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Birth Stories at StorkNet ~ your pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting community
Tonya and Lauren Grace
High Blood Pressure, Induced Labor with Pitocin, Cesarean Delivery

My due date was January 9th, 2001. We were so excited about expecting our first child. The first three months were pretty good except for some occasional morning sickness. I started gaining weight right off the bat. I gained weight at each monthly visit that I had.

During my fourth, I started wearing my maternity clothes. My blood pressure started going up and my hands and feet starting swelling. During my fifth month we found out the baby's sex, and my blood pressure was again high. I told myself that I was just nervous and excited about finding out the sex. I was so worried and scared about my blood pressure being so high; we went to the store and bought a blood pressure kit so I could keep tabs on it. During my lunch break, I would go to Rite Aid and check it there.

Things started progressing with my hands and feet during my sixth and seventh month. I could not wear my wedding rings at all. My feet were so swollen that the only pair of shoes I could wear was Keds tennis shoes. I had to squeeze my feet into them a lot of times. I was swollen from feet all the way up my legs. My knees looked like two softballs.

I started seeing the doctor every week starting in my eighth month because my swelling was getting worse. I was swelling too early in my pregnancy. My doctor scheduled me for another sonogram because he thought I might be developing pre-eclampsia, and to see if there was fluid in the womb. I did not have any protein in my urine. My sonogram checked out fine. My doctor ordered me to go on bed rest until the baby was born. It was impossible for me to quit work six weeks before Christmas. I continued to work but I would come home and rest. Since I couldn't quit work my blood pressure continued to rise. I had a stress test at each visit. Right before Thanksgiving my dad went into the hospital and had open-heart surgery.

As Christmas approached, I was shopping and wrapping presents and not resting like I should have been. I had so much to do plus I was so big and very tired. On Christmas day, I could not wear any shoes at all. We were off from work on Monday and Tuesday for Christmas.

My next appointment was on Wednesday, December 27, 2000 at 10:30. I went to work at 8:00 and left work around 10:15 for my appointment. The hospital is only three minutes from where I work, which was nice. I could not wait to see the doctor and was hoping that he would tell me that I was dilated or that I had dropped and it wouldn't be much longer. Well, none of the above happened. My blood pressure was 160/90 and my doctor wanted to admit me and get me started on magnesium to control my blood pressure. He said that he wanted to get the baby out as soon as possible so he was going to induce me. He said that he didn't think that inducing me was going to work because my cervix was still too high and thick. He said more than likely I would have to have a C-Section. He would not let me go home because I might start having seizures. I was in total shock. I was calling my husband and work to let them know what was going on as they were wheeling me down to labor and delivery.

I called grandparents and told them that we might have a baby today but that I wasn't real sure yet. They started my pitocin around 12:00. The doctor said he would come around 6 p.m. to check on me. I told everybody not to come until around 6:00. I started to get a stuffy nose and didn't know why. Well, the doctor came in around 5:00 to check me and NOTHING. He said we could stop the pitocin and put in a cervix softener and try again in the morning and end up with the same results that we just had or have a C-Section. We decided to have the C-Section.

In a matter of what seemed like seconds, they came in and gave me my epidural. They were not wasting any time. I didn't feel anything when they gave me the epidural. Then they started prepping me. My parents got there just in time before they took me into surgery. Thank goodness my mom brought her camera because I didn't even have a bag packed much less a camera. Everything was happening so fast. I was sick from the epidural. I was scared to death. My husband was there with me all the way. I went into surgery around 5:45 p.m. and my little angel girl was born at 5:55 p.m. 13 days early. She weighed 7 lb. and 7 oz. and 19 inches long. She was so beautiful with a head full of hair and the most gorgeous blue eyes. I was awake during the whole surgery.

When I got back to my room around 6:30, I could hardly hold her because I got sick again from the epidural. I was so drugged up. I got an upper respiratory infection. I ran fevers of 103, took breathing treatments, had a cough that hurt so bad especially after having a C-Section. My oxygen levels kept falling and I had to be put on oxygen because I couldn't breathe, was put on more drugs. I had two chest x-rays done. I was trying to breastfeed and could hardly take care of the baby and my blood pressure started going back up and I wanted to go home. I stayed in the hospital for five days. We finally went home on New Year's Eve with our beautiful, healthy baby girl and brought in a New Year together as a family.

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