Tuesday, January 10, 2012

18 Months

Hi folks: Just popping in. My second son, born preeclampsia-free is now 18 months old. Pic here. He is a hellraiser, with the face of an angel. My first son, born at 28 weeks and 2 lbs due to preeclampsia, is now 6 and doing fantastic.

I encourage any of you who have found my blog as a result of a Google or other search to be sure to visit the Preeclampsia Foundation at http://www.preeclampsia.org/. I've seen lots of inaccurate information on the internet about preeclampsia, so best to start with them. There are great discussion boards there as well and they are the ONLY non-profit whole sole purpose is to find a cure and prevention of preeclampsia.

Best of luck to anyone considering pregnancy after preeclampsia!


Monday, August 23, 2010

7 Weeks Post Partum

Just popping in to post a quick photo. I am still getting very little time and dealing with a fiesty 5 year old and a very tempermental 7 week old. R is growing like a weed (11 lbs+ at 7 wks) but is quite fussy and we continue to try to seek ways to alleviate it.

I will pop in occasionally and update, and eventually document a bit more about my preeclampsia free pregnancy. Sometimes it is still hard to believe we avoided it, given how bad the first pregnancy was.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

3 Weeks Postpartum

Just quickly signing in to say hello. I am shattered - totally exhausted. The baby is doing great but is not a very good sleeper and pretty darn fussy if not on the boob or being rocked. It is very difficult managing him and the 5 year old. Still, grateful for the outcome and on a good note, breastfeeding has gone very well this time. Reed has grown 1.5 inches in the past 3 weeks and gaining around an ounce a day.

Will try to pop in now and then, and also add some final thoughts and a summary. Many folks ask what I did differently this time (what I took, etc) so at some point I will try to post a summary for anyone that stumbles across the blog. Next year I'd really like to get involved with support/fundraising for preeclampsia awareness, so I won't be going away.

Take care and my prayers and best wishes to all those expecting after preeclampsia,


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Baby Reed: One Week Old

Little dude has alot of hair!

Doing well, not much sleep but to be expected. Am still being followed 10 days post-partum with daily calls to check my blood pressure because preeclampsia can strike after delivery. Technically it can strike up to 6 weeks postpartum though I believe the most dangerous part is 48 hours after delivery. My BP is definitely higher than when I was pregnant (oh the irony) but not in a dangerous level and not enough to be PIH (about 126 over 75 a few minutes ago but I have had some 130's over 80's). Tomorrow the monitoring should end.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Introducing Reed

As mentioned below we had our son Reed on July 1st. We ended up doing a repeat c-section at 39 weeks rather than attempt a VBAC. I was second guessing my decision not to try for a VBAC up until we went into the operating room. Partway through the surgery my Ob tells me she is rather shocked to find my uterine wall fairly thin and tells us she is glad we did not end up doing a trial of labor. (And this doc is very pro VBAC) So who would've known - probably woulda been okay but glad we didn't chance it.

I ended up having a bad reaction to the morphine or anesthesia and ended up vomiting during the operation and all night afterwards. Not fun! Just lifting my head would make me chuck. That was probably the biggest complication of the whole pregnancy.

Anyway we are home and recovering and my son is a voracious breastfeeder. Breastfeeding a preemie was extremely difficult with my first son, so I am thrilled this is going better, and seem to have enough milk to feed a small nation.

To all of those pregnant after preeclampsia or considering it, I wish you all the best of luck from the bottom of my heart. I am happy with the outcome but man, I would not wish a high-risk pregnancy on anyone. It has been one of the most nerve-wracking times of my life. Don't let anyone downplay your anxiety or not acknowledge your fears. They can't understand unless they have been through the experience themselves.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

He is here!

I gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 7 lbs 4 oz! Still in hospital out tomorrow. More then!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Letter for My Sons

At long last, tomorrow we meet you son #2. I think some people talk about waiting 9 months. And 9 months/40 weeks is a heck of alot of time. But the truth is the journey has been so much longer. 5 years really. I remember even as early as when Liam was in the NICU wondering if we were ever going to have another child or if the decision had basically been made for us (we felt at the time we could never risk it again). Throughout the past 5 years it's always been on my mind, sometimes in the back hidden away, sometimes actively discussing the risks with the husband. But it's always been there. So many times throughout we leaned more one way than another. Even last June, we went in for a pre-conception appointment with the perinatologist and had alot riding on the meeting, basically if we had no trust in their care and their gameplan, or if they recommended we NOT try again, we wouldn't have gone forward. And I would not be here about to give birth tomorrow afternoon. Ultimately we would have made peace with that decision, because you have to make peace with what life deals you, and in the words of Mick Jagger you can't always get what you want.

But alas, we went ahead. It's worked out. It's been scary as hell at times. I don't take it for granted. And I won't count my chickens until the baby is here and we are released and start a new chapter in our lives. And I can return the darn blood pressure machine to Kaiser.

My second son and my first son will have had the most completely opposite of birth stories and arrivals. I wonder how your personalities will differ. I can't wait to see your bond develop despite the five-year difference. I wish you both could have had the same opportunity to have been born safely and calmly. I wish son #1 could have had the additional 11+ weeks son #2 has gotten in the womb. But your stories are all part of who I am, and hopefully will have made me the best Mother I could be. It is what it is.

And tomorrow we welcome you to the world!

Edited July 1st: Oh good Heavens! Called the hospital. No beds so we have been bumped a couple hours. Haven't eaten since 4am and can't have anything by mouth. Hoping to get in at 4pm. Oh well I suppose this is the irony of having had an emergency c-section 5 years ago and bumping everyone else out of the way :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

39 Weeks

Unless things change, we are looking at 48 hours to go until we meet The Tenant. Tenant has been very active and seems like he is ready to come out. I wish he'd come out on his own volition but am glad he's been healthy. Back in September I could only have dreamed of reaching 39 weeks with no signs and a BP recording taken a few minutes ago of 114 over 66. Feeling very uncomfortable and think I have doubled in size this week but have had an easier time with husband off work and grandparents out. More later. Must take final belly pic. I have my last exam with my Ob tomorrow.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Last Blood Test....Maybe?

Update below (5/25/10)

Just doing my usual Thursday night wait for my lab test results to come in. We've had labs run at different times throughout the pregnancy and then went to weekly since about Week 34? Can't quite remember. Anyway I go on Thursday and get results emailed that night, which is so nice about Kaiser. While I have no reason right now to be concerned it is always with a touch of anxiety that I await news of what my blood is doing. Can I just say I am so relieved this will be over and I will meet my second son in exactly one week? Enough blood checks, enough urine checks.

Otherwise doing well. Ankles started to swell a tad but seems to be normal at 38 weeks. Not exactly pretty but not abnormal. BP still really good for 38.5 weeks. Still walkin a bit as it helps circulation and then putting my feet up when I can :) At the moment we have a c-section planned in a week, though if we go into labor before then we will attempt VBAC. I would love that but it doesnt seem the fellow wants to come out. Discussed pros and cons of waiting longer than 39.5 weeks for labor to happen naturally. Tough one - this is not a normal situation and lots more potential risks in waiting for VBAC than with someone who did not previously develop preeclampsia so severely last time.

Anyway sorry my writing isn't too clear lately. We have Grandparents flying in tomorrow from England and just an absolute shitload of stuff to get done still. Changing table is still in a box. Oh and we haven't decided on a name yet...or should I say haven't agreed!

Update: Blood tests came back same as last week, ie no change. So good! I believe they may take one more blood sample the day before the c-section but the official pre-e bloodtests are over unless something should suddenly change with my home monitoring. Dealing with insomnia, up at 5:30am. Sigh...

Anyway short prayer to my body, please hang on for 6 more days and continue to support my baby. It's been a long road.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Question re Blood Thinners

Someone asked me a question in the comments awhile back as to whether I am on blood thinners and if I had the underlying tests done. So all the tests were done after I had preeclampsia and HELLP in 2005 and all came back negative for any condition or gene mutation. With my new perinatologist she also tested homocysteine levels (which has something to do with the body not processing folic acid right) and these were normal. I believe if you have the MTHFR gene mutation - which many people do - sometimes your homocysteine level is high (possible link to preeclampsia and increased stroke risk) Anyway truth is I was never tested for MTHFR and my perinatologist's reasoning was that mutation is common in Caucasians and what really matters is whether your homocysteine level is high or not.

So...being there were no known underlying causes we went with low-dose baby aspirin rather than any of the hardcore blood thinners like Lovenox used by many in post pre-e pregnancies. I started the LDA before conception. I know some folks are more comfortable waiting til after 12 weeks and this is something to consult a doctor about - I only offer my take. But I figured if preeclampsia is something that starts to form right at conception and is essentially a problem with bad implantation of the placenta, then I wanted my blood to be in as good a condition as possible from that moment.

Of course it would be nice to not take anything during pregnancy but it's a risk/benefit analysis at end of day. I was encouraged by a smallish study out last year showing no increased risk of brain bleeding in babies whose moms were on LDA: http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/634272.html