Welcome, I'm glad you made it over here and decided to join/post. I already talked to you on the other forum but will chime in here, hopefully others will too.
Question: If I catch these signs earlier can they do things to help prevent me or the baby from getting sick/sicker?
Unfortunately, the only treatment/"cure" for preeclampsia is delivery. There is not a lot else they can do, there are a few things some doctors will try but nothing that is surefire proven to help.
When the baby is at risk for being premature or severely premature, most doctors will try to buy as much time as possible while taking into consideration the health and risks to the mother. They may try things like bedrest with careful monitoring, to give as much time to the baby as possible, but none of that is really proven to help stop or slow down preeclampsia as a disease, although it can help some women with their blood pressure to maybe buy more time, but they have to weigh that carefully with the risks to the mom. They can give you steroid shots to help develop the baby's lungs more quickly, but those shots are most effective when given as close to delivery as possible, but they need 24-48 hours to kick in, so timing them can be tricky. They want to give them when it's bad enough they think you will likely need to deliver soon, but not when it's so bad that you need to deliver immediately. This disease is very unpredictable and some women can limp along with a preeclampsia diagnosis for several months, while others get it so quickly and severely they have to deliver immediately.
That said, I think it's a good thing you are on low dose aspirin as long as your doctor is okay with it. For many of us who did have severe preeclampsia, we were put on low dose aspirin to *hopefully* prevent it in subsequent pregnancies, often by MFM specialists. I wish I had been on it in my first pregnancy or even had been started on it after they told me I was at risk for preeclampsia.
As far as your symptoms, I hate telling people not to worry about things because I am not a doctor and preeclampsia is tricky in that it takes things that can be normal in some women/pregnancies (ie. swelling), and makes it not normal. But if both things happened before you were 20 weeks, I would not worry too much about them at this point, especially if they haven't been ongoing symptoms. When my face was swollen from preeclampsia, it was my entire face, my fingers, my feet. Since the swelling was only your eyelids, in early pregnancy, and went away, that sounds okay. And the other thing is something I would watch out for but if it hasn't happened since, and everything else is still normal, I would try not to worry about it too much. I would still watch your hands and face carefully for swelling, it can be tricky and sneak up on you. It sounds like you have read the symptoms but the most common things to watch out for are swelling, visual disturbances, severe headaches, severe upper right quadrant pain (like below your rib cage but can go through to your back/shoulder blade/bra strap), high blood pressure,etc.
Just out of curiosity, do you know what bloodwork it was that triggered them to tell you that you are at high risk for preeclampsia? I can probably point you to some discussions about that or someone else might be able to if you happen to know or want to find out. (In my case, it was for my quad screen blood draw at 17ish weeks, my AFP-alfafetalprotein levels were very elevated which can be a red flag for spina bifida but I've also seen some people who have had bloodwork red flag them for Down Syndrome when that wasn't an issue.)
Me (29) DH (30)
#1-Olivia Caetlyn-9-28-09-9-28-09, 23+2 wks, emergency classic c-section, class I HELLP, IUGR
#2- Lucas Oliver (rainbow baby)- April 2011, 36+2 wks, HELLP and pre-e free! (lovenox and LDA pregnancy)
#3-Matthew, late October 2012...mostly normal, 37 wks, (lovenox and LDA again)
My blog: http://www.butterflies-and-rainbows.blogspot.com/