by Kierra Morgan
In the summer of 2020 I, a 23 year old girl from Peoria, IL found out I was pregnant for the first time. I was so overjoyed and overwhelmed with the news. I had always dreamed of being a mother. The first chance I could, I made an appointment with an OB and got my first sonogram at 9 weeks. My little peanut was right there, so tiny and safe.
The first trimester was ROUGH. I was severely ill with morning (more like all day) sickness. I had to call off work a lot. There was even a time I had to stop my car on the way to an OB appointment and throw up on the side of the road. Things gradually got better through my second trimester. I was a thriving and growing my baby. I had gotten a lot of comments about my size, I was not an abnormally underweight person, I was very average build, but everyone commented on how small my baby bump was, I never thought anything of it. Then came the first time I felt my baby move, it was slight, I never felt a whole lot of movement so when I didn’t feel him as much it did not phase me.
I didn’t notice anything wrong except for a little trouble breathing and some pain in my back right between my shoulder blades. At 27 weeks I mentioned this to my OB who only stated, “this is part of being pregnant” and didn’t think anything of it, even though I had two elevated blood pressure readings at the office, she never made me do anything else.
On January 26, 2020, I went to the ER with severe back pain and shortness of breath, I was also very nauseous. There it was discovered my blood pressure had gone up to 195/110. I was immediately taken to OSF St. Francis hospital, which is a bigger hospital with maternal fetal medicine, and a NICU. I had to do my 24 urine which showed 2000 units of protein. I had severe preeclampsia. I was put on magnesium, I felt hot and sick immediately. I stayed on it for 4 days.
On January 30, 2020 I was told my blood pressure looked good, and I could move to antepartum and basically just wait out the rest of my pregnancy, I was so happy I cried. Then my blood pressure spiked again, the same day, and was told I needed a C-section that day. I was not ready, I was so scared for me and my baby, I had never even broken a bone, let alone a major abdominal surgery. I was blessed enough to be able to stay awake, and see and hear my baby, my little 1lb 13oz baby boy. He had IUGR due to the preeclampsia, which was also not caught by my OB. But he was so strong, he came out and cried and then I did too. He was then quickly whisked away in his little box where I couldn’t see him for two days because of the magnesium.
My baby boy had to stay in the NICU for a very long two months. Since then, he has thrived. He is 1 year now, and he is just perfect. I have been able to go off all blood pressure medication, however, I have severe PTSD when it comes to blood pressure. I had to start meds to try to calm me down and not worry about it so much. I have been doing very well for the past 7 months now, I feel like I am finally moving past the trauma and now can be an advocate.
I hope that sharing my story will help others be better advocates for themselves and watch for any signs that are off. There are so many things that can signal this disease, if you ever feel like something isn’t right; get checked out. I almost didn’t go to the ER because I felt silly since my OB said, “it is just being pregnant.” I am so glad I listened to my body and did what was best for me and my baby.
Guest Blogger Kierra Morgan is mom to baby boy Asher. She lives in Illinois and works as a CMA in a small family practice office. She loves pop punk, horror and Halloween. Big fan of farm animals and Grey’s Anatomy. She is an advocate for women’s body image and maternal fetal issues.