I was scheduled for a follow up appointment for a nonstress test for the baby (who had been perfect on the monitors thus far) on Friday the 17th. At the end of the appointment the nurse did a BP check. High. The doctor decided to draw some labs. At first she said they would draw them there. But when I mentioned my face had been a bit puffy that morning, she quickly decided to send me over to Duke to have the labs drawn, so the results could be in within an hour.
So I get to Duke L&D. They take me back to get my BP and blood. My BP was something like 180/90. Not particularly good. They took it several times, and it was staying that high. They got their serious doctor faces on. Serious doctor faces are not what you want to see. They said that I was officially preeclampsia with severe features, and that I was staying in the hospital until the baby arrived. They were going to try to get me as close to 34 weeks as possible. At this point I was 30 weeks. They decided to start magnesium sulfate. I had heard terrrrible stories about mag. Luckily it didn’t make me puke, at least. But overall it is a pretty horrible drug that has the potential to be toxic, but at the same time is very useful in its ability to prevent seizure.
For those of you who don’t know, I had a friend who died recently as a result of preeclampsia turned eclampsia/HELLP. The doctors did a lot of reassuring me (at least one of them remembered my friend, as she was at Duke) that this was a very different situation. But either way. As much as the mag sucked, I was glad it existed, because preventing seizures is definitely good. Though it did mean yet another catheter. Also, I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything other than clear liquids while on the mag. Me not being able to eat is so not good.
The next week and a half is a bit of a blur. I do know that my friends and family are amazing. They cleaned my house, cooked food, picked up Lorelei from daycare, sent me presents in the mail, visited, and just generally took care of things so Zach and I didn’t have to. I am not totally sure how I managed to make it through each day. I watched a bit of TV. Read The Neverending Story. Napped. Visited. Ate. They took my vitals every four hours, day and night. The first few nights they gave me Ambien to help me sleep. They gave me blood pressure medication. The first one had some bad side effects for me, so they switched. For the most part it was keeping my BP in the moderately high range, instead of the really high range. A few times I had readings that were actually really close to normal.