I don’t talk much about the twins’ pregnancy.
I’ve read about so many tragic pregnancies and mine has a happy ending.
But then I heard about the…
DOWNTON ABBEY SPOILERS!!!
…death of Lady Sybil from eclampsia and a lot of memories came flooding back.
Mainly I remember that I was not supported by anyone except my marvelous ObGyn and her staff. The twins and I were in danger and people were oblivious or they didn’t know or they didn’t want me to drag them down. Some people (like my parents and brother who don’t live close by) I kept in the dark. Others I told the dangers to and they shrugged, certain everything was going to be all right in the end. Which, to be fair, it was. Others dropped me as a friend because I was “a bummer.” Seriously, someone said that. Because who wants a friend with a complicated pregnancy? And mine was pretty complicated.
Here’s a partial list of my pregnancy’s complications:
- Hypermesis that lasted 28 weeks. Hypermesis is severe morning sickness. I eventually had to go on an anti-nausea medication (something I held out against for a long, long time) or face hospitalization until the hypermesis faded away because I was malnourished.
- Round ligament pains. They hurt and were scary but weren’t actually dangerous.
- A low-lying placenta and threatened placenta previa.
- Pre-term labor contractions at 31 weeks. After an ER stay, I was put on bedrest.
- Pre-term labor contractions again at 33 weeks. Another ER stay. More bedrest.
And the final hurrah: My blood pressure started to creep up at 35 weeks. The protein test was positive. Each day in my 35th week I had to have my blood pressure taken and I had to do the protein test. Every other day I got a blood test. Each day was an evaluation of where I was on the pre-eclampsia scale.
The day before my water broke at 35 weeks 5 days, my ankles and legs swelled dramatically. I called my fabulous ObGyn, who was concerned and told me to go to the ER immediately if my head hurt or the swelling continued in my hands or face or if I became nauseous. I was to come into her office the next morning, regardless. I’m going to be dramatic here and note that while luck played a large part in our ending, her careful and diligent care of me is probably also a factor in why we are all here today.
I delivered the next day.
After delivery, the nurses gave me an emergency call button and told me that if my head began to hurt at all or if I had vision changes, I was to push the button. Immediately.
I only now know what any of this meant, after reading about the serious dangers of eclampsia, which killed Lady Sybil.
What is my point? I don’t know that I really have one, other than to say: if you are pregnant and feel lonely, you are not alone. Pregnancy after infertility treatments and loss is fraught with anxiety but it’s also fraught with increased risk and complications (even without multiples) and those around you might not appreciate that. So please surround yourself with careful and kind medical professionals and friends and family who can support you. And please read this.
And so endeth my PSA for today.
Did you feel lonely during your pregnancy and/or afraid? Were people there for you?