I never heard this word before nor I understand the meaning of it. I didn’t even know that it is fatal for pregnant women and the baby inside.
According to babycenter.com, preeclampsia is a complex disorder that affects about 5 percent of pregnant women. One is diagnosed with preeclampsia if she has high blood pressure and protein in her urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The condition most commonly shows up after she has reached 37 weeks, but it can develop any time in the second half of pregnancy, including during labor or even after delivery (usually in the first 48 hours).
It’s possible to have symptoms of preeclampsia before 20 weeks, but only in rare cases, such as with a molar pregnancy.
Preeclampsia can range from mild to severe, and it can progress slowly or rapidly. The only way to get better is to deliver your baby. To read more about preeclampsia, please click here.
I searched for this word right after the doctor told me that my wife was diagnosed with this kind of disorder during her 7th month of pregnancy. And this was right after my wife delivered our first child prematurely. This is my wife’s story…our story.
On her 7th month of pregnancy, her OB noticed that her blood pressure was considerably high. It registered 130/90, so the doctor instructed my wife to watch her diet and prescribed certain meds to control her blood pressure and see a physician everyday to check it. It was a sacrifice for her coz she needs to go to the health center everyday to have her bp checked. But it was also beneficial for her as well coz the health center is not so far from our flat which she could take a walk and call it an exercise. It became a daily routine for her. She was accommodated by the attending physician an hour after she arrived at the health center to ensure that her muscles and her blood veins had totally rested. But it didn’t go down. It even rose up to 150/110 after several visits.
May 14th, two weeks after, it was the 32nd week of her pregnancy, we went to her OB’s clinic at Makati Medical Center for her scheduled check-up. The first thing that was done to her was checking her blood pressure. It was 160/110. By looking at the doctor’s face, I knew something unexpected was going to happen that day. The doctor advised us that she will be brought to the DR to give her some medications to control her blood pressure and if it doesn’t improve, she will be officially admitted at the hospital.
Thirty minutes passed 3 o’clock in the afternoon, 2 hours after she was brought to the DR, the doctor came back to me and gave me an instruction to go to the admitting office. And that was it. She was admitted for close monitoring by the resident doctors of MMC. They’re trying to control her bp coz as much as possible, they didn’t want my wife to give birth earlier than what was forecasted. Her OB went home, my wife was in the DR and I stayed in the waiting area outside the DR. I was given a chance to get inside and talk to my wife but not so long. She looked terrible. Her eyes were half-open. She tried to move but she looked so enervated, everything was not normal. So many cables attached to her for monitoring – one for the contraction, one for the baby’s heartbeat…can’t remember ’em all. But definitely they’re not for HBO or National Geographic or anything.
Sometime around 7pm, she was checked again. It was 180/110. But our baby was still fine during the ultrasound check. Few hours later, her OB arrived. I was shaking. There was no other choice but to get the baby out, I was told. I stuttered but I guess she understood what I wanted to say. She told me that our baby’s heartbeat was dropping. “He was already stressed, so we need to take him out for the safety of both”, the doctor told me. I was worried about my wife as much as our baby coz he’s supposed to take his first breath of life on July 8th. I didn’t know what would happen then.
Right after that encounter with the doctor, I grabbed my cellphone from my pocket and started the text brigade. I wasn’t in a proper state of mind. But I need to pick up the pieces and focus. I didn’t try to make a call to my family in Cebu or to my wife’s family in Batangas because it was already 2am of May 15th and nobody wants to be disturbed at the wee hours. But I already warned them about the possibilities earlier that night and asked their help to pray for the safety of my wife and our baby.
Few minutes passed 3am, two nurses came out of the room pushing a cart loaded with an incubator. They stopped for a moment and checked the paper held by one of them. I breathed heavily and my heart kept pounding as I looked at the incubator. “Mr. Redido?”, pronounced by the other nurse. I stood up but my eyes sticked at the fiberglass cube with a very innocent little angel inside. “Congratulations, Sir! Here’s your baby and we’re going to take him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Your wife is still in the operating room coz she delivered your child via cesarean section. They are both safe and once again, congratulations! Please follow us or you may wait your wife in your room.”, recited by the other nurse.
I wanted to take a nap but everything was so alive as I closed my eyes. I can’t sleep. I can see my son’s tiny li’l body everywhere I looked. But to hear that they’re both safe was such a relief. I can’t understand what I felt that moment. I looked down the building thru the glass wall, everything down there was moving. I mean, from the dusk till dawn I was heavy-hearted, so troubled and didn’t know what to do until I learned that the operation was successful and both my wife and our first baby were both safe, it’s like I rose from the dead. I felt so alive and everything around me was new. It was such a new day and a new life for me.
First time dad!!! 🙂