It all started on Thursday, April 26, 2001. My mommy had a Dr's appointment wtih her doctor in Lewisville, TX. She felt
fine except for the fact that she seemed to be gaining alot of weight even though she was eating fairly healthy. Mommy had
gained almost 30 lbs. in only 23 wks. of pregnancy. Come to find out, her blood pressure was 164/101 and she had protein in
her urine (though he didn't say how much.)
He told Mommy he was going to send her to a doctor for "high risk pregnancies." He told her they would probably put us on
bedrest and possibly medication for the high blood pressure. Since this was mommy's first pregnancy, she was terrified, and
she couldn't stop crying!! He gave her a business card of some doctors she could call, and told her he wanted her to see the
new doctor within a week. He didn't act like it was anything urgent, and mommy planned on calling first thing the next day.
Friday morning at 8:30, her cousin calls and asks if we've called a specialist yet. She hadn't...mommy was exhausted from
crying all night, and so she was still asleep when she called. Jill told mommy she was coming over to make the calls for
her...she's not exactly patient!! Jill came over and called the best perinatologist we could find....located right in Baylor
University Medical Center in Dallas. He wanted to see mommy right away (within an hour) because her blood pressure was so
high. Mommy hopped in the shower and went to his office with wet hair.
When we got there, he told mommy he was going to admit us to the hospital (as in RIGHT then!) She had a potentiallly fatal
disease called pre-eclampsia, or toxemia, which is characterized by rapid weight gain due to water retention, high blood
pressure, swelling of the face and hands, and protein in the urine. Mommy asked how long we would be there and he told her
"Probably until you deliver this baby." I wasn't due until August 21. Mommy was scared!!! In the hospital for 3 1/2
We were admitted to Labor and Delivery for monitoring at 11:30 am. that morning, and Daddy was on his way. Mommy was on
monitors that listened to my heartbeat as well as another monitor for contractions, and her blood pressure was automatically
taken every fifteen minutes. It was not high enough to keep us in Labor and Delivery so they moved us to a regular room...
expected to be our new home for the next 3 1/2 months. (Or so we thought!) Mommy's blood pressure was now taken every two
hours, and she was put on 24 hr. urine. (They save all your urine for 24 hrs. and then test to see how many grams of protein
is in it.) She had 0.6 grams which was fine for the time being. They also come in twice a day to put us on monitoring of my
heartbeat and possible uterine contractions.
Monday, mommy developed a headache that wouldn't respond to medication, and her blood pressure was rising, as were the
protein levels of her urine. Mommy was given sleeping pills every night to help us get some rest because she was also having
anxiety attacks. She couldn't catch her breath, and felt as if she were suffocating. Tuesday night, mommy told everyone
(including Daddy) to go home and get some rest. While we were sleeping they decided to monitor us again for my heartbeat and
mommy's contractions. Mommy slept through the whole thing because of the pills. Then they woke her up and told her we were
moving. It was 2:00am and we were being moved to Labor and Delivery. While they were monitoring, they found that mommy was
having contractions and my heartbeat was dropping.
Mommy was put on magnesium sulfate (to prevent seizures because of her high blood pressure), and put on oxygen because I was
having trouble breathing. Mommy was put back on 24 hr. monitoring and strict bedrest, and they also inserted a catheter and
continued the 24 hr. urinalysis. Daddy never left our side again.
By Wednesday, May 2, the protein in mommy's urine was up from 0.6 grams to 24.0 grams, and her blood pressure was up to
180/120. Her face was so swollen that she could barely open her eyes and her legs were swollen up to the knee. Mommy had
gained 12 more pounds of fluid in 5 days. Mommy's mother was coming in from Illinois, and was scheduled to land at DFW at
4:00. Jill and mommy's dad had gone to pick her up.
Mommy's doctor came in at 5:00pm and said that we would have to deliver within the hour because she could go into seizures,
a coma, or even die. Mommy cried. She feared for my life. There was now a 40% chance that I would survive, and there was
a two-thirds chance for serious birth defects. Luckily, Baylor's survival rate for 24 wkrs was almost 60%...that's 20%
higher than the national average. Mommy was given an epidural immediately, and she kept shaking uncontrollably. She says
she felt as though she wasn't even there...like she was floating away and watching from a distance. Mommy was beginning to
fear for her own life as well. My Mimi arrived just in time to hold mommy's hand before we were wheeled into the Operating
Daddy watched the whole surgery with the face of a curious child, and I, Gage Allen King was born at 24 wks. gestation at
6:18pm on Wednesday, May 2, 2001. Mommy and Daddy say I am a fighter. I even cried when I was born!!! My APGAR scores were
5 one minute after birth, and a 7 five minutes after birth!! I weighed 1 lb. 6 1/2 oz. (635 grams) and was 13 inches long
(first measurement taken one month after birth).
Unfortunately, the only cure for pre-eclampsia is delivery, and the cause of the disease is still unknown. Mommy and Daddy
say that I am a miracle sent from God. I spent 114 days in NICU, and came home on August 24, 2001, three days after my due
date. I have no birth defects or delays and mommy says that I am the most beautiful angel she's ever seen.