I was supposed to become a mom today. July 18, 2015. Instead, I’ve been a mom to a sweet baby boy for 2 weeks now. Presently, Colton is on a feeding frenzy. In fact, I’m typing this out with one finger on my iPad because I can’t seem to catch a minute in which both arms are at my disposal. I knew that newborns eat all the time. Eat, sleep, poop, repeat. I was expecting that. I just didn’t know that meant ALL THE TIME. Hey, I’m learning. I know that it won’t always be like this. And I know that I will want these moments back when they’re gone. I can’t get midnight cuddles without sleepless nights.
On the Monday before he was born, I was at the doctor for my 37 week appointment. For the first time during my pregnancy, the nurse said my blood pressure was just a bit high. Nothing to worry about but to let them know if I got severe headaches, changes in vision, etc. At that point, they were just watching it.
On Wednesday, I had a headache but it wasn’t severe. I took some Tylenol and it went away so I didn’t worry about it. On Thursday, I started seeing stars and floaters in my vision. I called my doctor to see if it was something we needed to worry about. They had me come in to check my blood pressure. It was a little high, so they had me sit and wait. They checked it again and it was higher. Also, there were trace amounts of protein in my urine which could indicate preeclampsia. The problem was none of my symptoms were extreme. I felt fine, I looked fine. And my doctor thought I was fine. But, she just had a weird feeling. So, she ordered some blood work and told me I was going to do a 24 hour urine sample at home. At that point, we’d know more.
So, I headed home. 30 minutes later, my doc called me and said that my platelets were low. Again, she wasn’t overly worried but she wanted me to come in to the hospital to finish the sample there where they could keep an eye on me. We packed an overnight bag and headed in prepared for a long, boring night. Little did we know…
The nurse was hooking me up to some monitors and asking a million question to admit me, when my doc came in and said that we are going to think she’s a big, fat liar. She had kept saying it was probably nothing to worry about but it was. She couldn’t shake her bad feeling, so she called the maternal/fetal medicine specialist in Lincoln to ask him for advice. She explained to me that my symptoms could indicate HELLP syndrome, a severe complication of preeclampsia. I know all too well what HELLP syndrome is. My best friend had that with her first baby. It’s life-threatening. Check out below if you want to know more:
Anyway, he told her that since I’m 37, almost 38 weeks along and I have 3 indicators of HELLP, he would just deliver. Right away. Suddenly, we went from thinking I was just there to run some tests to realizing we were having Goose that night!
I was worried I was going to have to have a C-section and I was disappointed. I was hoping to avoid one of those if I could. My doc said that she’d check me. If I was progressing quickly, she’d let me go. But, she’d keep monitoring me and if I wasn’t progressing or if my condition worsened, she didn’t have a choice.
Turns out, when she checked me, I was already at 4cm, 80%, and unbeknownst to me, I was having contractions. She induced me to hurry me along around 4:30 or 5 and they kept checking my blood work. By evening, my platelets had dropped even more. She said that I had to be progressing by midnight or she’d take me to the OR. If my platelets kept dropping, it could be dangerous. Thankfully, by midnight, I was at 8 cm!! I asked for an epidural but couldn’t have one because of the platelet situation. And so, I got to do it the way it’s been done for centuries. Everyone, stop reading this immediately and go hug your mother. Tell her thank you. 😉
Stu was so great through it all. I am convinced I would have hyperventilated without him. At 1:13 AM on July 3rd, Colton Stuart Lenz was here!
He was tiny. 5 lbs. 13 oz and 20 inches. But, he was healthy. And so was I. No further complications from the HELLP syndrome and all major crises averted. I am so thankful that I went with my gut and called my doctor about seeing those stars. And I’m grateful that she went with her gut and followed up with a specialist when she needed to.
That night, life changed forever. I became a mom. A life-long dream became true. It’s so bizarre to look into your arms and see a piece of yourself. It’s true what they say, your heart is now living and breathing outside your body. And then, you see your baby staring up into your hubby’s eyes while he talks to him all about life and whatever piece of your heart is left inside you, just melts away. Sappy, but true! 🙂 Thanks to everyone who prayed us to it and through it. We are so blessed.