I am a single woman who only wanted one thing in life, a baby. After many years of trying to have a baby, with ups and downs, steps forward and steps backwards, Eliza Grace was conceived via IVF in September of 2005. It was to be a wonderful pregnancy, or so I thought, despite being on a small pharmacy of drugs to maintain the pregnancy. All was going well until a routine visit to the OB in January 2006 revealed that I had slightly elevated blood pressure. With medication my blood pressure remained reasonably normal for a few more weeks. Then in February 2006, my blood pressure slowly crept upwards. Bedrest at home and medication were no longer controlling it and after a visit to my OB I was sent off to the hospital. The original plan seemed to be to get my blood pressure under control and discharge me to home on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. Within a few hours it was very apparent that this was not going to happen, ever.
Looking back, initially I was not too alarmed about my admission. However as the hours dragged on and as my blood pressure kept going up to a high 215/125, I realized this was not normal and that things were never going to be "normal." Thankfully I was surrounded by good friends and my cousin, who is also a NICU nurse. I do not know what I would have done without these women by my side, especially my cousin. As the evening progressed I began to vomit and shake uncontrollably and had a crushing headache worse than any migraine I can recall. I think it finally dawned on me that all was not well when I saw the resident outside if my room holding his head in his hands. This is never a good sign.
The OB explained that at 23 weeks with IUGR (intra-uterine growth restriction) that the baby's viability was questionable. I was given steroids to help develop Eliza's lungs but needed to hang on at 24 more hours for the second round of steroids. Eliza was not even a pound according the ultrasound. I was given Demerol via IV for the headache pain and Magnesium Sulfate to prevent seizures and hopefully to help lower my BP. I was moved to Labor and Delivery and began to wait. I was surrounded by caring nurses and doctors who all tried to reassure me that all would be well. I am not sure I really believed them but somehow by morning my BP was down to a reasonable level and I and Eliza were given a brief reprieve from an early delivery. And so began my stay on the Labor and Delivery floor.