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It's different when you know what could be coming

Are you pregnant again after having preeclampsia once already in a previous pregnancy? Post your thoughts/concerns here - there are others who share your feelings. This is also the home of our Bedrest Buddies Support group.

It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby lizzellen » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:15 am

by lizzellen (5 Posts), Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:15 am

Returning here after a long hiatus and looking for some support/advice. I'm the mom of a healthy 5-year-old girl, induced at 36 weeks due to PE. We're pregnant again and I'm at 21 weeks. Excited to be this far along but also waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was living in a large city when I had my daughter and was seeing a high-risk specialist who took a very cautious approach and monitored me very closely (BP soared early on and BMI at 32). This time, we're living in a very small town, two hour drive to specialists and even a NICU. I am now of advanced material age (36) and BMI is higher this time at 36 (sigh).

So in many ways, it's a different ballgame. My doctor seems unconcerned about everything. My BP has been about 145/95 consistently, even on 750 mg of methyldopa daily (I was hypertensive before getting pregnant so not sure if this is due to baby or not). In the first trimester, I did a 24-hour protein, and it was 300 (already!). The lab sheet said normal is below 200. I called in tears and in a panic, and the doc basically said that it's not uncommon for pregnant women to have protein in their urine and that this is normal for me.

I'm so torn. A part of me feels like what's going to happen is going to happen. Can our doctors really do anything to slow down this disease process, or are they just really good at measuring everything and telling you it's coming or is here? Do you think I should be driving two hours to see a specialist? Or do you think I should just put things in the hands of the hometown doc?

As an aside, several of my friends are pregnant right now, some for the first time, others on two or three, but none with complicated pregnancies. I feel so out of place when I talk to them. I don't want to scare anyone, and while I am super excited to be expecting, I'm also so worried about all of the things that can go wrong. I keep thinking that if I can at least make it nine more weeks, this kiddo will be able to make it (even if we have to make the haul to a NICU).

Oh, well. I know many have much worse burdens to carry.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has similar numbers to me at this point and how things turned out. Also, I should note all the genetic tests have been coming back great. I have my big anatomy scan on Dec. 5 and should have a sense then of how baby is growing and the sex.
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Re: It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby whereowhere » Tue Nov 26, 2013 09:43 am

by whereowhere (56 Posts), Tue Nov 26, 2013 09:43 am

Well I can't say I have similar numbers to you, but I was also an older mom (40) and I think it's important to see high risk docs having had pre-e. I would definitely drive the 2 hours to see a specialist if I were you. But this is coming from me who was given a 60% chance of recurrence. I never got pre-e, but I am from a small town five hours from a NICU. I relocated to the city for the last 3 months of my pregnancy to be near high risk docs and NICU because when I delivered and lost my twins the plan was to fly me to the city for the best care, and could not get out due to a freak snowstorm. They would not have made it even in a big city hospital being born at 21 weeks, but I knew I was taking no chances the next time. Your risk of recurrence is probably less than mine since yours was at 36 weeks, but I think with your BP I would at least make a trip to a specialist to get checked out. You may not have it at all or you may have a mild case of it, but I would NOT put things in the hands of a hometown doc if I were you. I believe in better safe than sorry. Let us know how it goes for you...
Ectopic Pregnancy-2010

Miscarriage-2011

Lost my beautiful boy & girl twins at 21 weeks to severe preeclampsia-2012
Mommy & Daddy will love you forever my sweet babies!

Pregnant again, due September 26, 2013. Praying for a pre-e free pregnancy.

Delivered a healthy baby girl at exactly 37 weeks, pre-e free! Had some hypertension post-partum but resolved with BP meds.



C-section planned for September 5, 2013 at exactly 37 weeks.
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Re: It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby kaxy » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:32 am

by kaxy (98 Posts), Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:32 am

I think it's worth getting a high-risk consult, maybe someone who can work over the phone with your hometown doc? Going to a specialist for EVERY appointment might be a bit much given the distance (I don't know though). I do think getting a specialist's opinion in on the matter and how to handle your case would be worthwhile.

does hometown doc want you to get to a certain point and induce? Or a certain level of bad BP/other symptoms or something?

I *think* chronic hypertensives such as yourselves fare a little better but I could be mistaken. I forget the thread on here about that.
DS born Dec. 2008 at 38.5w gestation. Mild PE diagnosed 3 hours before he was born
DD born Dec. 2010 at 40w1d. BP was slightly elevated since 37w, and climbed while in labor (started on my own). Severe PE diagnosed hours after DD born.
DD born Sept. 2013 at 38w. Induced (and I had to fight for it!) due to high blood pressure. No protein, but had brisk reflexes and clonus after delivery. Doc gave me a mild preeclampsia diagnosis anyway and said I'm likely to be a chronic hypertensive later in life.
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Re: It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby bsherricca » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:05 am

by bsherricca (44 Posts), Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:05 am

i think at a minimum a consult with a high risk doc will give you some peace of mind ...2 hrs is a long drive but if it puts you at ease in terms of your numbers and where you are in your pregnancy that alone will be worth it ...
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Re: It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby lizzellen » Wed Dec 11, 2013 02:59 pm

by lizzellen (5 Posts), Wed Dec 11, 2013 02:59 pm

Wanted to give an update. I saw the new guidelines that just came out on preeclampsia treatment and was relieved to see my doc has pretty much been following them to a T. I talked with him extensively during my last appointment, and he had seen them and is following them. So, I'm feeling a little better even though he's not super experienced in dealing with this disease.

It looks like bed rest is no longer recommended in most cases, which surprised me. I really thought I would get yanked out of work soon and, frankly, I'm the bread winner in our family, so I'm glad I'll be able to keep working.

The good news is I'm at 23 weeks now. Had the big ultrasound and baby is measuring small but apparently my due date is the same (April 9). I just passed by GD test but did find out I'm anemic. So, I'm taking iron supplements in addition to the prenatal. Don't know if it's psychosomatic, but I'm already feeling like I have more energy since starting the iron just yesterday. Blood pressure was a little better than it's been, 145/90. So, I work, and we wait. Please send along all the good vibes you got. Another two months and we'll be getting pretty close.

Oh, and it's a girl! Our daughter, Amelia, will have a little sister.
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Re: It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby sam10 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 07:44 pm

by sam10 (1436 Posts), Wed Dec 11, 2013 07:44 pm

Glad to hear that your doctor is following the new guidelines and that you feel comfortable in his care. Has your doctor a specialist whom he can consult with? If not, perhaps you might want to consider doing the 2-hour trek to see one, especially since you are hypertensive and on medication.
I also worked until PE hit me at 33 weeks. It helped to stay focused and I was less panicked.
Let us know how it goes. Fingers crossed.
~Julija (40)
MC 3/2009 and 3/2011
Henry (1/1/2010-1/7/2010) - forever loved and missed; severe PE with Hellp; partial placental abruption, classical c-section at 25.6 weeks
Matilda (Nov. 2012, born at 35.4 weeks) - severe PE


Our pain has been put into words, placed into empty cradles, to remember that all our babies lived, that they mattered and always will. - Field of Cradles http://www.fieldofcradles.org/
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Re: It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby lizzellen » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:22 am

by lizzellen (5 Posts), Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:22 am

Quick update: I did see a maternal-fetal specialist, who is consulting with my regular OB. I'm 32 weeks, and so far PE is not full blown. I did a 24-hour urine last weekend, and it came back about 250, which is under the 300 threshold. BPs still high but holding steady. Mild swelling. Mildly anemic despite iron supplements.

I'm doing weekly OB visits with ultrasounds and fetal monitoring. My little girl is measuring small, seems like she's between 15 percent and 30 percent consistently.

My doc wants to get me to 36 or 37 weeks, which I'm hoping for, too. For now, still working and hoping for the best! So thankful to have made it this far.
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Re: It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby caryn » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:06 pm

by caryn (10111 Posts), Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:06 pm

So glad you have an MFM consulting. 32 weeks feels so early, but the odds are really good at that point. I always tell people 34 weeks is gravy and it's all bonus from there in our pregnancies. :D
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies? Lectures from researchers?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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Re: It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby ebonymama » Wed Feb 19, 2014 08:59 am

by ebonymama (24 Posts), Wed Feb 19, 2014 08:59 am

hello liz and to the rest of you all,

how r you? i think i could relate to your situation cause i am in the same boat.....i am jus about a week behind ya......i suffer with hypertension and went into pregnancy with it......

my numbers jus a notch where yours are....but holding steady......

i am,though, on 2000mg methyldopa and 20mg nifedipine and 81mg lose does aspirin daily.......

i have a growth scan 2morrow at 32 weeks.....so yeah wow....its good that u were able to see a MFM....i live in the southern caribbean and i don't think there are any of the such....just regular OB's that have experience in the disease....and well the public hospitals who don't give a **** really.....so i rely on websites like these to get by.......

fingers cross for both of us at this time...i just want to get 2 35 weeks and i will feel good....mostly i would be induce or c-section at 36 or 37 weeks....
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Re: It's different when you know what could be coming

Postby lizzellen » Fri Apr 25, 2014 07:00 pm

by lizzellen (5 Posts), Fri Apr 25, 2014 07:00 pm

I'm sorry for the delayed update. I wanted to let you all know we made it! Baby Holly was born on 4/4/14 at 14:14. Although my doc watched me closely for preeclampsia, I did not develop it this time around, my second pregnancy. I was hypertensive throughout the entire pregnancy and was induced a couple of days early. I just wanted to share a positive outcome. I was so scared ... and just feel so blessed.

I'm attaching a pic from the hospital. She was nearly 8 pounds at birth! Good luck and God bless to all of you.
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