This is a brief recap of what happened
the 37th week of Jen's pregnancy.
Jen, 28, was due at the end of January 2001. She developed high blood
pressure and was diagnosed with
Preeclampsia in October 2000. Just before Thanksgiving, because
she was unable to keep her blood pressure down, she was forced to take
early leave from her job as a psychiatric nurse at Greater Baltimore
Medical Center and stay home.
Beginning January 8th and all week long, Jen had terrible migraine
headaches and on Thursday afternoon, January 11th, her blood
pressure was so high and the headaches so bad, so she drove herself to
GBMC and was admitted. On Friday, January 12th, Jen had a stroke. They
took the baby via c-section at 9:41 am Saturday morning, just two days
before the beginning of her 38th week of pregnancy.
The most remarkable, miraculous part of this episode, other than Molly
being born an absolutely beautiful, perfectly healthy baby, is that the
stroke was classified as "incompleted", that is, the damage most probably
is reversible. It appears that with time, Jen will recover and regain
much, if not all, of what she has lost.
It appears that only Jen's vision was affected by the stroke. Her mental
faculties are normal (still as bossy and sassy as ever). However,
she lost her sight from sometime Friday afternoon until sometime Tuesday.
She began to regain peripheral sight a little at a time, and as of January
19th, she has regained full-field vision. However, Jen cannot focus well
enough to read, watch TV, nor drive her car, since the right half of each
eye has no sight. She also experiences almost hallucinogenic visions or
images at times, but is perfectly lucid during them, and describes the
most bizarre sights. Her neurologist says this is not uncommon with this
illness. In addition, her blood pressure has not returned to normal, but
it is being controlled somewhat through drugs. Her doctor says her
condition should improve slowly, but it may take months to fully recover.
The most important thing is that Jen can see, she can see her baby, and
she can move around the house without bumping into things (well, mostly).
With the help of God, her loving husband Andrew, her greatest friend Sue,
Molly's grandparents Peg and John Guyton, John and Anita McVey, and Nancy
Franke, and her other family and friends, she will get through this most
We are very thankful that our prayers were answered about as completely as
we could have hoped for. It truly was miraculous.
January 26th Update: Jen's recovery has
been remarkable over the past 2 weeks. Her vision has returned completely
and is almost normal, although she cannot focus quickly on moving objects.
It will probably be a couple of months before she has recovered enough to
drive. She has lost over 30 lbs of the fluid weight (edema) gained
due to the Preeclampsia. Her blood pressure is still elevated, however,
and must be watched carefully. Molly is beautiful, growing every day
and is a very good baby.
March 5th Update: As of about the 15th
of February, Jen has completely recovered. She regained all of her sight,
her blood pressure has returned to normal, and she has begun driving her
car. Molly has begun gaining weight and has nice fat little cheeks!
Thank You, God!
Published with permission of Jen Gaither
© Copyright 2001, John McVey, All Rights Reserved