Pregnancy After a Stroke
The plan was simple and well thought out by my three doctors. My pregnancy was considered high-risk because of my history of stroke. So, for around eight months, my OB, my high-risk OB and my neurologist closely monitored me. It was only fitting to have this dream team of sorts plan out the birth. They decided to have me go into the hospital three weeks early. Apparently, the longer my daughter is inside my body the more dangerous it is for her and me. So at 36 weeks of pregnancy, I would go into the hospital and prepare for her birth.
The birthing plan involved being induced, but not before sitting in a hospital room for two days hooked up to an IV. During my pregnancy, I was injecting 40 milligrams of Lovenox into my belly twice a day. The blood thinner was safer for my baby during pregnancy, but during birth, my doctors thought it would best to be off it. So, for two days, I would go off my Lovenox and be put on Heparin, another blood thinner. But this would be administered through an IV during my hospital stay. My doctor told me unlike the Lovenox, which stays in my system for 12 to 14 hours, the Heparin can be stopped and no longer effective after an hour. Because of the chance of excessive bleeding, the doctors wanted me off a blood thinner during the actual delivery and then immediately put back on the Heparin once my daughter was born. But like so many birthing plans, this one went right out the window, when I felt my first contraction at 2 a.m. a week before I was to go into the hospital.
The pain was mild, almost like a menstrual cramp, but it would occur every 15 or so minutes. Then I noticed I was spotting blood and a little bit of clear fluid. So, I called my doctor and he had me go to the emergency room to make sure my water didn't break. After three different tests, the ER doctor still wasn't sure. Two tests were negative and one was positive for amniotic fluid. My doctor had me stay overnight for observation and would do an ultrasound later to see exactly what was going on. However, that was never necessary. By 7 a.m., my contractions were stronger and closer together, plus I was dilated to one centimeter. Clearly, I was going to have this baby. I was then moved to a labor and delivery room, where my doctor still planned to induce me. This was the plan because I was not allowed an epidural. Since I was on Lovenox, the risk of spinal bleeding was too great. I knew I was in for a long day with these natural labor pains, which were horrible I might add. But as luck would have it, I dilated to a 7 in just three hours without the help of drugs. Then, 30 minutes later, I was a dilated to a 10. After 10 minutes of pushing, my precious Annabelle entered the world at 10:42 a.m., just as my last Lovenox shot had worn off. I truly believe someone was watching over us that day because the last minute birthing plan went without a hitch. Now, if I could just get some sleep!!
Related: Articles on WOWK-TV welcoming Annabelle!