Spent the last week in the hospital and let me tell you what a fun experience that was.
The friday before last, 3/18, I started having sharp pains in my abdomen every time the baby would kick. I was only about 33 weeks along. I called the doctor when it started hurting pretty bad and they sent me to the hospital for a non-stress test. I am used to getting NSTs because I am required to do them twice a week anyway because I also have a condition called cholestasis of pregnancy. So I went in not expecting much, and though the baby was doing great according to the NST, they admitted me overnight at the hospital because they could not come up with an explanation for the pain. The pain got worse-- to the point where I had to have help walking and simple things like changing positions on the hospital bed would take five minutes.
They did a lot of blood testing and found that my liver enzymes were elevated and my blood platelets were a little bit low. My blood pressure was totally fine. They also did an ultrasound on my liver and kidneys and found that my kidneys were swollen. On top of that they did a CT scan to check my appendix and gallbladder-- both fine. The scan showed I have kidney stones in both of my kidneys, so they originally thought maybe that was a cause for the pain. However, as time went on, where the pain was manifesting and the fact that I wasn't passing any stones made them think kidney stones were not the problem. The doctor ordered a 24-hour urine test to check for protein (loads of fun) and when it came back it showed me as being in the preeclampsia range. That combined with the elevated liver function and low blood platelets worried the doctors as being a form of atypical preeclampsia (basically preeclampsia without the high blood pressure). At this point I had seen several doctors who had also conferred with a few specialists at the hospital. The specialists were pretty convinced it was preeclampsia and that I needed to be delivered as soon as I hit 34 weeks. My doctor wasn't entirely convinced so he kept me in the hospital and kept repeating the tests to see if there was any change.
Much to everyone's surprise, the labs started getting better. My liver function started coming down and my platelets started going up. Because my pain was starting to ease (and because I think they could tell I was going to have a nervous breakdown if I didn't get out of the hospital) they let me go home on bed rest, with plans to continue the NSTs and regular blood testing.
I got home and was feeling ok for a few hours, but before I knew it, new pain started and I started panicking. I started having pain in my shoulders and chest and it was really painful to breathe. Sean took me back to the hospital and they re-admitted me. Again, the baby was doing just fine and was being monitored closely. The fact that I was having such difficulty breathing made the doctors worry I could possibly have a blood clot. So once again I was wheeled down for a CT scan of my lungs. They tried to have me lay down on the table for the scan and I honestly could not do it. It was the most severe pain I have ever felt. When they got me on my back I honestly could not breathe. They had to send me back upstairs in the hospital for pain medication and we had to wait for it to take effect before trying to lay me on my back again. Luckily the medicine worked and I was able to lay on my back for the scan. And we were very happy that the scan showed no sign of a blot clot.
Basically from that point on I was just in the hospital and having tests repeated on me every 12 hours. The pain started easing again and my labs continued to get better and better til eventually the liver function and platelets were in the normal range. The doctors ordered a new 24-hr urine test and it came back thursday morning in the normal range. By thursday I was feeling MUCH better and once again they decided to let me go home with the same instructions of NSTs twice a week and regular testing.
I have been home since Thursday and I am still feeling pretty good. I am not 100% and still have random pains here and there, but it is a night and day difference compared to how I had been feeling. I am now 34 1/2 weeks. I was starting to feel like maybe I was in the clear, when I found out this morning that the lab at the hospital messed up my last 24-hour urine test. This was the test the doctors were really concerned with, so when it came back in the normal range on thursday, they felt good about sending me home. The fact that now I have to repeat the test because of error makes me extremely frustrated and nervous all over again. I do take comfort in the fact that my other labs have improved a lot, and just hope at this point that this next round of testing (which will be done tomorrow) will yield good results. I had to go in for another NST today and the baby continues to look great on the monitors, which is obviously the most important thing.
Here is what I don't know:
Which of the symptoms I have/had caused the pain
If I truly have preeclampsia
If my 24-hour urine test will show elevated levels of protein in the urine
If the medication I was on for cholestasis could have been the cause for some of the pain
When I will deliver (could be this week if labs are bad or could be as late as 37 weeks-- not later because of the cholestasis)
What I do know:
I still do not have high blood pressure
I have kidney stones and my kidneys are swollen
As of thursday my blood platelets and liver function tests were normal
My appendix is fine
I do not have a blood clot
Spending a week in the hospital sucks
As of right now I am extremely happy to be home and feel very blessed that I have not had to deliver yet. I know this is a direct result of many prayers and a priesthood blessing. Any extra time this little guy has in the womb is a plus. We have had an outpouring of support and help from family, friends, and neighbors and we are really grateful. We really appreciate and welcome all of the prayers in our behalf. My mom and sister have been saints taking care of Jackson all week and he has had such a great time I don't know if he's even missed me! Sean has been an amazing support and I am grateful he is so patient and loving.
So here's to hoping testing goes well these next few days and our son will get more time before he makes his debut. I will try to be better at updating!