Before I get into telling stories about my daughter, I thought it would be a good idea to tell her story. Specifically, her birth story. Phoenix as defined by dictionary.com "A person or thing that has become renewed or restored after suffering calamity or apparent annihilation."
I went to the doctor for a normal checkup and my blood pressure was extremely high at 161/98. Now my blood pressure normally falls into the normal range of 120/80 never varying much. (Two weeks prior my BP has also been high at 150/96 in which I was sent to the OB ED and sent home after three hours of monitoring in which my BP regulated.)
After another high BP, I was sent back to the hospital by the midwife for monitoring. My BP would not go down. They kept me for a 24hour urine test to check for protein which would mean I had preeclampsia, I was 31 weeks and 6 days. I didn't have anything with me, so I called my sister to bring me some things for the night. Twenty-four hours later...the test determined that I had preeclampsia and needed to be hospitalized with a goal of 34 weeks for delivery. For context, the goal for a 24hour urine test is 150 mg my test showed 856 mg!!!! They gave me steroids to help mature her lungs and admitted me.
Due to covid my sister bringing me items the first night she ended up being the one person that could come and visit.
For the next week, they continued to monitor my blood pressure because if it continued to elevate, I would have to deliver. A catheter was placed, and I was glued to the bed. The scariest part of it all was I felt fine. However, my test was saying otherwise. I had no dizziness, blurred vision nor did my feet ever swell. Which were all questions I got asked several times a day. I was given sonograms daily to monitor her movement and check her growth.
She was smaller than she should have been measuring 3 weeks or so smaller. Preeclampsia is caused by issues with the placenta and one of the issues being the fetus not getting all its nutrients. The good thing was though she was small all her organs were intact and functioning properly, the steroids were doing their job.
MARCH 29... ten days later
The sonogram for Phoenix shows her growth at 30 weeks and 5 days and I am currently 33 weeks and 2 days. Meanwhile, my blood work is all over the place, but I feel completely normal. Bloodwork suggests the preeclampsia has brought a friend along called H.E.L.L.P "A life-threatening condition that occurs in pregnant women or soon after delivery. This can cause high blood pressure, seizures, stroke, or liver rupture." With my BP being all over the place still, doctors are now suggesting I may have to deliver before the 34 weeks, and I may have to get a c-section.
WHAT THE HELL!!! Until that moment I had been calm. Because reacting too much would make my BP worse, and I definitely did not want that. To be honest, at that point I was already irritated. I was being prodded and poked all day frankly I was sick of listening to the damn machines and my arm being squeezed every 10-15 minutes to monitor the BP. Prayer and thinking this is for the baby were all I could do to stay sane. Throughout the day my doctor came over about three times due to my BP and every time she was ready to move me it would go to normal.
MARCH 30... a switch in doctors.
The doctor for the morning shift was a man and he was not with the BP up and down game. By noon he had me moved to labor and deliver. Again, I felt fine, but that bloodwork was another story, and my platelets were dropping at 5:47 am they were 127, 6 days prior they were 172. After I was moved, he came to check me I was dilated 2 cm.
So here we go! Induction time
I was given Cervidil to ripen my cervix and hooked back up to all the machines. Contractions were coming but it wasn't that bad. Fast forward to 9:30 pm, I'm having contractions that are not being picked up on the monitor. She also informed me that my platelets had dropped more, now 87, explaining that decreased platelets equate to not having the ability to clot. My blood not having the ability to clot presents the problem of bleeding out. She is saying words like c-section and epidural tomorrow, but I am tuned out. She was like maybe we will get lucky, and we won't worry about tomorrow. The Cervidil was stopped because according to the monitor Phoenix wasn't doing well. At 10:15ish she checked me and was like your still at 5 cm because at the previous hour I was at 5cm.
Around 11:10ish pm, I told my sister to get the nurse in here so I can see if they can give me something for the pain through the IV because again, they can't see the contractions I am having on the monitor. She stated I will ask but it will probably be a no because of everything going on. She said we need to move you to the other side Phoenix doesn't like that side, move left to right. But I am having contractions every other min. She said let me check you and began to try to get some gloves. As she was trying to put the gloves on, I said “the I have to poop pressure is there.” Opened my legs and said, “my water just broke.” The nurse started yelling for my sister to get help. “Help everybody get in here!!”
Everything moved so fast. One of the midwives was coming down the hall she apparently grabbed a towel. All I could hear was her saying, "If I let go of this towel the baby is coming, I didn't even have time to grab gloves." At 11:13 pm, A Phoenix was born. She was out and she was screaming bringing the placenta out with her in hand. As if to say "Mommy, I solved our problem!" The doctor didn't even make it back to the room. So, luckily the midwife from my doc office was walking past the room...
So, I guess we got lucky, Phoenix Lorice was born at 11:13 pm on March 30th @ 33 weeks and 3 days, weighing in at 3 pounds even and she was 16 1/2 inches.
All the questions I had throughout my pregnancy on if I had made the right decision to start over were solidified. Homegirl and I are bonded for life and her name fits her perfectly.
Side note: After delivery, my platelets continued to decrease, getting as low as 18 by April 1st. I had to have a platelet transfusion. The first transfusion caused an allergic reaction. I had to have a second attempt 12 hours later that worked. I was unable to see Phoenix in the NICU until the transfusion worked. I was released from the hospital on April 2nd.
If you are in the Atlanta area and are looking for a good group of OBGYN doctors I suggest Southern Crescent Women's Center. This story could have had a very different ending without this team of doctors.