Valorie’s Birth Story

March 15, 2013

My husband and I were married in January 2012, and we were eager to start a family. After a previous miscarriage at 7 weeks and an ectopic pregnancy in 2011 where I lost my right fallopian tube, I was a little nervous, but ready to be pregnant with a healthy, growing baby. I thought I would get pregnant quickly because I had the previous 2 times when I had gotten pregnant, but no such luck. It took us about 5 months to get pregnant. When I finally did, we had seen a doctor about fertility problems, but I hadn’t even had time to take the medicine! We were ecstatic and my due date was set for January 24, 2013.

I made it through an extremely easy first trimester, with the exception of some anxiety, with almost no symptoms. We found out at 18 weeks that I was having a baby boy, and were even more excited to start preparing for his arrival in January.

On October 7, I got a terrible headache that wouldn’t go away. I tried to wait it out, but I ended up taking some Tylenol and it still wouldn’t go away. My blood pressure (BP) never even crossed my mind. I just chalked it up to not getting enough sleep the night before. On October 9, I had my regular monthly OB appointment. When the nurse checked my BP she said it was a little high and had me go lay down. When she took it again it was still high. I was then admitted to the hospital for the day for fetal monitoring and they started my first 24-hour urine collection. The baby looked great so I was sent home to finish my collection. I turned it in the next morning and once they tested it was called in to get another jug and start another one and my doctor wanted an appointment for the next day. I did my second, went in for the appointment and my BP was higher so I was admitted to the hospital again for more monitoring. At the end of that day the doctor came in and told me that I had pre-eclampsia and was on strict bedrest for the duration of my pregnancy. I had no idea how I was going to do that for 3 months! He also told me that if I started feeling bad at all to come back to the hospital immediately.

On October 16, exactly a week after this all started, I woke up and didn’t feel good. I immediately called the doctor and she had me come in. My blood pressure and urine proteins were even higher than the week before, so I was put in the hospital again for the day and my doctor said that she thought she was going to send me for a referral with a doctor in Indianapolis (90 miles away from home), the next day. By the end of the day, my BP was still not going down and the high risk doctor I would be seeing and my regular OB decided they wanted me in Indy that night. So I was put on an ambulance and taken 90 miles away from home to another hospital with a level 3 NICU and admitted to the high risk unit. Once I got there they immediately started my steroid shots for his lungs and told me that I wouldn’t leave the hospital without having our baby, which could be another 3 months. I felt completely isolated when my husband went back home because I was so far away.

The next few days were the same routine, fetal monitoring and constant BP checks. The baby was always fine and my BP was not dropping. October 22, I woke up feeling awful. It hurt to breathe, and I couldn’t hardly stay awake. I was scared to death and tried to put up with it but I finally told the nurse. She immediately asked me where my husband was and said she wasn’t trying to freak me out but that I should probably get him there. The nurse left to go call my doctor and talk to her. Not 5 minutes later I was being hooked up to magnesium and signing consent for c-section papers. My doctor came in and told me that the preeclampsia had gotten severe and was causing my liver to swell and that she wanted to do an emergency c-section immdiately. My husband was still an hour away and I was only 26 weeks pregnant. I was terrified for me and our baby. I had to beg the doctors to wait for my husband. As soon as he got there they gave him scrubs and I was taken to get my spinal. I started getting sick while they were doing the spinal and I was crying I was so scared. This was not at all how I imagined having my first baby. As soon as my spinal was in they brought my husband in and we had our baby boy Maverick. 1 lb 10 oz, 13.5 inches long, 3 months and 4 days early.

We spent 75 days in the NICU. Maverick was born healthy, but tiny. He had PIE in one of his lungs and spent 1 month on both a ventilator and a high frequency ventilator. He had an open PDA that was closed with medicine. He was diagnosed with ROP in both eyes but has been released from that. He spent 2 weeks on CPAP and another month on a nasal cannula. He came home at 4 lbs 9 oz but with no extra equipment. A very healthy, but still small, baby boy.