Sunday, August 22, 2010

My birth story

I developed severe pre-eclampsia and then later eclampsia. I was induced at 37 weeks even though I really wanted a natural childbirth free of medical interventions and pain medication... Neither of those things happened. I like to think that I took the epidural because of all the pitocin I was on (and it was a lot) and the fact that they broke my water, but she is my first child, so I wouldn't know any differently.

I had a fever at birth, so they had to take my baby girl away and give her an IV of antibiotics, but other than that she was healthy and beautiful. She weighed 6 lbs 9 oz and was 20 inches long. She was- and still is- absolutely perfect.

The reason pre-eclampsia is such a concern is because high blood pressure can cause a lot of problems... Most commonly seizures or stroke. I had two seizures after my daughter was born and I was in the ICU for 6 nights... Away from my daughter and my family. I was absolutely miserable. In fact, I would not be exaggerating if I told you that I have never experienced something more terrible in my life.

I can't know for sure, but I imagine that is what it feels like to be in a coma. I knew my family was with me (in the very short time they WERE allowed to be with me during the day) but I couldn't talk. I couldn't do anything. I wanted my daughter and I wanted my husband. I could feel emotion, but I couldn't express it. So, even though I was so happy when my husband and mom were able to see me, I couldn't show them... And they couldn't see me "cry" when they left, but honestly, I'm glad they didn't. I tried asking about my daughter, but I couldn't do that either. I missed her so much.

I barely remember anything from my stay in the ICU. I do remember being put on the stretcher in the ambulance, my emotions and feeling my second seizure coming on, though.

My husband helped me make all of my medical decisions for me, because I was incapable of doing so at that time. Thankfully, my husband is a researcher like I am and helped out a lot.

It still hurts sometimes, especially when people judge me for something minor, like not breastfeeding. Sometimes I tell them my story and sometimes I don't. It really isn't any of their business. I just feel so fortunate that my daughter and I (now, thankfully) are both healthy. Isn't that enough?

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