn't get to see my son being born, or experience his birth at all. I was afraid to fall asleep for the surgery, because I was scared that I wasn't going to wake up. But here I sit, with my son sleeping on my lap, and I know that I am truly blessed. I just hope and pray that if we decide to try this again, we have a "normal" birth and I get to experience that amazing moment with my husband.
I would love to hear other people's stories .... and thank you for listening to mine!