Here's What Happened!
I'm Alex. My life changed on October 28, 2019 when I found out I was pregnant. This came as a surprise because recently before that date I had been told we had exhausted our options for treating my polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which was believed to have been causing my prior infertility. Our due date was set for May 30, 2020. In December, my husband Zach and I found out that we were having a little girl. On Christmas, we surprised our family with pink bottle ornaments that revealed the name "Gwen."
My pregnancy seemed to be moving along fine until I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes in January. It was difficult to properly manage, but I did it. Unfortunately, things took a big turn on March 2, 2020 when my blood pressure spiked and would not go down. The next day, my blood pressure was still high and my urine had traces of protein, so I was admitted to the hospital for observation. I was given my first shot of steroids to help Gwen develop her lungs in case she was born early.
After 24 hours, my urine was submitted to a pathologist and I was in the care of the Mount Carmel St. Ann's Maternal Fetal Medicine department. Originally, an MFM specialist told me that I would not be leaving the hospital until I gave birth to Gwen and the goal was to keep me pregnant until 37 weeks, but my urine test showed a really high amount of protein. I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia "with HELPP syndrome" meaning that the preeclampsia was causing organ failure. At this point, I was informed that we won't be able to keep me pregnant until 37 weeks, and that we'd be lucky if I made it to 34 weeks.
On Saturday, March 7, 2020, I developed ecclampsia and Gwen arrived at 4:12 p.m. via emergency primary cesarean section. She was 28 weeks exactly. She weighed 2 lb. 1.2 oz., and was our little miracle. We had no idea that she would arrive as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic would begin ripping through the United States.
This website serves as a way to document Gwen's growth, my recovery, what things to expect when having a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) baby, and to be a historical document on what it's like to have a NICU baby during a pandemic. I would love to include passages from other moms as well. If you are a NICU or premature mom during the COVID-19 pandemic and you wish to submit your story on here, please reach out using the form below.