Questions and Frustrations

Are you worried about your partners pregnancy? Has your partner already had preeclampsia? Do you have advice for other dads who could be going through similar experiences as yourself? Post here!
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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby padaddy2b » Mon Jun 18, 2007 02:06 am

Hello everybody. I have had one * of a week, but I have some good news to report... My wife had to do another 24 hour urine and bloodwork last Monday. She had been on strict bedrest, and I made sure she adhered to that (which earned my the title of "bedrest nazi"). We got a phone call on Wednesday that her results were in and the doctor would like to see us the following day at 8am - we NEVER go in at 8am... I knew something was wrong, and Wednesday would be sleepless night #1 for me last week. We went into the office and were told that my wife's protein had gone up from 280 to 3900, and that we were going to have a baby Thursday or Friday (she had JUST turned 35 weeks at this point). We were sent right ot the hospital, though I detoured by the house to get the bag we packed and the list of phone numbers. At this point, I should add that when she got pregnant, I decided that it was time to increase my income and get back into consulting... initially it was good, but the company I was working for lost their contract, and me my job - I had been doing good managing the stress of my wife's problems with the stress of not having a job with the baby on the way. The reason that this is important is to let you know my state of mind at this point in the story - I was a wreck - scared for my wife and baby, terrified about what was happening, and upset that I have not yet found a job and my baby is coming - I thought I had more time! So, we get to the hospital, she was admitted, and they immediately gave her something to thin her cervix. I spent Thursday and Thursday night running back and forth between the house and the hospital taking care of my wife and my dogs. Thursday was sleepless night number two for the week (though I did get everything that we had for the baby assembled at night). Friday morning rolled around and she was started on penicillin (because she had not had a beta strep test done in time to know the results), magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures, and pitocin to induce labor at about 6 am. These medications were administered throughout the day, and by 3:30pm she still had not dilated at all, her cervix had not thinned enough, and they decided that a c-section was in order. It was scheduled for 4 pm though we didn't get into the room until about 4:45. I did very well staying strong for my wife, and was able to refrain from breaking dowm until they took her into the operating room to administer the spinal anesthetic (then they came and got me). I got to go into the operating room and sit with her while they operated, and along with the ob'gyn's there were two pediatricians from ***** in the room. My daughter, Josephine Marie was born at 5:22 pm on June 15 2007. She was 4 pounds 11 ounces, 16.25 inches long, and most inportantly she is healthy. I got to hold her for a minute in the operating room before she was whisked off to the NICU. Her lung function was monitored, and her blood oxygen levels were perfect, her lungs are developed, and all her organs appear to be working properly. My wife was kept on Magnesium Sulfate for an extra day after she delivered and was not allowed out of bed, so we took some pictures of her and taped them up on the bed for my wife on Friday night. I was able to go into the NICU and see her along with both of our parents, though we could not hold her. Friday night, I got to sleep, (the first night of really god sleep in a long time)and for the first time in a long time, I woke up Saturday morning and I was really really happy. Saturday, my wife was taken off the Magnesium, and we were able to get her into a wheelchair and into the NICU to see our baby. Saturday, they told us that the baby was not eating enough via bottle so they inserted a tube into her nose to feed her - to date that is the sole remaining concern. She is lazy with her sucking, she will eat some from a bottle, but not enough. We were told that this is pretty common with premature babies. Today, I got what I believe will be the best fathers day present of my entire life, I got to really hold my little girl for the first time, as did my wife. As an added bonus, my parents and my wifes parents were at my house all day cooking dinner and setting up the clothes and cribbing in the baby's room. My wife is going to be held an extra day, so she is due to be released on Tuesday, but the baby will probably get a couple extra days there. The hospital will allow my wife to remain in the room she is in, though we will have to provide our own food and medicine as she will no longer have the benefit of the nurses. She is in a lot of pain from the surgery, and she wants to be with the baby, so I think she is going to remain until the baby is released. It's been a bumpy ride, but in the end, everything has worked out for the best. My wife's swelling is going down, her blood pressure is back to normal, her protein is low and her kidneys are working, and my baby is healthy. Thank you all for your support and the information that you provided. Knowing what I was dealing with has made what I went through much more bearable and being educated made it easy to ask the right questions and understand the answers. I tried to figure out how to upload a picture of the baby, but I haven't been able to figure it out. If anyone knows, I'll post a couple of them for everyone to see. Thanks !

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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby caryn » Thu Jun 14, 2007 05:20 am

Jerry, that's good to hear. I hope everything stays steady for a few weeks more and your baby girl gets a bit more time to grow.

Please do keep us posted!

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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby kelly w » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:47 pm

Thank you for the update. It sounds like they are watching her closely, which is great!


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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby christyleake » Tue Jun 12, 2007 03:01 pm

Jerry, just read your update. We are in the same boat but we are in pregnancy #2. I had severe preeclampsia in #1 and delivered at 33 weeks. My little girl is now 13 months old and very bossy. My original due date is also July 19th but we will probably deliver on July 4th if all stays stable. We are being monitored and told the same things. If bed rest helps, we keep resting until things change. Our standing ultrasound and appointment is on Fridays. Feel free to email us if you have any other questions or just need a friend in the same boat. My husband would have alot to share with you about that first ride through this stuff and how the second one has been too.

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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby fiona » Tue Jun 12, 2007 02:27 pm


thanks so much for the update - I'm so glad your wife is holding steady. Everything you have reported the docs saying sounds absolutely right to me - good to know she is being monitored closely. It really is a balancing act from here on in and the key is catching things before they go haywire (which is why most docs will deliver at 37 weeks anyway, if they haven't been forced to before then).

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby padaddy2b » Tue Jun 12, 2007 02:18 pm

Hello everyone,

Thanks for all of the information and support - you have no idea how much better I feel now. So here's the latest update... The bedrest seems to be helping my wife. Her Protein is holding below 300, her blood pressure was actually down at her NST yesterday (134/82), the baby's vitals are still all good, and the doctors seem to be confortable with everything at the moment. I have a long talk with her ob/gyn yesterday to try to get a better understanding of where their heads are, and he bascially told me that here is no absolute answer to what will happen. They are monitoring ALL of her numbers, and he says there is no magic number that will determine when they induce her as far as they are concerned. If her BP suddenly goes way up, or the baby isn't responsive enough at the NST, or her protein goes way up, or she starts having headaches/abdominal pain, then we're going to need to talk about taking the baby ASAP. They did tell me, however, that she WILL be here before the due date. They want to take her when my wife reaches 37 weeks to eliminate any possible problems for either of them that might arise if we wait longer. Having said that, we have another NST this Friday as well as an ultrasound to determine size/weight to make sure she's growing OK. If all goes well, my little girl will be here before the 4th of July instead of around the 19th (which was her original due date). I'll try to post again over the weekend if I have some time, but I've been busy putting together all the stuff we got at the shower and finishing up the baby's room. Thanks again for all of your support. -Jerry

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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby blythe » Wed Jun 06, 2007 08:12 am

I love hf's summary of "when to deliver"

I also like rerskine's advice
(toward the bottom of the page) on finding out how your baby's birth will be affected by the disease. We're always so focused on the pregnancy, but the actual birth can bring a lot of surprises, and that's somewhere you can also be a huge help to your wife. Good luck!

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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby hfwarner3 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:32 pm

Welcome to the forum!

First, my wife and I have 5 children. She had PIH or pre-eclampsia with all 5 of them, all 5 were early, and my wife actually had eclampsia with the last one. I know that all this sounds scary right now particularly with your first child, but it sounds like you are doing the right things. You are involved. You are asking questions. You are looking out for your wife and child. You are being a great dad and your kid isn't even here yet. So give yourself a pat on the back that you are already on the right path.

34 weeks is a good place to be, but 36 weeks would be better. 37 or 38 weeks would be even better still. That is the mind-set you have to place yourself into now. You take things a day at a time with the realization that once things move they might move very fast or it could stay just where it is until they induce. If things move, you get a new baby out of the deal! Hopefully the baby can stay in for another couple of weeks just to be safe.

Let us know how things work out for you and feel free to post here if you have questions, need to vent, or just feel like you are going nuts. We have all been there!

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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby anathor21 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 04:18 pm

Welcome to the forums - sorry that you are having to deal with a difficult situation, however I am quite glad that you managed to find us.

You have already received excellent advice and comments on things. I have very little to add to the basic facts that have been shared with you. On one hand the facts can be somewhat reassuring - knowing that 34 weeks is a 'good' place to be is nice and just knowing what to watch out for and what to do (which is pretty simple really - get her to the hospital ASAP) if things look at all like they are going downhill helps a lot.

Keeping calm through this is a very difficult thing to do - as the husband and father we have the duty to advocate for our family and insure that they get the care they need. In order to fill this role we have to research so many "what-if" scenarios and thus will read all the "worst case" stories and take them to heart. Luckily these terrible outcomes are the exceptions - not the rule.

The main weapon that we have against these is the information that you are getting now - as you read the horror stories note that a common theme in many of them is the "I just didn't know" factor. Well - at least you and your wife know more than the majority of folks out there already. You know the signs and symptoms (see Fiona's post), and you know what to do if you suspect anything is going awry. So - your chances are already greatly improved. Obviously this does not give you a free ride, nothing will, but you should be able to take some comfort in knowing more about the enemy you are facing.

What to do now? Well, my advice is generally the same for most folks. I'm a big believer in watching that blood pressure at home - checking it several times a day and keeping a written log to share with your medical team at each appointment. Helps to have the history there so you can see changes and when it is written down in a nice, neat way it conveys a sense of professionalism and helps folks take you more seriously.

At 34 weeks, doing kick counts is a good way to keep a somewhat objective measure (log it as well) of how active your little one is. Once again - having a history will help show changes. Sudden changes in patterns can be the first warning signs. Going with objective measures with some care providers (especially those who don't know you like whoever is on duty in the middle of the night) may carry more weight than "I just feel something isn't right" type of complaints (although most of the mothers here will tell you the "bad feeling" is just as valid - so I would never discount it!).

Anyway - please feel free to shoot me an email if you want, I'm always willing to chat or email or post more if you have more questions. Whatever the case, do keep us posted to let everyone know how things are going!


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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby padaddy2b » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:40 am


Thanks for the reply. To answer your question: I'm actually about 30 miles north of Philadelphia.


quote:Originally posted by Caryn

Jerry, I'm thrilled to hear they're monitoring your wife and your daughter so closely. While no one can give a guarantee, the outcomes for babies delivered at 34 weeks are something around 99% chance of survival and 99% chance of what I think they called "uncompromised survival", no complications from early delivery whatsoever.

That's really good news, because as Fiona says, your wife is sitting right at the borderline of a mild preeclampsia diagnosis, and if they do need to deliver, it will be because they want to keep your wife from getting any sicker and/or know that the baby will be better out than in.

Hypertensive pregnancies are very common (at least 10% of all pregnancies), are more common in first pregnancies, and these days are thought to be due to shallow placental invasion during the first few weeks of the pregnancy, probably because of a maternal immune response to the foreign placenta. The best guess these days is that the placenta starts to release some proteins that damage the maternal vasculature, including the kidneys and liver. The damage appears to be 100% reversible upon delivery, although it can "unmask" a genetic tendency to chronic hypertension or an underlying autoimmune disease in some women.

FWIW, my DS was born at 34 weeks on the nose after two steroid shots; he spent exactly a week in NICU, came home breastfeeding, and has been thriving ever since.

Please keep us posted!

(ETA: I'm currently in Phoenix but I live close to Pittsburgh; are you on that side of the state?)

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