The info my friends desire....
(1st child c-section, 2nd child vbac, 3child c-section, 4 child vbac)
I moved to Korea just 2 1/2 months before the Little Lady was born.
The Little Lady was born in Korea with no complications. There was drama but not health related issues to me . She was born in a Korean clinic (not a military clinic or hospital), on a cot, where no one spoke English but the Dr. The customs there and care were shocking -- needles just laying out on the tables, your family brings you food and takes care of your needs, etc. -- not the nurses. (I had a spinal and was not allowed to move for 48 hours). It took days of fighting with them for me to be able to see and hold my baby! Weeks and weeks of trying to get her to nurse after they over feed her formul - 8 oz every 3 hours for a newborn - she was constantly throwing up. And if that wasn't enough, just before she was born, the Dr did an abortion on another lady who did not want a girl. Then, he came in to me and asked me questions to make sure I wanted to have my baby. He delivered my sweet little Lady just minutes later. The Little Lady did have pathological jaundice and it just so happens Koreans know how to deal with it really well! So, despite the conditions, (which were shocking to me but was considered the best in their area) the Lord put me where I needed to be for her to be taken care of with the extremely high levels of jaundice.
In the process of moving to Savannah, Ga, I got pregnant with the Little Man. It is the Little Man's pregnancy in which allows me to say, "I am a class 1 HELLP syndrome survivor!" Hellp stands for Hemolysis , Elevated Liver, and Low Blood Platelets. So, what is HELLP really? Hellp syndrome means that your liver and kidneys are shutting down, your blood is not clotting, and your blood pressure is at stroke level. In other words, your body is shutting down and trying to kill you and the baby. The only cure for HELLP syndrome is to get the baby out (Just like eclampsia) However, if you get HELLP after having the baby, the only thing they can do for you is to give you a blood transfusion to get your blood platelets to rise and give you magnesium in hopes that it will prevent you from getting a stroke and/or seizures. I got HELLP syndrome just after delivering our son and came close to dying.
Some Drs believe HELLP is related to eclampsia because the symptoms start out similar. Others, believe it is something totally different. If they think it is related to eclampsia they tend to believe that it has to do with the placenta. Those that don't believe there is a link to the placenta sometimes believe it is either related to diet or to the child daddy mother's health issues such as immune diseases or to her complications in pregnancy when she was carrying the child's father. (They are still looking at the mother-in-law link in which the son could possibly be carrying something but it would have to be proven by the mother-in-laws health issues and her pregnancy with him.) Others believe that it is the genetics from the pregnant mom to her female relatives and their previous birth issues. All Drs will say there is a noticeable trend that very Scandinavian people with light blond hair and people with red hair tend to get HELLP more than dark hair people.
My mother in law has immune issues and she is of Swedish decent. .My mother is healthy. She has not had any complications with pregnancy. My Mom had red hair when she was little. There is no indication that anyone on my side of the family have had complications but who knows with extended family members. (NO high blood pressure, nothing during pregnancy.). I am a redhead obviously. And, there was no sign that the placenta wasn't normal. It was healthy. I was not on their charts for any complications until recently since more research has been accumulated.
This child got neo-natal mastitis – very rare issue also – two weeks after giving birth to him and was hospitalized.
The Lord gave me a wonderful sweet Dr that had just came out of a HELLP seminar where she learned about the cutting edge research on eclampsia and HELLP syndrome just a week or so before I got it. Then, He gave the Little Man a Dr who recognized the neo-natal mastitis even though she had never ever seen it.
It doesn't really matter if I was going down the eclampsia road on this pregnancy to me. I didn't feel sick and I felt great after this pregnancy. Plus, most of my complications left my body and that is what is intersting to me!
The Lord gave me the same DR and Child Dr for this pregnancy that I had from the second pregnancy so they took anything I had to say very seriously.
(I moved just a couple of months after delivering the Little Gentleman to Tennessee.)
Child 4 (no issues - slight jaundice is all) The Lord allowed me to deliver at Vanderbuilt with a Dr that knew HELLP and understood how careful she needed to be with me doing a vbac with the previous situations. I would have had pregnancy number 5 with this Dr if she had not moved and if I had not moved. She was wonderful. (I moved to Kentucky just 2 weeks before she was born)
(yet, another move, so another pregnancy! giggle)
This pregnancy has had different symptoms and things going on with it very early but instead of listing all of it, I will just get to the most recent. I am borderline pre-eclampsia. That means that all my level are right at the borderline of Eclampsia. My blood platelets and my liver enzymes are normal so there is no HELLP yet. This is what typically distinguishes the two pregnancy complications. However, pre-eclampsia is not good because the levels in the blood and liver can change quickly. So, they are watching me. (Not as closely as I would like them to but then that never really happens. Plus, my body just gave them another issue to deal with...).
LIke I said, I have had lots of crazy things going on in this pregnancy. But about two months ago, I got a sadic nerve issue, then the following week I got hives for 3 days, it was awful and this was what I believed was the trigger point of all the more serious reactions. It was shortly after this that my blood pressure spiked and the on set of pre-eclampsia began... but how do you really prove this? Except that I know my body and know and feel the hormonal shifts!
The pain increased and it felt like labor but I knew it wasn't. It was a constant pain not one of any relief after just a few minutes. I called the on-call nurse and she agreed that the symptoms were not HELLP or Pre-eclampsia related. I had an appointment for the next day. So, I didn't go into the labor and delivery floor. I took some Tylenol and cried most of the night due to the pain. (A good thing now that I know what I have that I didn't go into the labor and delivery floor. I would have taken in a live virus on to the that floor. ) I have shingles. And by the time, that I got to my appointment the next day, the shingles had spread from my back to my front. The legions are only on my back and my stomach at this point.
They cannot treat me for shingles aggressively because I am pregnant. So, they can't give me what other people are allowed to have and they would rather not give me steroids. They have given me some pain medication to take the edge off and an oral antiviral medication that is class B. It is all they are willing to do at this point. The pain medication isn't really even taking the edge off of the pain but at least it is something. Shingles are very painful as you can imagine and also rare in pregnancy. So, I am trying to maintain the pain as best as I can. I can barely walk, extremely itchy and the pain is horrible. I told a friend that the beginning of labor should be a breeze!
Also, I am contagious to those that have not been exposed to Chicken Pox. (sigh)
You see, If my levels of pre-eclampsia go up they will need to do an emergency c-section to keep the baby safe and in hopes to keep me safe. They will try not to allow the pre-eclampsia to go into HELLP. (Not that they really have any choice in this matter. HELLP can happen in seconds). The shingles are in my back area and my stomach and moving around in the c-section cut area. If we do a c-section, this could expose immediatly to the chicken pox virus and shingles instantly.
So, they need my pre-eclampsia levels to remain steady. Unfortunately, shingles travel along the nervous system, and if it should travel lower than it could mean I would not be able to have a vbac. That would lead them back to doing the c-section option. At that point they will have to try to cover up as many shingle infected area as possible before they cut me open.
Long story short, they need the virus to not travel lower. It is just a “Lets see and Wait”. Shingles could take weeks and weeks to disappear. And, I don’t have weeks. I have only 2 to 3 weeks until delivery if all remains on target. The Drs are hoping that the virus will quickly leave my body not just for me and the baby but because they also don’t need a live virus on the labor and delivery room floor.
So, as you can see, this pregnancy has been sort of a trying experience. The whole pregnancy has had issues really and it all started out with me swelling up like a big balloon and just continued into all sorts of crazy things! Toward the end here, I have been on limited activity for months now with the pre-eclampsia , and now I am unable to move very much with the shingles due to the pain. This has all been going on while doing a move to a whole new area, (packing up a house, leaving people behind, finding a new church, new horseback instructor,) Beloved's new job, living in a camper at the beginning of the pregnancy for Beloved's military Schools, and now living in it again at the end of the pregnancy until we get a house on post, and doing home school, etc!
There are only a few people that know all the complications that I have had to deal with this pregnancy and I have appreciate them so much! Beloved and I are just not very opened with a lot of things but we have a few handful of people that we share things with because they support US faithfully with prayer and support! We had so much going on this year with so many changes we just took everything one step at a time as things came up. We would deal with each situation and try to leave the previous things behind -- Always looking forward and trying never to look back! It is the way I deal with stress and the way he deals with stress too, I think! Sometimes, by the end of the stressful time, we forget to tell others since it is all over with and we are on to the next adventure! I guess this time, stress must have caught up with my low immunity in the form of shingles! I don't know? I don't feel stress but obviously my body decided to say "Slow WAY down" because the shingles has put me flat on my back! (sigh)
Anyway, I need a healing touch from the GREAT PHYSICIAN in the form of a miracle. I could use your prayers. I am holding on to 'By his stripes we are healed!" Also, I have just a few weeks left. I am counting on feeling like a million bucks when I am finished and I get to hold her! ;)
On another note, The day I got diagnosed with shingles, My Dad brought my Mom up in their 5th wheel to come help me because I was so sick, close to my delivery, and also to help out since Beloved has a business trip this Sunday and won't be back until Thursday of next week. So, for the first time this entire pregnancy I really got 2 days of good rest despite the fact that I had signed Dr papers months ago that I would rest at least a couple of hours a day! (I did try to rest! But, resting is difficult with 4 children in a camper! ) I am hoping to rest more apparently my body needs it.
Anyway, let's pray that while Beloved is on his trip this Little Ones stays comfy-cozy! The military always has us cutting these things to close to comfort! (giggle) But, it always works out some how! God is just faithful, you know?!
Thanks for your Prayers, Dear Friends!!!!!
PS. There is a standard joke in the family that because I am a redhead - and if I am pregnant -- than I get the things that are rare! It seems once again that this is being played out! Can we say, "Case Study" again?!!! I can't tell you how true that statement really has been! I am a case study and I can't tell you how many people come in to see what we have dealt with, look like, and to ask questions. It is commical but not very restful during our hospital time!