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Re : Not directly related to PE

Posted: Fri May 23, 2008 00:40 am
by annegarrett
Just to give you all a laugh--as many of you know, Julie can attest, I'm like her--blissful pregnancy then whammo! So now I am like the doctor's worst nightmare for every little thing. So like Rebecca mentioned, I KNEW I was in line for heart disease--everyone in the family had it, I'm a little chubby, I had preeclampsia three times, I'm at that age when (in my family) it all kicks in--so I went to get my baseline exam from my cardiologist and I informed her (actually a former intern for my former OB!) of the fact that women who'd had preeclampsia had 2x the risk of dying than smokers. She laughed and said, I think we all have 100% chance of dying. It reminded me of my mom when she was (in fact) dying of cancer. She hated that word. She'd say, I don't know about you--but I'm going to live every moment up until the moment I'm dead--and she did. Stress, death, disease, these things happen, maybe more to us than others. What we can control is our attitude (well, okay maybe not during that first pregnancy after the DP (love that!) but certainly later on.


Re : Not directly related to PE

Posted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:30 pm
by rebeccac
For whatever it's worth, I had Type 1 diabetes for 21 years when I became pregnant, so my immune system was compromised from the get go.

At the time, I was working in child care (STRESS) and had been for 10 years. Plus, my diabetes management was intense, to say the least, during pregnancy.

So, I guess I had it coming (PE) with my situation. Now I'm just waiting for heart disease, which I'm at very high risk for :(

Re : Not directly related to PE

Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 05:45 pm
by julie f
So, I can't help but throw my two cents in here for anyone that might be lurking, and for those of us that still look for ways to blame ourselves...

I didn't have a responsibility in the world during my first pregnancy - didn't work, wasn't expected to clean or cook (ahh the days!) and it all went to you know where. In my second pregnancy, I took terrified/paranoid/stressed to a whole new level as I'm sure you guys can relate. I *knew* I was developing preeclampsia from basically the minute I saw the two lines. Like a good little hypochondriac I informed my doctor of this at each visit and took myself to the ER several times for what turned out to be no reason...

I don't say this to minimize anyone's fear, or what they think it may or may not have done to their pregnancy. But, I just can't stand the thought of even one woman blaming herself for this disease or what has happened to their child. We've all done it and we'll all continue to do it I'm sure, we're moms, it's what we do. But please know, please in your heart, know that you didn't bring this upon yourself. There were forces in your body that aren't in your control brewing this nasty disease. We don't have the ability to avoid tripping that switch. Not yet anyway, I pray that the cure or the prevention is in our future.

Re : Not directly related to PE

Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 03:29 pm
by frumiousb
I would also add that I now recognize that I believe that the disease causes a stressed or anxious response, over and above what the situation demands. I notice even in the early phases of pregnancy I start having acute anxiety reactions as my resting pulse rate rises.

I also was overwhelmed for the three weeks before my disease started to present with the feeling that the sky was falling. I *knew* something was wrong. I sat up nights every night counting kicks. I don't think that this accelerated the pe, I think that it was caused by it. I know how sensitive I am to changes in my bp and heart rate, and I think that even though I hadn't reached clinical levels, my mind was reinterpreting the changed cardiac output as extreme stress.

I did, in fairness, have a very stressful event at 19 weeks. An inexperienced intern told me at a ultrasound scan that she believed that my water had broken, and I sat in the hospital all night believing that the pregnancy was over. (What she was probably seeing was some of the first signs of the inadequate placenta, in retrospect.) For a long time, we blamed what happened on that stress-- but the farther I get away from DP (disaster pregnancy) the more that I realize that the symptoms had started before that point. Even in the situation, I was reacting like a crazy woman. Of course, it was stressful. But I didn't rationally think about the obvious age and inexperience of the woman. I did not ask for a second opinion. I believed her immediately-- because it fit the already existing belief that the pregnancy was doomed.

I tend to think that stress and the disease are intertwined-- but maybe in the way that your brain and your cardiac output interact? Dunno exactly. Not a scientist. :)


Re : Not directly related to PE

Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 02:24 pm
by annes
I think that we as women tend to want to blame ourselves for the bad things that happen to us. My opinion is that we all have stress during our prenancies, and our lives, you cannot avoid it. From being around here for a long time, I see that bedrest can be very stressful. I think that the important thing to remember, for me at least, is that I have done everything I can do for all of my pregnancies, I have been proactive and sought the best care I could get, that is the most that we can do.

Re : Not directly related to PE

Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 12:58 am
by caryn
You know, I think a lot of women have that instinct. One thing to consider is that with a lot of forms of stress, there's no way to avoid it, so this wouldn't matter from a preeclampsia prevention standpoint. Alex has mentioned before that she would have done anything to keep her MIL from dying of cancer during her pregnancy...

I can also say that I was *completely* unstressed during my pregnancy with Oscar, and it didn't help.

Here's the most recent study I have on this:

The numbers we're talking about are very different, as well. These inflammatory cytokines rise slightly in response to stress, but rise much more sharply, many times higher, in preeclampsia.

Here's a link to what the Experts have said:

Not directly related to PE

Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 12:37 am
by sckitzo

I found the above article basically saying that stress in pregnancy, could effect the babies immune system in utero, and can effect allergies and ashma and the like later in life.

So not directly related to PE, but then it went on to say "High levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and immune cells increase a person's risk of heart disease and diabetes." Sound familar?

It also said "This further supports the notion that stress can be thought of as a social pollutant that, when 'breathed' into the body, may influence the body's immune response," Wright said in a statement."

It also stated They found children who had undergone maltreatment — such as maternal rejection, harsh discipline and sexual abuse — had twice the levels of inflammation in their blood even 20 years later.

I know I am stratching here but alot of this article sounded like other research surrounding PE, and the immune response. I know I have seen the "C reactive protien" thown around these boards also. Maybe for some it is a reaction of our body for something that happened in childhood. Who knows Just thought I would throw it out there. I know the both my pregnancies were stressful, and both times I had a very stressful "event" happen before I fell apart and got PE. So I am still convinced stress plays a role, even if it is not the cause, Just my opinion "not yet proven"