February 23, 2014

Preeclampsia with severe features and a hospital stay

In my last post I talked about my high blood pressure readings. Because of the high readings, and the levels of protein found in my urine, I was told to start taking my blood pressure at home.

Tuesday, the day after my appointment, I went to a local pharmacy to pick up a blood pressure machine. While I was there I took my blood pressure. The reading wasn't very good, something like 149/95. I hoped I was just getting an incorrect reading. Once I got home I tested myself again. Still high. I rested on my left side for 15 minutes. Took the test again. Still high. At this point I'm not sure what to do. So I continue to rest and test. After many high readings, I called my husband and told him I would need to go to OB triage to be monitored. He came home to be with the kids, and I left for the hospital. I've been here ever since.

After getting to triage, they hooked me up to the machines, and once again I was producing high readings. The monitoring started out pretty normal. Nurses and doctors coming and going. Blood work, many blood pressure readings. After about two hours (7:00pm) of being in triage, the nurse opened the door, and showed me a wheelchair. She told me I had a room ready in L&D. At this point I still thought I would be going home that night. Silly me.

I went to L&D and was hooked up to about a million cords. The nurse took my blood pressure again. It showed a ridiculously high number. She rushed out, and within two minutes, I had an IV started, and meds were being pushed through to lower the pressure. A few minutes later my pressure was taken again and it was in the 150's/90's. They also started a magnesium drip... I suggest you try to stay away from this stuff unless you enjoy headaches and puking.

After all of the drama we waited for the OB team to come up with a plan, and finish up a C-section. About 10:00pm a team of about 5 doctors came in, and didn't waste much time in telling me that I would be induced that night. I had a hard time hearing this info, but I acted brave, and told them I understood what was happening and why. After they left I completely broke down. My nurse comforted me since I had no one with me. The memories of this moment still brings tears to my eyes. It was very surreal. L&D nurses are so awesome.

Now I had the duty of calling Guy and Dror, and giving them this heartbreaking news. I dreaded telling them their babies would be delivered at just over 28 weeks. How horrifying! They were aware I was being monitored, but I don't think any of us were thinking delivery at this point. When they answered the phone I told them the bad news right away. They immediately put me at ease. They didn't panic or lose control. They would start making arrangements to get to MN ASAP.

Sleep was out of the question for the rest of the night. Doctors and nurses came and went throughout the night. The plan was to give me meds to soften my cervix, and start pitocin at some point. The goal was to deliver Wednesday afternoon/night. This would mean Guy and Dror would miss delivery, which we already assumed.

As the night rolled along, the Chief OB came in with another update. They decided to hold off on delivering for the night. My levels seemed to be stabilizing, the babies were doing great, and she just wasn't comfortable in making the call to deliver. We would wait for the MFM doctors (Maternal Fetal Medicine) to review my file in the morning. Hallelujah!!

Someone was watching over us, because the MFM doctors came in the next morning to tell me as long as everything stayed stable, and the babies looked good, we would do what is called "expectant management." This meant I would make the call as to when we would deliver. Obviously if something in my levels changed I would lose that privilege though.

Wednesday I was moved to a Antenatal room where I would start my hospitalized bedrest. The babies and I would continue to be monitored closely. The guys were all set for a long flight to MN, and... we were expecting a huge snowstorm. Perfect timing (sarcasm)...  But as long as I could stay stable, everything would be fine.

Wednesday and Thursday went by without incident. The only struggle was that G&D's connection flight from Chicago to MN was cancelled due to the snowstorm. Again, if I could just stay stable everything would be okay.

Friday morning brought good news. G&D were on their way to MN. Even though the weather was still bad, the flight would go on as planned. The morning cruised by with no bumps. The afternoon was different story. Just as G&D were coming up the elevator to the birth center, I was being wheeled back to L&D because of more high blood pressure readings.

G&D came into the room just before the nurse started hooking me up to all of the monitors. We all hugged, and then the monitored started. It wasn't a great way to start off their visit, but the nurses and doctors were able to stabilize everything again. While being monitored we were able to meet with the MFM doctors and a member of the neonatal team. I had already heard everything, but it was nice for G&D to hear it directly from the hospital staff.

Today is Sunday, and I've had a symptom free day! I won't be able to leave the hospital until after the babies are born. Hopefully we have some time before that happens. For now, we will take it one day at a time.

Here is my last at-home bump picture:

February 21, 2014

Biophysical Profile Test and Preeclampsia

Yesterday we had our first weekly monitoring test. The test was preformed by ultrasound, where the tech watched for movements and breathing. Both babies scored an 8, which is perfect. I was thinking the test would be a bit more invasive, and include being hooked up to machines. But it was simple and fast.

After the ultrasound, I met with my OB. First I had my weight and blood pressure checked by the nurse. The nurse took my blood pressure 3 times. I was thinking maybe she wasn't getting a clear reading. Then she asked if my bp was normally high. My inside voice screamed "NOOOO" but I calmly told her that it's usually low. She was getting a reading of 130/80. She told me to sit tight and she'd recheck in a few minutes. So I sat. I knew it wouldn't show a lower number. I was not feeling high energy or anxious so there were other reasons why my bp was reading higher than normal.

She retested and got a reading of 130/82 every time. Grrr... So babies are doing great, but now we have a blood pressure issue. After talking with my OB for a bit, she sent me to get lab work done. I had a blood draw and a urine test. Later she called to tell me the levels of protein in my urine were higher than they like to see. Nothing major is happening right now. We are still only monitoring the situation. For now the babies and I are being monitored twice a week, and I need to check my blood pressure at home a few times a day.

I wrote this post last Tuesday morning........... things took a wild turn later that day. I'm writing that post now.

February 11, 2014

28 weeks brings us some concerning news

As surrogate we have this huge ass responsibility of keeping babies safe and as healthy as possible while in utero. We do this by making wise and healthy decisions. As hard as we try to keep ourselves healthy enough to have a successful pregnancy, sometimes concerns arise that we have no control over. Much like the situation we are in now.

Today marks the twins at 28 weeks gestation. Up until yesterday, the babies have been doing great and staying pretty much right on track. I take pride in the fact that my past pregnancies have caused no concerns and ended in the delivery of a healthy, full-term baby/babies. So yesterday when we learned that one twin is much larger than the other... I was feeling disappointed, to say the least. Of course, I should not be disappointed in myself - this is totally out of my control and it was nothing I did. That doesn't stop me from feeling like I should be able to fix it.

During the growth ultrasound yesterday, the tech was very surprised by the difference of sizes. Baby boy (A) is weighing in at just over 2 lbs and baby girl (B) is weighing in at just over 3 lbs. A one pound difference may not seem like a lot, but when you look at their percentiles, baby boy 16% and baby girl 97%, you can see there is quite a difference. Also, baby girl is swimming in a lot of fluid. This is leaving baby boy with a very small living space.

After the ultrasound, I met with my OB. She is such a sweet, gentle lady. She broke the news pretty much immediately that this is a concerning matter and it will require weekly monitoring. The weekly test will be a Biophysical Profile Test, which is much like a Non-stress Test. The seriousness of everything didn't really register with me until my OB said I would need to take 2 doses of steroid shots to mature the lungs of the babies. The first dose was after my glucose test, which was after my OB appointment (and BAM... passed it by 2 points, I'll take it! NO 3 hour test for me!). So I had my first my dose of steroids yesterday and my second today.

Having to take steroid shots leads me to believe we will deliver sooner than our anticipated date of April 24. This bums me out because (1) I was hoping to have a chance to go into labor naturally. Usually one likes to go into labor on their own rather than using drugs to help induce. The chance of a C-section is pretty high too. With 5 pregnancies and 6 babies under my belt... I've never had a C-section. I would much rather deliver naturally, but I am not totally anti C-section. Whatever will be will be. And (2) April 24 is the birthday of a very special person in Guy and Dror's life. It would be fun for her to share her birthday with the twins.

In the end, we just pray for two healthy babies. It's hard on all three of us because everything feels so up in the air. I could go in for testing one day and need an immediate c-section. That means the guys miss out on the birth of their babies. Of course, the most important thing is the safety and health of the babies, but I know how much they would love to watch their babies enter this world.

As all of this news settles, the guys and I have talked a lot (I guess we talk a lot anyway). We are feeling good that all will be okay. They are feeling mostly comfortable and calm... or at least, they play it off very well that they are :) I am feeling optimistic. The hardest part is waiting to hear decisions on a week by week basis. It would be awesome to go in for testing on Monday only to learn Baby girl has slowed down and Baby boy is going through a growth spurt.

Here are some u/s pics:

Baby girl... look how pretty she is!

Baby boy... look how smushed this sweet boy is. That is baby girl's head you see beside his face. It was harder to get a good image of him because of his position.

Recent bump pictures: