My husband and I decided in September 1998 to try and get pregnant. I had been taking my temperature to see when I would ovulate, and we became pregnant just a few months later! It was perfect timing–we were able to tell both sets of parents for Valentine's Day.
The pregnancy seemed to be going along smoothly. Being pregnant for the first time, I really didn't know what to expect other than what everyone tells you–swollen hands, swollen feet, etc. I was very small also, which I chalked up to it being my first pregnancy.
I went for my normal monthly visit and the nurse noted I was measuring a bit small and told me she would be able approve another sonogram since I was smaller than I should have been. As the fates would have it, this was the life-saving step
I scheduled the sonogram for about two weeks later in my doctor's office. I wasn't supposed to see the doctor at all, but happened to run into her after the sonogram and showed her how swollen my ankles were. She sent me back into the sonogram room and asked the technician to get the umbilical cord on the screen to measure the movement of fluid in the cord. She didn't like the results and sent me to the hospital. I was only 34 weeks and was absolutely scared to death! I didn't realize at the time it was my life in danger as well as my baby's.
I was in the hospital for two days and saw a perinatologist who assessed the condition of the baby. He was about four pounds, 11 ounces–small, but everything looked good. Both doctors agreed to try and get me through the remaining five weeks with weekly sonograms and two visits weekly with my OB as my condition was pretty bad. The levels of protein in my urine and blood were very high. On Thursday, I was told to go home on strict bed rest and to see my OB the next day.
Well, we made it to Friday and went and had the blood work done. As soon as my doctor got the result and met with me, her immediate decision was to send me right back to the hospital and start induction. They started me on the magnesium-sulfate drip to counteract the pre-eclampsia.
Through the grace of God and the wisdom my doctor had, my son was delivered Saturday afternoon at four pounds, 11 ounces. He was going to be watched very closely for a while to determine if anything was wrong with him since he wasn't even 35 weeks gestation yet. Amazingly, Alexander was fine. I was in the hospital for five days and Alex was able to come home just two days after me. He was such a tiny thing, but quite a miracle.
I look back now and realize how dangerous a situation we both were in. I'm thankful my doctor has the wisdom to act when she did. She told me later that if she had waited like she initially wanted to, we both probably would not have made it.
I regained my health and was pregnant again in about six months, this time delivering a nine pound, seven ounce boy... but that's another story!