I'm sure you all know by now the devastating effects preeclampsia has had on our family. In 2007, about 6 months into my pregnancy with Brennan, I started to have severe swelling. I was gaining water weight rapidly so my doctor sent me for some blood work. My platelets were low so my doctor thought I had HELLP syndrome, which can be developed alone or more commonly along with preeclampsia. I was admitted to the hospital and I was shocked to learn that I would be delivering my first baby boy in the next few days at 29 weeks. Luckily I was able to wait a few days and receive the steroid shots for his lungs. He was born on Monday June 18th, 2007 and weighed 2lb 12oz. He went between a ventilator and CPAP for about 5 days and finally extubated himself and did well on only oxygen. He spent 6 weeks in the NICU receiving feedings through a NG tube until he was big enough and strong enough to come home with us. It was a very trying time for our family. We made it through that journey and we are so fortunate that today he is happy and healthy at 4 1/2 years old.
In February 2010 I found out I was pregnant with twins. We were so excited to be welcoming two baby girls to our family. I was so nervous that I was going to develop preeclampsia again. I feared for my daughters' lives my whole pregnancy. I started having swelling at 17 weeks. I was eventually diagnosed with preeclampsia again. I went to the high risk doctor every week from 19 weeks on for monitoring. There was this horrible beast slowly taking the lives of my babies and all I could do was wait, until either I was too sick to carry them or they were at too much of a risk to stay in my body any longer. I was admitted at 23 1/2 weeks, having no idea how much longer I would be able to carry them. In the time I was in the hospital I developed more swelling, more protein in my urine and my hemoglobin and platelets were dropping rapidly. I received a blood transfusion to ensure they were getting enough blood supply through the placenta. I reveled in the sound of their hearts beating on the monitor every chance I got. I went for an ultrasound every day to make sure they were getting the blood supply they needed. I hoped with every ounce of my being for the best outcome possible. I spent 12 days in the hospital before they were born, fearful each moment that at any time they may have to be delivered entirely too early. At 25 weeks, it was determined that I was too sick to continue with the pregnancy and my sweet daughter Reese was not getting an adequate blood supply. It was a miracle that I was able to keep them in an extra 12 days so we held onto that hope. The hope that things may be rough, but that our daughters would be here with us forever. They were born at 25 weeks, Reese weighed 1lb 2oz and Scotlyn weighed 1lb 3oz. They did exceptionally well for how early they were and their size so we had more hope to hold on to. Scotlyn started having some issues that we didn't think were anything too serious at first. Then at 4 days old, we were called to come to the NICU immediately because she was getting very sick very fast. They started coding her and it was the most horrible sight to see your child in that position. It was obvious their efforts were not helping and she was entirely too sick to keep going. We quickly made the decision to let her go in peace. We spent the next next week holding onto hope that the same thing would not happen to her sister. We lost one daughter, which was devastating enough but to lose both of our daughters was unthinkable. Reese fought so hard for that entire week. She was also fighting an infection that the doctors did not know where was coming from. She battled as much as her little body could handle. At 11 days old, we were told they were having a hard time keeping her oxygen levels up as she was on the maximum ventilator support. I held her for 6 hours with Casey by our side. I snuggled her under the heat lamp and talked to her. Her vital signs improved and she raised her eyebrows at the sound of my voice. I held onto one last ounce of hope that maybe it wasn't her time and she would pull through. The doctor decided to perform a small procedure to try to find what could be causing the infection, which she tolerated fairly well at first. She began to deteriorate again and it was just time to say goodbye. We were in complete shock at what was happening. We left the hospital without either of our babies and it was the most unreal time of my life. I am so thankful for the time that I got to spend with my girls. Nothing can replace that and nothing can ever replace them. It has been a very traumatizing time in my life. I will forever be changed by their presence in my life no matter how short of a time it was. I miss those girls every moment of every day.
This walk is very important to me because preeclampsia has had a major impact on our lives. There is no definite cause, prevention or cure for preeclampsia. That sentence is downright scary! Not to know the cause of something so brutal, for there not to be a way to prevent something that takes the lives of mothers and babies each day and for there not be a cure if you happen to be the unfortunate one plagued by this condition. This walk will raise much needed funds for the research of preeclampsia and provide important information to mothers at risk or being affected by preeclampsia. If you want to walk with me or make a donation, visit the website below. It would mean more than you know!
You can register to walk with us or make a donation for our team here!