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Nothing Was Ever Normal

March 12, 2021 By Leslie Vaughn

Nothing Was Ever Normal

My entire pregnancy with my first child was horrible. I don’t think I went one day without throwing up, or hurting. The headaches were awful. I really had a bad feeling the entire time that something was wrong, but I was young, new to the pregnancy world, and was already going through a lot so I brushed it off as stress. Two weeks before my due date everything took a turn for the worst.

I went in for a routine visit and was told the doctors were sending me to the hospital because my blood pressure was elevated and climbing. The nurse came to get my urine sample and stared at me in shock when she saw how dark it was. It was the color of tea! Less than an hour later I was informed that I was in the beginning stages of multiple organ failure, HELLP Syndrome. At this point they banned visitors (except for my daughters father) and started me on magnesium. I was at an extremely high risk of seizures or a stroke.

The next 2 days were such a blur. They mostly passed without any further problems and at midnight on May 2nd my daughter was born. This is where things went downhill. My daughter was in respiratory distress and was rushed to the NICU, I didn't even get to hold her. I think an hour passed and the room started to feel cold. I kept shivering, until it turned into a full body tremble and I couldn’t stop. The nurse walked into my room to do another fundal massage and when she lifted my blanket off me to do the massage I noticed a look of shock flash across her face before she quickly exited the room. The next thing I knew there were alarms going off on the floor I was on, and then a red light started flashing in my room. The room was soon filled with the emergency response team, as they frantically tried to stop the hemorrhage I was then informed I had.

My doctor had to manually find the source of the bleeding, they pumped me full of morphine as I screamed in pain, and shock at the situation. I was shivering so bad at this point you’d think I was having a seizure. There was blood everywhere. I remember glancing across the room, thinking I wasn’t going to ever wake up again. One of the nurses standing over me looked down at me and asked if I could tell her my name. Everything was going black as I used every ounce of strength I had to try and say my name. But I couldn’t. The last thing I heard before I lost consciousness was the doctor calling for an OR.

I woke up hours later and the same nurse was sitting there watching me, the confusion I felt was overwhelming. She told me I had lost so much blood they were preparing me for a complete hysterectomy when I lost consciousness. Luckily, they managed to find the source of the bleeding and stop it moments before. I don’t think I fully grasped the weight of her words at that moment. My only concern was my baby. They told me she was doing good and that she would be moved into my room in a few hours following her 12 hour blood sugar check. The thought of waiting hours to see her did not comfort me and one of the amazing nurses I had got approval to wheel my bed down to the NICU so that I could see her. She was tiny, but she was healthy and safe and for that I would go through it all over again! We were both discharged the same day, I think about three days later.

My daughter would end up going home without me though because the day we were discharged I started having trouble breathing. My breathing worsened to the point I could hardly catch my breath. I ended up back in the hospital for another week due to internal bleeding, and problems with the left ventricle of my heart, It was definitely one of the most traumatic experiences I’ve had. My second pregnancy I developed Pre-E but it did not get nearly as bad as the first time! Thankfully I had a great doctor who listened when I said something wasn’t right!

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