Well, things certainly can change quickly! Within a week I developed severe preeclampsia. Before I get into things, for those of you who have no idea what preeclampsia is here is definition of from the Mayo Clinic Site:
Preeclampsia is defined as high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman who previously had normal blood pressure. Even a slight increase in blood pressure may be a sign of preeclampsia. Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both you and your baby.
So what's the One- Two, Pow? Well... it sort of felt like enough to be dealing with the fact that our baby might not make it, or be very sick, but then when my health went downhill really fast.... we were thinking it was a little overkill for pete's sake! One of those times where you say, "Really God, now this too??" Despite the question, God is with us and completely carrying us through this experience.
Last Weds at my OB appointment in Santa Barbara, my blood pressure was up and I had started to look puffy. She sent me in for lab work and since I was still recovering from a virus anyway, told me to stay home from work the rest of the week. Thursday around lunch time, Doctor called me back, saying my liver enzymes were high and I needed to get to UCLA to have them check me out further. They wanted me at UCLA in case I needed to be admitted, since this is where Drake's delivery will occur. Thursday, we drove to UCLA and were here until late Thursday night. After several hours of tests and monitoring, they agreed to let me go home to Santa Barbara under the condition I was on bed rest, checking my blood pressure at home, and going in for check ups at least twice a week. It felt a bit like a "false labor experience". We had our bags packed and ready to go. We decided to keep them packed just in case.
I was disappointed to have to start my leave from work much more suddenly than I anticipated. I had sort of been hanging onto work, happy to have something else to think about, invest in, and get me up and going every day. Also, I like my job and genuinely care about the families I work with and I hated leaving them with such short notice. My supervisor was incredibly supportive when I had to call her and tell her I was done, all of my co-workers have been amazing supports through all of this, which really put my mind at ease. We discussed getting to word out to all my clients and how my clients would be covered while I was gone and set up one final "bed rest style" meeting for the next week, where I could have my last formal case review time with her and let her know all the loose ends that needed to be wrapped up along. Good thing we already work very closely and she knows where my clients are at in their process, needs, etc, because that never happened......
On Sunday afternoon I began having some pains under my ribs on my right side and my blood pressure started creeping up. We called our primary doctor at UCLA and she told me to go to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara right away, to have them run more labs and check me out. They hooked up me and Drake and our local OB met us there. Almost immediately upon seeing her, she told us we needed to get to UCLA. So, off we went.
I was admitted to Labor and Delivery upon arrival at UCLA on Sunday Night. after a few more blood draws and urine samples done STAT, I was diagnosed with Severe Preeclampsia. I was immediately started on a IV drip of Magnesium Sulfate drip, which is a medication to increase blood flow and prevent seizures (which apparently was the danger zone I had entered). Side note: The IV/needle experience warrants a blog post in and of itself, coming from someone who has needle medical phobia. I will have to share my thoughts on all this later as it has been quite a process for me through this pregnancy. Anyway, getting my IV in for the meds was the most awful part of all this for me! It wasn't your typical experience either. Of course, the girl who is a needle phob gets the veins that decide to do funky things at the time the needle needs to go in (Makes me a little light headed just to talk about it again). After several different pokes, several different nurses, injection sites,methods, etc. the nurses gave up and decided they needed to call the Anesthesiologist on call to get it in. I tried to zone out as much as possible and practice relaxation exercises with Jon, while in the meantime I was literally shaking and my body had gone into a panic. Obviously, it eventually ended up in.
The Mag drip makes you feel like have been hit by a truck almost instantly. It also makes you feel like you suddenly entered a sauna or decided to lay out in death valley. They warned me I would probably feel like I had the flu for the next 24 hours, and they was pretty much correct. It also made me really loopy and tired, so I was at least sort of out of it for the whole thing. It can also make your body go toxic, so close monitoring is required at all times and you are not allowed to move much at all.
Steroids were also ordered for Drake. At this point, they did not know whether or not I would stabilize and they wanted to be prepared in case we need to go in for a C-Section within the next 24-48 hours. The steroid shots I was given were to help Drake's lungs mature faster. (Not to enhance his athletic skills, but Jon says that would be OK too). They kept him on a constant monitor throughout all of this, and he stayed the same, just plugging along with his little miracle heart that really shouldn't still be working- Good Boy Drake, you're a tough cookie!
By Monday evening, there were many things to be grateful for:
1) They were able to stop the Mag Drip (thank God!).
2) So grateful that Drake had stayed the same (again, PRAISE God!)
3) Our parents were able to hop on a plane and get out here, and were in my hospital room by late Monday night. (Such a relief and blessing)
4) I was showing signs of stabilizing and starting to feel much better.
5) An amazing hubby who has been by my side second by second. Keeping me calm, and keeping me laughing too!
So where are we at now? I still have severe preeclampsia, but I'm stable. However, I have to be at the hospital, on hospital bed rest, until the time comes for Drake to be born. The timing of that is still on TBD basis, day by day. All depends on two factors now: Me and Him. We're really in this together! They still want him to cook as long as he can since he isn't getting any worse. The more mature he can big, the less prematurity complications he has to deal with on top of his heart condition. However, they also don't want to put me at any higher risk, so it is a balancing act. Our doctor gave us an average guess of two weeks, but really, who can predict. None of this has been predictable!
I have family here with me. My parent's are staying at a hotel near by and Jon's Mom is also here. Jon's Dad is in Congo for work.... so we've only had minimal communication with him. (Prayers for him appreciated also!) He is scheduled to be back in the U.S. on the 24th. My dearly beloved friend picked up and drove out here from Vegas to be here, amazing!! (Love you Ali!). Other who are nearby UCLA have visited as well. Also, flowers and some fun packages have ALREADY begun to appear in my room. I feel so spoiled and very loved, thank you!
Being on bed rest has allowed me some time to write a long post, so thanks for reading all the way through! I'm sure there will be more to come. Unless things take another quick turn......