Why Should This Have Ended Normally? Pt. 2

The morning of Monday, December 3 we saw HTBM’s doctor. We had the blood pressure checked first…155/92. High blood pressure? Check. Then, the protein urine test. Mild preeclampsia are levels from 300 to 5,000. Severe is anything over 5,000. Results? 14,000. That is not a typo. Protein in the urine? Check. Big time check. We were on our way to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, MN.

We weren’t worried at this point. From everything we saw, they’ll monitor the situation. The call will be made at the right time to deliver the baby. Mom and baby will be fine.

We got to the hospital, and the blood pressure was spiking big time. 200/105. HTBM felt fine, but it was a bit scary to see numbers that high. They got her admitted and wanted to start some blood pressure intravenously right away. Problem was, the swelling was so bad, they couldn’t see her veins. Literally couldn’t get an IV in her. The first person couldn’t, and neither could the second, third or fourth. My wife was looking bruised and bloody. It really sucked. They finally gave an oral BP medication, and obviously, finally got the IV in about 10 minutes later, after 90 minutes of effort. After a bit of time, they gave another BP medication, and then we saw the baby’s heart rate start to get sluggish. I started to panic and alerted the nurses, who simply squeezed more IV fluid into the IV, and we saw things normalize quickly. Scary moment #1 over.

As things normalized, they gave HTBM a betamethosone shot. They give moms this shot twice, 24 hours apart, when they expect you to have a premature baby. So we got shot #1. We were being told, ‘at least you got one shot in. Any amount of time with one shot will help.’ The ideal is getting to 24 hours past shot #2. They weren’t giving us much of a shot of getting that far. In fact, we were being told we wouldn’t make it to shot #2. One problem with that, though. They didn’t know HTBM. They didn’t factor in her strength.

HTBM was pretty loopy the rest of Monday 12/3 and Tuesday 12/4. She was on magnesium sulfate to help prevent seizures caused by high blood pressure. But the blood pressure was controlled, and her bloodwork was showing organ function that was more or less stable. Platlet counts were dropping a bit at first, but then actually increased and stabilized. Betamethosone shot #2 was given at 3 PM on Tuesday, 12/4. We still weren’t given much hope of getting to the optimum time of 3 PM on 12/5, but we were beginning to have some hope.

3 PM on Wednesday 12/5 came and passed. HTBM got to take a shower. She was off the magnesium sulfate and feeling relatively good. By Thursday, 12/6, we noticed her legs starting to de-swell. How odd! The doctor came in and started talking to us about an extended stay in the hospital. She said the preeclampsia could get much worse very quickly, and this could happen any time. Or, things could stay steady for several days or weeks moving forward. When we first checked in, the doctors were ready to perform a c-section within a matter of hours. Now, we’re being told natural delivery is possible, and it could be several weeks. Again, nobody factored in the strength of my beautiful wife.

But sometimes, strength isn’t enough. Preeclampsia would force our hand just hours later. The swelling that had been in HTBM’s legs started to move into her abdominal cavity and, yes, into her lungs. The night of Thursday, 12/6 she complained of pressure and shortness of breath, but she and the nurse believed it was gas and treated it as such. Then came a bathroom run at 3 AM…and we wouldn’t go back to sleep. It’s hard to sleep when you can’t breathe.

Next post coming quickly.


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