My Baby Saved My Life…

June 11, 2024 By Kara Mitchell

My Baby Saved My Life…

At about 28 weeks, I was slowly developing signs of preeclampsia. There was also concern also that my sweet angel, Bailee was too small for her gestational age. At that time, that the blood flow to the umbilical cord was distressed. I was referred to a neonatal specialist for further ultrasounds and monitoring until delivery (anticipating I would make it to 36 weeks). During this time, I had to check my blood pressure, log it three times a day, along with more tests and ultrasounds than normal.
On October 3, 2016, at week 30, I went for my routine prenatal visit with my OB/GYN. I prayed that my blood pressure be normal but it was through the roof! After three times of checking over an hour and being hook to a fetal monitor, it didn’t budge. My doctor and nurse came in slowly and told me, “Ok! You will have to go upstairs (my doctor’s office was located in the hospital). I already have an order sent to admit you.” I was frozen. Stuck if you will. “Your blood pressure is too high and I can’t let you go home.” I was admitted into the antepartum unit and it was the absolute worse. I did not get any rest. I was hooked to a monitor that checked my blood pressure every 15 minutes. But through all of this, my baby was perfectly fine, despite being small. On the morning of October 7th, the neonatal specialist came to check on me and do an ultrasound. “Baby girl looks good!”, he said. We discussed that he was still gearing at a 34-36 week delivery pending my lab results weren’t alarming. That afternoon, I was told, “Things are ok right now but I’m waiting on the rest of your lab work.” A few hours later, it was, “Things aren’t looking good. I’m going to call your doctor and suggest an emergency c-section.” In a matter of hours, things changed that quick. He said, “You’re sick.” All the time I was saying, “I don’t feel sick. I feel fine.” He tells me, “The rest of your lab work indicates that your body is shutting down. We no longer can wait. You have to have this baby today. We can’t wait until you are 34 or 36 weeks like we discussed.” Later on that’s when I was informed I had HELLP Syndrome. and was severely preeclamptic. The level of protein in my urine had reached 805. (The ideal range was 30-150). My platelet count was extremely low. How could all of this be happening, but I felt totally fine. The other physical symptoms of HELLP syndrome (swelling, headaches, pain in my abdomen, nausea), I was not experiencing. I was overwhelmed and in complete shock. Meanwhile, Bailee had the strongest heartbeat and moving just fine. The evening of October 7th, here she was! Bailee came out screaming at 2lbs 7oz and 13 1/2 inches long. As I laid on the table, I had to touch the incubator to tell her goodbye before they wheeled her off to NICU. My baby was improving, but I felt like I failed. I blamed myself for giving birth to a premature baby. I kept asking myself what did I do wrong? What could I have done to prevent this from happening? Why me? I was depressed. But my baby got stronger each day. For 5 weeks Bailee was in the NICU. And for 5 weeks I never got any bad news. Every single day of those 5 weeks she improved. My baby was (and still is) a fighter literally and figuratively. And not to mention, was the talk of the NICU!!! Everybody knew “Miss Bailee”. Nurses who weren’t assigned to her for the day would come in to see this baby the other nurses were talking about.
NICU nurses are truly angels on earth. They not only care for your baby but also make sure you are taking care yourself, educating you, and available even after your baby is home.
Although my pregnancy and birthing experience was not ideal, I had support, faith and I believed in the power of prayer. I was so worried about her being small and not wanting to deliver her prematurely, my life was in danger. Despite how critically ill I was, Bailee was ok. I realized, she was delivered prematurely to save me.