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Pre-eclampsia: What I want other expectant moms to know

Noel Hastrich talks about her pregnancy journey, and how it didn’t go as planned, but is sharing her journey, so others understand the warning signs of pre-eclampsia. 
We are happy to report that Noel delivered a sweet baby girl, who is currently in the NICU as she fights to grow stronger and healthier. 
We appreciate Noel sharing her story with #HopeRises and we hope this helps other mamas-to-be. 

“I would say that I began to notice my shoes getting tighter, my face rounder, and my wedding rings not fitting just days before my baby shower. Prior to that, I had a great, uneventful pregnancy. 
At my scheduled OBGYN appointments, I let the NP know that I had noticed swelling, and since it was still pretty cold in my hometown of Buffalo, NY, I was wearing knee high boots. She advised me that some swelling is normal, and to wear comfortable footwear. 
I again advised my doctor at my next scheduled appointment of the swelling and he said that it wasn’t a cause for concern – it was ‘normal in pregnancy’.
The next day was my second baby shower, and my mom noticed right when we arrived that my feet were blown up. My entire body felt like a balloon. I called my doctor, and spoke to another nurse, who advised me to come in that Monday to be seen, but she didn’t think it was alarming. 

That Monday, I went in and I was advised to be off my feet and have blood / urine labs done. I spent the next two days with my feet elevated, trying to be best to be comfortable, but it seemed impossible. 
When I returned to my doctor that week, I was told to INCREASE my salt intake to help reduce the swelling. I thought I was hearing things – how could this be the solution? But, he insisted it would help me. 
I returned to work full-time.
But my swelling was the worst I had seen it. I took my slippers to work one morning (my loosest pair!) because my shoes didn’t fit. I called my doctor and insisted I needed to be seen. This just wasn’t sitting right. I went in and saw my normal nurse practitioner, and she took one look at me and said, ‘You’re not working, right?’ I told her the doctor had cleared me the week before to work. Her response?
‘Noel, you look like a balloon!’
I knew I was puffy, but I trusted my doctor. 
She looked panicked and told me that she was calling ahead to the hospital and that I needed to head straight in. She said that she wanted lab results right away. When I arrived, there was an entire team of doctors and nurses waiting for me, who already knew my name and what was going on. They rushed me into a room for monitoring. This was at 3pm. Not long after, I was admitted.

The next few hours…and days turned into a lot of scary surprises and unknowns. My baby was breech. I learned I was battling chronic hypertension pre-eclampsia. My baby was coming much sooner than I thought. 
I was extremely sick. Things were going downhill quickly. Over the next two days, I was started on Magnesium, which made me incredibly sick, but it was necessary to prevent me from having seizures or strokes. 
My condition was now borderline eclampsia / toxemia. I was given two injections 24-hours apart to help develop my daughter’s lungs in case she needed to be delivered early. I had a non-stop headache, and didn’t sleep more than an hour total in the 3-days I was in my hospital room. 
It was decided that I would have an emergency c-section because the only cure for my illness was delivering my baby. 
Hannah Joan was just 33-weeks, and 1-day. I was told by my neonatal team that I wouldn’t see my daughter in the first 12-24 hours after her birth due to the Magnesium. I was also made aware of all of the complications my baby would experience at birth. 
After a lot of tears, the fear and shock had me completely beside myself at times. 
Hannah Joan was born at 3:47 p.m. on April 20, 2018 via c-section. She weighed 3lbs, 12 oz. She came out crying, which was sweet music to my ears. That meant her lungs were functioning.

I found out days later that I had lost a ton of blood during the surgery, and I was close to passing out. They needed to take Hannah to the NICU very shortly after she was born. I told my husband to be with Hannah and not leave her side.

​​ I would be fine on my own. 
Hannah was…and is doing amazing in the NICU. She’s referred as a ‘little rockstar’. She latched the first time that we tried breastfeeding, which was so incredible! She had an IV for a few days to get fluids, and needed very little oxygen right after she was born. She did need a feeding tube, but is now gaining weight and is back to her birth weight. 
We are praying that Hannah can come home soon. It is extremely hard. The NICU team is the best of the best, but we cannot wait for her to be in our home with us. We’ve done our best to keep our emotions under control, but it isn’t easy. 
I would advise every woman out there to listen to her instincts. I was told that nothing was wrong, but I knew something wasn’t right. My body was telling me otherwise. 
My doctor’s wrong medical opinion might have cost me my life, and the life of my baby. It’s so scary to think about. 
PLEASE DO NOT be afraid to stand up for you and your unborn child. Be your own advocate and an advocate for your child.”

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