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Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 8:54:00 AM
Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 10:04:38 AM
by victoria brown
Jude Maximus Tiah aka Fighter
EXCLUSIVE: KUALA LUMPUR: You may remember Timothy Tiah and Audrey Ooi as the couple in the meme proposal video that went viral on social media in 2011.
However, complications arose when Audrey went for a routine check-up 28 weeks into her pregnancy.
“It was just a regular check-up; they did the normal tests like taking my blood pressure, which was a bit high at that point. But I didn’t really think much about it,” said Audrey.
“My blood pressure was apparently much higher normal, it was 130/90. Normally it’s super low, like 90/50, so it was quite a big increase,” said the 28-year-old.
They asked Audrey to take a urine test and confirmed that she had preeclampsia when they found protein in her urine.
Preeclampsia is a life-threatening medical condition that affects around 5% of pregnant women. It is characterized by high blood pressure and high protein levels in urine of pregnant women.
In severe cases, preeclampsia can cause seizures, strokes, and blindness and can even affect the mother’s organs which can result in the death of the mother and/or baby.
The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. However, Audrey was only 28 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed and Fighter was too underdeveloped to be born. So the doctor aimed to control Audrey’s blood pressure to delay the delivery as long as possible so that Fighter would be born a healthy baby.
Audrey remained in hospital for a day, and was released when her blood pressure went down to around 120. But the doctor told them to keep monitoring Audrey's blood pressure at home.
Unfortunately, Audrey had to be readmitted to the hospital a few hours later after her blood pressure spiked to 160.
“I was in the hospital for three weeks and during that time I celebrated my one year wedding anniversary with my husband and also delivered my baby,” said Audrey.
During Audrey’s stay in the hospital, her blood pressure was constantly monitored and being controlled by medication.
“But every few days my doctor had to up the dosage. This was to make sure I was stable enough to keep the baby inside of me longer because he was still so premature,” said Audrey.
Audrey’s condition got worse over the few weeks she was in hospital.
“There was one time where I started bleeding. I just went to the bathroom and when I wiped there was fresh blood. After that, I started having contractions and I was going into labour,” recalled Audrey.
She was rushed to the labour room where her contractions were coming in four minute intervals, and at that point her blood pressure spiked to 200.
“They were afraid that the baby was going to come out, so the doctor injected me with steroids which are supposed to help develop the baby’s lungs. They also changed my medication to help stop my contractions, but it didn’t really work,” she said.
Audrey’s contractions slowed and were coming every 10 minutes, which was still quite regular. So the doctor decided to sedate Audrey to help her relax her uterine muscles and stop the contractions.
Timothy said that it was during Audrey’s sedation when he felt the most vulnerable.
“She was really sleepy and couldn’t really speak to me. So suddenly I felt like I was alone, that was a moment of weakness for me,” said Tim.
But thankfully, when Audrey awoke, the bleeding and contractions stopped. Over the next few days after the scary incident, Audrey started putting on a lot of water weight, a side effect of the medication she was taking.
“I was putting on 1kg every day but it was all water! I was so heavy that I couldn’t really walk and I couldn’t sit up straight,” she said.
“My limbs were swollen, my jaw was swollen, even my eyes were so swollen I could barely open them! By then I was only just over 7 months pregnant,” she added.
Audrey said she couldn't sleep well because she had problems breathing, and it was suspected that some water got into her lungs.
The morning of her son’s birth, her doctor took one look at her and said that they couldn't put it off any longer and they had to deliver Fighter.
“The doctor saw that my face was bright red, and my pulse was racing and I was puffing although all I was doing was lying on the bed,” said Audrey.
“They plugged me all full of intravenous needles and the first thing they did was transfer me magnesium sulphate,” she said.
Seizures are very common in preeclampsia so the drug is to prevent Audrey from going into fits and also to stabilize the baby’s brain since he is a premature baby.
“The magnesium sulphate was so horrible! First I started feeling hot, then my forearm started aching. It felt like someone was hammering my entire forearm. Then I vomited all over,” said Audrey.
The nurses cleaned her up and brought her to the operating theatre for her emergency caesarean.
“I remember the first time I heard my baby cry. It was a very different cry, kind of like a little kitten. It wasn't painful to the ears. It was a very small sound,” said Timothy.
“For the first 20 seconds I didn't want to look, because I was afraid that something was wrong,” revealed Timothy.
“Then the doctor asked me why I haven’t looked at my son, so I turned and looked at him, and he was the smallest baby I have ever seen! He was only around six inches long,” said Timothy.
Audrey and Timothy named their newborn Jude Maximus Tiah. He was a premature baby born and 31 weeks and only weighed 1.13kg.
After Jude’s birth, Audrey remained in the hospital for another week because her blood pressure was still high (it can sometimes take a while for the blood pressure to go down to normal levels) and lost almost 10kg of water weight during that period.
But baby Jude remained in the hospital for another five weeks. He recently got discharged a few weeks ago and is doing well at home with Audrey and Timothy.
Reflecting upon her recent experience, Audrey said that they were very lucky to have a great doctor and praised the medical staff for looking after her and Jude.
When asked about whether they would have more children, Timothy answered: "Yes, I want another three!"
To read more about Audrey and Timothy’s story, you can check out their respective blogs at http://fourfeetnine.com/ and http://timothytiah.com/.
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Family Community, preeclampsia, Timothy Tiah, Audrey Oo, health
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