My oldest daughter was born when I was only 16 years old. I had preeclampsia
My oldest daughter was born when I was only 16 years old. I had preeclampsia with the pregnancy that was attributed to my age. Eight years later I became pregnant with my second daughter. I was nervous about having complications due to high blood pressure but was assured by my doctor that it only happened with the first pregnancy due to my young age at the time.
My second pregnancy was great. A few days prior to going into labor I did experience a small amount of swelling. My labor went flawlessly.
We went home with our new daughter and things were going great. On her 6th day, my husband went back to work. He called during the day to check on me and I was crying because my head hurt so badly. He immediately came home. Throughout the day and into the night the headache progressively got worse. The only way I can explain it is it felt like the crown of my head would explode. I've always suffered from migraines. This was no migraine. The pain was unbearable.
My husband wanted me to go to the hospital. I did call the ER sometime during the night. The doctor on duty for my OB's office talked to me like I was stupid and pretty much said it's just a migraine, you are wasting my time. I decided to just wait and have my sister drive me to the doctor first thing in the morning.
Around 7 am my husband went to leave for work. My sister was running late but I told him to go ahead and she'd arrive soon. After going out to his car he turned around and came back, thank GOD. He sat down and I put my head in his lap.
The next thing I knew, I was in the ER and could not see anything. My head was still splitting. In the initial minutes after waking, maybe hours, I lost all vision. I thought I was there to deliver my baby. When they said I delivered a week prior, I knew I was in trouble, and was scared my baby had died. They assured me she was fine. I asked why I could not see, and the ER doctor said he did not know why or if I'd see again.
When the high risk OB came in, he immediately knew that this was eclampsia. He said it happening 7 days after birth is extremely rare, but with meds to get my blood pressure down, my vision would gradually come back over the next few days. I stayed for about 5 days to get the BP down and stabilized.
Apparently, seconds after putting my head in my husband's lap, I had a major seizure, bit through my tongue and was unconscious. My poor husband! Seven day old baby and thought I was dying right there.
I now tell every woman I know that is pregnant to know the signs. Know that it is possible to have this happen after birth. The day after I delivered, I knew something wasn't quite right. I felt 'funny' and I was very swollen - everywhere. Looking at pictures right after delivery and when I went home, my face was so bloated. I did ask the nurse about the swelling and she said it was normal and would go away. I knew in my gut that it was not normal.
Looking back, it seems ridiculous that I refused to go to the hospital. However, what people have to understand is that when you are in pain that severe your judgement is very altered. And when the doctor made me feel stupid, I thought I must be overreacting. If my husband had left that morning, I would not be here. I hope all women become more aware of the possible complications so that they can be there own advocates.