Sunday, October 12, 2014

Postpartum Preeclampsia

If you missed Little Sunshine's birth story
but would like to read it first to make sense of this random illeism
you can find that post here.

Chapter Two: Postpartum Preeclampsia
The hospital required Little Sunshine & her mother to stay 48 hours after birth before being discharged,
because unlike the hospital in California
they wait until the baby is 48 hours old to do the newborn blood screening.

Her husband stayed at the hospital with her the first night
while her kids stayed at home with their family friend, Meg, & her two boys.
He had to leave the hospital at 5:30am to go watch the kids
since Meg had to get her boys to school & go to work.
They tried to find someone to watch the kids during the day
so that he could go back to the hospital
& keep his wife company while they enjoyed their new baby,
but they were unable to find someone.
He decided to take them to see 'Planes: Fire & Rescue'
at the movie theater as a daddy date,
then they all came to the hospital for a little while afterwards.
He stayed at home with them Wednesday night
since he was cold & uncomfortable at the hospital anyway.

As promised, Grampa stopped by the hospital on Thursday to meet the wee one
before heading home from his business trip
& the father-of-now-three brought the older kids with him that day
so they could see their grandfather before he had to go to the airport & fly home.
They stayed & visited for a while
& the young mama was glad to have their company.
She was also very excited that she & her new baby would be going home in just a few short hours.

A little bit before her father left,
she noticed some tightness in her chest & shortness of breath.
She found it peculiar,
but dismissed it because she had experienced a lot of that during the third trimester.
She began to notice a slight headache behind her eyes
& it was getting difficult for her to concentrate or focus.
The children were a little stir-crazy & were running all over the place
so she thought that perhaps that was why her focus was off a bit.
They said quick goodbyes & headed back to the house to get the other car
so that the wife & newborn could come home with them after the 48 hours was up.
Things continued to get worse after they left.
The mother began having heavy palpitations & a pain in the center of her chest with each one.
It was getting more & more difficult for her to concentrate.
She felt a lot of anxiety & got very lightheaded & dizzy.
She thought that maybe her blood pressure was low
so she pressed the call button.
When the nurse came in to check it
she was shocked to hear that it was waaay too high.
I can't remember exactly what it was since there was so much going on & I couldn't concentrate
but it was 180 something over something.
Not normal.
They called the OB in to check on her.
When the doctor arrived,
she asked the mother a bunch of questions
then ordered a CT scan with contrast...
She wanted to rule out clots because of the chest pain, palpitations, blood pressure, & whatnot.
She also mentioned that they would not be discharged that day.
The bewildered mama called her husband in tears
& filled him in on everything that had happened after he left.
After the call, they took her to get the CT scan done.
The right side of her neck began hurting after they put the contrast dye in,
& it would continue to hurt for almost a week.
She had no clue as to why.
The results of her CT came back normal which was quite comforting,
so the OB came to the conclusion it was most likely postpartum preeclampsia that was causing the symptoms,
& they treated it as such.
The mother was moved back into a labor & delivery room
where she was placed on a magnesium sulfate drip for 24 hours,
accompanied with air circulation cuffs for her legs,
a pulse monitor on her toe,
& a blood pressure cuff that was checked hourly.
Little Sunshine was sent to the nursery for the night, except for feedings,
so that her mom could get adequate rest for a speedy recovery
& also because her mom was confined to the bed
aside from bathroom breaks when a nurse would unhook everything but the IV.
Halfway through the night she was sent back to a postpartum room
since all the babies in the area decided to be born right then.
The next morning, Little Sunshine's father drove her siblings to the hospital for a visit.
GrandBo & CiCi also drove up to see their new granddaughter, although they could only stay one day.
The mommy loved the company, but wished they were all home.
Her husband & other children felt the same way.
Little Princess even brought her mommy a 'get well soon' flower after a walk with CiCi.
It brightened her day immensely.

Her OB wanted to keep her there another night
for observation without the magnesium sulfate drip.
Her blood pressure was elevated a few times,
but not so high that it concerned the doctors.
It fluctuated all throughout the night,
her symptoms would come & go,
& she had a pretty big anxiety attack at one point
but when her doctor came in the next afternoon,
she was given the okay to go home.
GrandBo & CiCi came back to the hospital with her husband & kids
to pick up the mama & new baby
& to spend some time with them before they drove back to Tennessee.

A little while after they got home, her husband took their oldest two children to the airport to go pick up Nani.
It was really windy & stormy out & her flight was delayed.
As they were sitting in the cell phone lot waiting for her plane to land,
he was monitoring her flight on an app.
He watched the plane circle around a few times to wait out the storm,
then it eventually turned around & was headed towards Illinois.
It wasn't a very large plane so it needed to refuel before heading back to Indianapolis.
They decided to get some dinner while they waited,
then went back to the airport to pick her up once her flight landed
It was great having Nani at their home for the week.
The young mother continued to have symptoms periodically throughout the week,
but they were never as bad as they were at the hospital.
Her blood pressure was very inconsistent.
The systolic would range between 160 and 130
& the diastolic would range between 105 and 75.
By the end of the week it was back within normal range,
with the occasional spike around 140/90.
She enjoyed her mom's visit nonetheless
& appreciated the help with the kids while she was there.

Gramma came to visit a week later.
The mama was doing much better at this point.
Her blood pressure was completely normal
& her symptoms were mostly gone.
She was grateful for the company & help
as she adjusted to life with three kids,
but Gramma couldn't stay forever..
This meant no more visitors for a while,
& that she was on her own yet again.

Chapter 3 coming soon...
Three Kids

post signature


  1. My sister in law had a baby in June and she got postpartum preeclampsia! I had never heard of it until then. She was even check out of the hospital and had to go back. Scary!

    1. I hadn't heard of it before either... I lucked out having the symptoms start while I was still at the hospital. It was scary, but it would definitely be even more scary if it started at home!

  2. I have never heard of this either!! I'm so glad for you that you were still in the hospital- it makes me wonder why discharge is usuall within 24 hrs...

  3. It wasn't letting me type anymore. Anyway, how is your anxiety?

    1. It's much better now. I still have little anxiety attacks from time to time, but they aren't nearly as bad. I had never really had them before so it's weird when I have them.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...