Angela Davids: Helping Mamas on Bedrest KeepEmCookin’!

August 9th, 2010

This month I am happy to feature someone who I now consider a good friend, Angela Davids. I actually met and got to know Angela on Twitter (@KeepEmCookin) as we are both passionate about supporting high risk pregnant women on bedrest. I knew from her website (www.keepemcookin.com) that Angela spent time on bed rest with both of her pregnancies, but when she told me what she went through with her second pregnancy, I knew that it was a story that needed to be shared. Angela developed severe pre-eclampsia following the birth of her son. What followed was nearly a fatal catastrophe. But I’m going to let Angela speak for herself. Here is Angela’s story.

Late in 2007, Just 5 weeks into my pregnancy, I discovered through ultrasound that I was pregnant with twins. My husband and I were shocked-yet we couldn’t have been happier. I had miscarried with our first pregnancy, so in a way it felt like we were making up for the baby we had lost.

At 17 weeks into the pregnancy, I begin having contractions.

At 19 weeks into the pregnancy, we had the regularly scheduled ultrasound where most people usually find out if they are having a girl or boy. Would we have one of each? Two boys? Two girls? February 28, 2008 was going to be one of the most exciting days of our lives!

At the ultrasound, we first found out we were having a boy. Bliss! And then the sonographer told us that the other baby had died in utero. I had just heard both heartbeats two weeks before and we had an ultrasound before that, where we saw their fingers and toes and adorable faces. Worry set in. Would the loss of one baby cause me to miscarry and lose both babies? My doctor said we would just need to wait to see if we would make it to 24 weeks, which is the earliest point of viability.

At 24 weeks and 1 day, I went into preterm labor and was placed on prescribed bed rest.


We were able to halt labor, and after nearly four months of bed rest and A LOT of medication, our Little Guy arrived safely at 39 weeks and 3 days on July 20, 2008.
He was perfect, But I was in the worse shape of my life!

Immediately after delivery I was in agonizing pain, could barely think and couldn’t put my thoughts together enough to speak. Over the next couple of days I grew worse. I couldn’t walk and I could only hold my son if someone handed him to me because I was so weak. I couldn’t empty my bladder, so a catheter was placed. I cried and said I wasn’t ready to go home, but still, the doctors sent me home.

I called the hospital every day to describe my worsening symptoms; headaches, sudden swelling in my legs, extreme weakness, dangerously high blood pressure. Each time I spoke to a different doctor. Perhaps because I was so weak and my thoughts and speech were so confused,  they couldn’t understand what I was saying. But on the fifth day home, I suddenly had chest pain and a nose bleed and my husband put me in the car and immediately drove me back to Labor and Delivery.

The doctors suspected preeclampsia, a condition characterized by often dangerously high blood pressure, extremity swelling and protein in the urine. It is treated with magnesium sulfate given intravenously to prevent seizure and stroke from the high blood pressure. It’s a horrible drug, with unbearable side effects for some, but it works. A few hours later when they tested my blood, they realized that the magnesium sulfate wasn’t leaving my body through my urine because I wasn’t urinating. It was trapped in my body because I was in acute kidney failure.

The pain was unreal and the thought of it still frightens me. Every moment was a struggle. The monitors sounded an alarm every time I shut my eyes because if I didn’t force myself to breathe, I stopped breathing. My sister was amazing, telling me, “Stay awake, Ang. You can get through this.” While doing her best to encourage and support me, she was running to the bathroom to throw up because she was so sick with worry. Meanwhile, my husband and my mom were at home with my newborn son and our two and a half year old, trying to maintain some kind of normalcy there.

After a week in the hospital, a blood transfusion and various IV fluids I was able to return home to my son. I was still very weak, but at least I was home.

When I thought of how lonely and frightened I was during my long months of bed rest, then to miss the first two weeks of my son’s life after all those hours waiting for him was almost unbearable. Part of me wanted to leave my experiences with bed rest and preeclampsia behind, to just move on. But I knew I was lucky to be alive. I had learned so much through my experience I decided to create a way for women on bed rest to reach out to one another online, to describe what they are experiencing and to help one another. That’s where the idea for KeepEmCookin.com came from.

Ladies, We can learn from one another and teach one another about high-risk pregnancy; what symptoms to look out for, how to care for ourselves and how to advocate for ourselves. We can share with one another the right questions to ask our doctors and how to make ourselves heard. Most importantly, We can do our part to guarantee that we have the healthiest pregnancies possible and keep our babies safely cookin’.

6 responses to “Angela Davids: Helping Mamas on Bedrest KeepEmCookin’!”

  1. Sandra Hicks says:

    What a moving story. Out of hardships come beautiful things.

  2. Darline says:

    Angela is truly an inspiration to me. I don’t think I would have as giving a heart after such an ordeal. her experience is invaluable in supporting other women on bed rest. She does bring home a very salient point: we all have something very special to offer others. Even our darkest moments can be rays of hope for others.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Darline Turner-Lee, KeepEmCookin. KeepEmCookin said: Check it out! I'm the Mama of the Month on Mamas on Bedrest and Beyond: http://bit.ly/c3nUo6 #bedrest #preeclampsia #irritableuterus […]

  4. Angela found me on Twitter 2 months into my own bed rest and not a moment too soon! I was on strict bed rest for 5 months and I really think I coulnd’t have made it without her support and the other moms on keepemcookin.com! She’s a saint for not putting it behind her and using her bad experience to help others get through their own horrible situations! I will forever be grateful!

  5. Darline says:

    Angela and KeepEmCookin’ truly are a Godsend to the thousands of women out there on bed rest. The support that she provides does so much to relieve women of the boredom and isolation. It’s an amazing service.

  6. Angela’s story is one of strength and sadness at the same time. I also had pre-eclampsia and it is not fun and in a moment, one can go back to thoses days of confusion and pain. What came out of this experience is a great organization! KeepEmCookin is such a wonderful way for moms on bedrest to communicate with eachother…Way to go Angela!

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