Hello I thought I'd share my story with you. I developed preeclampsia during my second
Posted On Thursday, June 20, 2002 by Neysa
Hello! I thought I'd share my story with you.
I developed preeclampsia during my second pregnancy. The first resulted in a miscarriage around week 7, although as the foetus died in the womb, I didn't realise I had miscarried until after two more weeks. This was autumn 1998. Afterwards, we decided to wait before trying again. The first pregnancy hadn't been planned and it was not a very suitable time. January 200o we decided to have another go, and after a month or two, I got pregnant.
The pregnancy was not very pleasant from the start. I quickly developed nausea and was extremely tired most of the time. After about a month I had to get sick leave from work, and was only able to work 50% until around week 20 of the pregnancy. After that I slowly got better, and had about 1 1/2 month where I felt in good health.
Then I started getting some unpleasant sensations. While walking home from work one day, I became extremely dizzy and weak. I barely managed to walk home in what more seemed like a crawl, and was very worried. But after a while I felt better, and as I was up for a medical in a couple of days, I decided to wait for that. I had already suspected for a while that I might be developing preeclampsia, as my blood pressure had been slightly higher than it should at my last medical, around 23-24 weeks. But I had no idea what I was up against - I merely thought I might have to take things easy during the last trimester of my pregnancy.
At the medical, my doctor found a (still only) slightly increased blood pressure, and a reading of 1+ of protein in my urea. He also found that my uterus was smaller than he would have expected. He referred me to the hospital for a check-up on the following day, and I was left to go home and try not to worry. I was then in week 27-5.
At the hospital, my blood pressure was 150/90 and the protein in my urea had soared to 3+. I was admitted at once, and not even allowed to go home and collect my things - my husband had to do that. From the first, we were given no hope of reaching term. The way my condition escalated, we were told that I might have to deliver within a day or two, but that with extreme luck, I might keep my baby in the womb for another two weeks. Longer than that was impossible.
Still under shock, I was put in a ward with others that suffered preeclampsia or related conditions, or who had just given premature birth, and left to try to come to terms with what had happened. They took blood tests, started a 24-hour monitoring of my urea, and came in regularly to measure blood pressure. They did an ultrasound control of my womb and estimated that my baby was around 25% underweight. They also started regular monitoring of the baby's activity. I was given one hormone shot to help mature the baby's lungs shortly after arrival, and another the day after.
Probably partly due to the hormone shots, my condition stabilised for a couple of days, with fairly but not extremely high blood pressure (mostly around 160/100) and no further increase of protein in the urea. We started to hope that the doctors had been wrong in their pessimistic prognosis, and I started to settle in at hospital. My biggest problem was getting enough sleep. I am a finicky sleeper at best - I have back problems and need complete quiet, which at a hospital is pretty impossible to get. After three or four days, I slept on a double hospital mattrass with a soft mattrass of my own on top, and felt pretty silly. But with all that, I at least managed to snatch 5 or 6 hours a night - a big improvement from the first couple of nights, where I hardly closed my eyes at all.
Then, on the fifth day, my condition started to escalate again, and after another day, there was no choice left but to have the baby out. I had then reached week 28-5. To my extreme surprise, they decided against a Caesarian, and started to induce a vaginal delivery. Hormone pills were put up my vagina to mature it, and after 18 hours and with regular small contractions, the water was broken, and I started having contractions every two or three minutes. After about forty minutes, I was completely exhausted, and had to be put to bed, the contractions just flooding my body with no strength left to resist them or to even think about proper breathing. Of course, it was still so early in the pregnancy that I had had no chance to go to birth classes, so my knowledge about the right techniques was pretty limited anyway.
I was scheduled for an epidural, but an emergency Caesarian ensured that I had to wait, and so I hardly remember the next couple of hours - I was semi-conscious from the extreme pain. After the epidural finally was given and (mercifully) worked very well, I was left to rest for another hour and a half to gain some strength, and then finally was put on a drip. 15 minutes later my baby girl was born, a tiny but perfect little creature that only weighed two pounds (909 grams, to be exact).
That about concludes my birth story. I included a fair bit of detail, but you can of course shorten it if you want to use it on your pages. We were lucky - our daughter is now a perfectly healthy, albeit rather slim, 16-month-old. She loves to laugh and is just where she should be in terms of development compared to her "term peers".