Questions and Frustrations

Are you worried about your partners pregnancy? Has your partner already had preeclampsia? Do you have advice for other dads who could be going through similar experiences as yourself? Post here!
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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby annegarrett » Tue Jun 05, 2007 05:17 am

Hey Jerry,

I know there are dads around here who can offer you the male perspective but right now I can echo what Fiona and Caryn have said. They're are best people so have (as usual) covered it all and very well.

Most women who had preeclampsia have a safe, healthy delivery and recover unscathed. Our site, due to the random nature of the disease, is largely populated with the "other folks" so our stories are going to be the worst case scenarios, the tear-jerkers, the nail-biters as such. I sometimes think we should put a warning in front of the stories and this forum to remind folks that for the most part--this will not happen to you.

For my own experience--I survived this disease three times and the third resulted in a 36 weeker who didn't even need a moment in the NICU and nursed straight away--so at 34 weeks--you are in (as Fiona says) the positive area. If you had said the same story but she was 24 weeks--we would be all calling one another and settling in for a nail-biter. I wouldn't stress too terribly much about her occasional trips out of bed. The research on bedrest is luke-warm at best and some doctors argue the stress of keeping your house going while in bed may be even less restful than just getting up and doing it. The key is to monitor the BP, keep aware of the signs, and to have your doctor on speed-dial.

I am glad you found us. We started this because we didn't want anyone to ever have to go through this alone again--so I know just how you feel. We are all here (sometimes too much--note the 2:01 a.m. posting time) but you have a good chance of getting some support and answers 24/7. Not doctors and not nurses but just a bunch of folks who learned about this disease the same way you are...which is another goal of have people actually get this information from their doctors!!

Maybe we should just start with the "being there" take care and write anytime. Give your wife a big hug and tell her we (the non-medical, not lawyers, not authorities) at the PF site think there is reason to be very optimistic that all will be just fine.

Hang in there!

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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby caryn » Tue Jun 05, 2007 01:59 am

Jerry, I'm thrilled to hear they're monitoring your wife and your daughter so closely. While no one can give a guarantee, the outcomes for babies delivered at 34 weeks are something around 99% chance of survival and 99% chance of what I think they called "uncompromised survival", no complications from early delivery whatsoever.

That's really good news, because as Fiona says, your wife is sitting right at the borderline of a mild preeclampsia diagnosis, and if they do need to deliver, it will be because they want to keep your wife from getting any sicker and/or know that the baby will be better out than in.

Hypertensive pregnancies are very common (at least 10% of all pregnancies), are more common in first pregnancies, and these days are thought to be due to shallow placental invasion during the first few weeks of the pregnancy, probably because of a maternal immune response to the foreign placenta. The best guess these days is that the placenta starts to release some proteins that damage the maternal vasculature, including the kidneys and liver. The damage appears to be 100% reversible upon delivery, although it can "unmask" a genetic tendency to chronic hypertension or an underlying autoimmune disease in some women.

FWIW, my DS was born at 34 weeks on the nose after two steroid shots; he spent exactly a week in NICU, came home breastfeeding, and has been thriving ever since.

Please keep us posted!

(ETA: I'm currently in Phoenix but I live close to Pittsburgh; are you on that side of the state?)

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Re : Questions and Frustrations

Postby fiona » Tue Jun 05, 2007 00:06 am

Jerry, welcome. I'm sorry to hear your wife is having complications and can completely understand your frustration and worry.

For a diagnosis of preeclampsia, your wife would need two BP readings of 140/90 or higher, six hours apart plus a 24hr urine count of 300 or more. Obviously, she is very close to an official dx but while her proteinuria remains beneath 280, technically she has PIH or gestational hypertension. That's not to say she isn't sick - she is - and the proteinuria could change at any time.

What's important is that she is being monitored closely - and it sounds like she is. She also has you taking care of her and finding out more about the disease, which is very helpful.

I know 34 weeks sounds awfully early, but in these parts, we consider it something of a result. That your wife has had teh steroid shots too, means that there is every reason to hope for a very short NICU stay if she delivered in the next day or two - and even for no NICU at all. We have many, many positive outcomes at 34 weeks+.

The important thing, as I said, is to keep close watch, log those BPs and find out what readings the OB believes warrants a trip to L&D. Familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia and reporting any new concerns is vital:

Please know that we are always here to answer questions or just listen to you let off steam: a precarious pregnancy affects the whole family and we all need support. I'm so glad you found us.

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Questions and Frustrations

Postby padaddy2b » Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:44 pm

My wife is pregnant with our first child, a girl, and she'll be 34 weeks this Wednesday. She's been having problems with swollen feet and ankles for most of her last trimester, and her blood pressure has been slowly climbing. She goes to her OB/GYN 2-3 times per week now, she has done a few 24 hour UT's, she get's 1-2 non-stress tests per week, and she got to spend one night at the hospital for observation so far because her BP was up and wouldn't come down fast enough. Her blood pressure today was 140/98 at its highest, and according to her last 24 hour UT (5/31/07) her urine protein was 280. She was in the hospital early last week for ~ 24 hours, and while she was there the doctor gave her two steroid shots to help the baby's lungs develop faster, as a precaution, in case they have to induce her early.

That's the background, now here's my frustration:

I'm a little confused about everything that is going on with her. No one has said she has pre-eclampsia, from what I am told, she's got PIH. I've been doing research on the web about her situation, and I'm terrified now. I go from scared of having my baby delivered and sent to the NICU and having lifelong problems to crying when I read stories of the babies that didn't make it. She's on bedrest now, and gets mad at me for making her stay in bed but for trips to the bathroom and to eat. I'm doing everything that I can around the house, and I'm keeping all my frustration bottled up so as to NOT further upset her. I don't have anyone to talk to, and I found this forum, so I thought I'd post here. I'm hoping someone can help me a bit to feel a little more at ease with what is going on with my wife, to understand what I can do to help, and what I need to know/be afraid of from here until my little girl is born. I welcome any and all comments. Thanks, Jerry

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