A welcome from your moderators....

This section is for discussions with other women who have probably been through the same signs/symptoms that you may be experiencing. Please note, we cannot offer medical advice and encourage members to discuss their concerns with their doctors. New members, come on in and introduce yourself!
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Re: A welcome from your moderators....

Postby tree » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:14 pm

I am really happy to join the moderating team for the PE forums. This group got me through a tough year after our daughter was born. Sometimes, you just need a place where everyone “gets it”, and I hope you all find that here too.

I got pregnant in the summer of 2008. I have asthma, but I was otherwise healthier and more active than I had been in years with no family history of PE or hypertension. I stayed pretty active throughout my pregnancy, even when I didn’t feel great. I started to swell up really badly around 20 weeks, and my blood pressure started to climb from my normal 90/60 baseline. My doctors kept telling me not to worry about it. I swelled out of all my shoes, pants, and my wedding ring by about 25 weeks. I was able to keep up with walking and yoga until about 30 weeks, when I started feeling really rotten and having a lot of trouble breathing.

My doctors started to worry more about me around week 33. My blood pressure went up to 130/80 with a trace of protein on the dipstick. The doctor I saw at 34 weeks gave me the standard call-in speech about nausea, headache, URQ pain, etc. That probably would have been a good time for me to tell her that I had spent a few hours of the previous night doubled over in URQ pain, shaking, and seeing fuzz. I was apparently too tired to remember it. I called in the next morning and mentioned it to a nurse who told me it was round ligament pain. My husband was terrified, but I just put myself on couch rest and settled in for four feet of snow. I felt sort of ok if I didn’t move at all, but I couldn’t eat anything and finally woke up puking a day or two later. I was in unbelievable pain that afternoon when I called in again after reading about HELLP here. My doctor ordered me to L&D. We got stuck in a highway closure and massive snowy mess, but we made it. I was in the hospital less than an hour before my doctor told me that I had HELLP and needed a c-section immediately. I developed HELLP without ever having my blood pressure exceed 135/85 or dipping more than +1. They didn't have time to do a 24 hour collection.

My daughter was born at 2AM and let out a beautiful scream to tell me she was ok. She went off to the NICU, and I got the mag. I was hallucinating and totally out of it for a while. The nurse brought her to see me later that afternoon, but I couldn’t tell if she was real. I spent the next 24 hours getting sicker, then started to improve on a massive dose of steroids. I was up and RUNNING after the second dose of steroids, so they discharged me after the normal 5-day stay. I crashed hard when I got home and barely made it back in to see her for the first week. I have no idea how I avoided readmission. I didn’t start to really recover until my doctor found and removed a small piece of retained placenta at my six week checkup. It took me about two years to feel normal and healthy again.

My daughter spent about two weeks in the NICU. She had an IV for a week and a feeding tube for most of that time, but nothing major. We live at high altitude, so she needed oxygen for a few months after we got home. She has done well since then. I was really disappointed that we weren’t able to nurse. The doctors think that HELLP compromised my milk supply, which added insult to injury. She didn't seem to mind, and I am incredibly grateful that we made it through all of that without too many battle scars.
Daughter born April 2009 at 35 weeks due to Class 1 HELLP

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Re: A welcome from your moderators....

Postby aajatwins » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:16 pm

Hello, Ladies! I'm joining the moderators :)

My first pregnancy was a whirlwind of craziness from the beginning. I confirmed a singleton pregnancy in Dec 08 and started showing immediately. 4 weeks later, I found out I was carrying identical twins. They each had their own amniotic sac, but were sharing a placenta (and chorion bag) so I was considered high risk. We had many ultrasounds with my OB and with an MFM to check blood flow and baby measurements and fluid. Everything checked out wonderfully and went smoothly until around 22 weeks. I started having contractions, which is common in multiple pregnancies. I'm only 5ft tall, so that didn't help my body carry all the weight of two decent size boys. I was put on terbutaline (breathine) pills. Around 28/29 weeks, I had two fainting spells and then at 30 weeks I started dilating. I spent about 10 days in L&D then stopping the preterm labor (on the mag 2 days because it wasn't working, but had to stop because I got fluid on my lungs). I got the steroid shots and went home and everything seemed well. During all this is when my husband started asking if my BP wasn't a little too high - my normal is 90/60. We always got the standard, "it is high for her, but not that high." But were comfortable with my OBs and distracted by multiples/preterm labor. I spent the next 6 weeks in and out of triage and being monitored for hours on end... dilating a little, then stopping. At week 35, my OB agreed to induce me at 36. She could tell I was miserable and the boys looked to be a good size, both head down and ready to go vaginally. So I went in on a Thursday morning, got my epidural and my water broken - with a BP of 135/85. Sometime around 5-6cm dilated, I seized. I became unresponsive and was rushed to the OR for a c-section. Both babies were out quickly and unaffected by my BP issues. I seized again and they put me under. I spent the rest of that day and the next in the ICU, drugged out of my mind and confused as could be. I went back to L&D on Saturday and baby A was able to join us as he didn't need to be in the NICU from the start. I spent 3 days getting my BP under control in L&D, which worked out well because baby B need a few days to slow his breathing. We all left the hospital together - a miracle. In hindsight, I had URQ pain for months (but who could tell with all those feet and knees crammed in there!), *the* headache for 2 days before induction, and saw stars the night before induction.

I just had my 3rd boy in October 2011 - what a completely opposite pregnancy! My BP was 80/50 for most of the pregnancy, never going above 100/60. The only hiccup was the antibody screen showed that I now produce anti-E because of some of the blood I received during my section in 09. But hubby isn't a carrier, so that was a non-issue. Asa was off the charts in the womb, so I again got extra ultrasounds. But I successfully delivered an 8lb 13oz baby via VBAC without induction.

After my experience with eclampsia, this website helped me understand what happened. I remember the day 6 weeks post-partum when I got the courage to read the stories of other women... I think I cried for a week. I was a wreck emotionally, but the support here was and has been priceless. I love that so many women find a safe place to land here.
Anna (28) - endometriosis
Hubby (27)
Aidan & Jordan - 7.2.09 at 36 weeks. Induction turned emergency c-section due to eclampsia. big healthy toddlers today!
Asa - 10.23.11 at 39 weeks. NO hypertensive issues!! successful VBAC :)

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Re: A welcome from your moderators....

Postby alexis » Mon Feb 13, 2012 07:00 pm

I got pregnant with my first in April 2006. I went to my GP to see about antenatal care at around 8 weeks. My blood pressure was 140/95 (although I can't remember if he told me or not; I saw the referral later) and he referred me to the hospital for my antenatal care. I had only been in the UK for 2 years and wasn't entirely familiar with the system.

The midwives at the hospital proceeded to have delays and then lose my referral, so I wasn't seen for booking until 21 weeks pregnant. At that point, my BP was still 140/95, and I was referred upwards to consultant (obstetrician) led care.

My blood pressure rose very slowly but steadily in my 3rd trimester. At 32 weeks I was told to have my BP checked regularly by the midwife; when I attempted to do so I was told they were all booked until my due date and I should simply go to the GP! At 35 weeks, I came in with an initial blood pressure of 165/105. The consultant had me lay down and got a BP of 120/80, lower than I had been in months. I thought that wasn't right, but didn't question it. It was a very busy day there; I had waited for 2 hours to be seen, and the OB rushed through my appointment. She told me, "Next week is Christmas; the week after is New Years; the week after that will be very busy. I'll see you in 4 weeks. Just have your blood pressure checked."

2 weeks later, on Wednesday, I was having some contractions and felt I ought to be checked out. I didn't feel ill, but something didn't feel quite right. Since I'd never had a named midwife, I told my husband to drive me to the hospital that evening. The day unit was still open and they checked me out. My urine dip was 4+ and my blood pressure was back over 160/100. I was told I had to be admitted for 24 hour collection and monitoring. Because I started so late, the collection wasn't analyzed until Friday. On Friday, they told me I was looking at being induced, probably the next morning, as my labs were bad. Then I went in for my fetal monitoring. It started normally, but her heart rate went up and stayed there. While this was going on, my collection results came back. I never got a number, but they said it was extremely high. They also tested my reflexes--hyperreflexia. They unsuccessfully attempted a membrane sweep, and then the registrar (resident) got off the phone with the consultant and said I needed an immediate Caesarean. My husband made it to the hospital just in time for me to be wheeled to the theatre.

It took me a long time to process that and my feelings of having been ignored during throughout the process. Before and during my second pregnancy (chronic hypertension, but good outcome) I received a great deal of help, information, and support from these forums, and I'm privileged to help share what I can.
Chronic hypertension
Aliza - 01/05/2007 - Severe preeclampsia, emergency CS 37 weeks
Isaac - 09/26/2011 - controlled on 150mg Toprol, NO PE, 39 weeks!

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Re : A welcome from your moderators....

Postby alviarin » Mon Jul 21, 2008 07:46 pm

Hello & welcome! I hope you find this forum as helpful as I have.

During my first pregnancy, I had slightly high blood pressure at my 34 week appointment, but it came down with rest. At my 38 week appointment, my blood pressure was slightly high again. My ob decided to admit me to the hospital that evening for an induction the next morning. I felt fine, and the OB cleared me for light activity in the meantime.

Since my hospital bag was already packed I went out to lunch with my mom & sister, and even hit the bookstore afterward for some reading material. Suddenly standing in front of a book shelf I felt weak and tired- even sitting down took too much effort. I knew something was wrong and asked my mom to drive me to the L&D earlier than expected. I felt weak- like a bad case of the flu- without the fever, vomiting, and chills.

I continued to feel worse and by the next day I was swelled up like the Pillsbury doughboy. My induction started first thing in the morning and I was on a mag IV to prevent seizures. My blood pressure kept climbing, and they were concerned about pulmonary edema. I narrowly avoided being put under for an emergency c-section. Much of the day of delivery is a blur to me; I have never felt physically worse in my life. However it was a huge relief when my son was born safe and sound.

I lost more blood than usual making me severely anemic. My pressures started to come back down after delivery and I was given a diuretic. I supplemented with formula since it took longer than normal for my milk to come in.

I later discovered my MIL had experienced PE (or "toxemia") with both her pregnancies, and my grandmother had experienced PE with my dad.

So during my second pregnancy, when a BP reading came back elevated at 20 weeks, I started freaking out. And posting frequently. I started checking my BPs at home and at 26 weeks I had my first high BP reading. My pressures were very labile, but I started getting more high pressures as time went on.

At 37 weeks my BP hit 160/100 for the first time that pregnancy, and I was checked back into the hospital for monitoring. Even though my urine dip came back "trace" the results of my 24 hour urine came back over 300 mg protein, indicating PE. My BP came back down overnight and stayed normal even during the induction the next day. My daughter was born a little sleepy & jaundiced, but didn't require any extra hospital time. However my blood pressure started climbing after delivery, and peaked a week postpartum while on the max dose of Aldomet. My pressures gradually came back down over a few weeks, but never quite returned to normal. I'm still on a low dose of BP meds to this day.

With my third pregnancy I was watched even more closely due to not only my pre-e history but "advanced maternal age" plus chronic hypertension. I went on to develop gestational diabetes (GD) and some polyhydramnios. Fortunately the GD was "mild" and easily controlled by diet. I was told to take it easy due to the polyhydramnios, and then put on modified bedrest when my pressures and protein levels started coming up. I was diagnosed with superimposed preeclampsia after my protein levels came back 300 mg over my early pregnancy baseline, but hung in there a few more weeks to my scheduled induction at 37 weeks. Baby Annabelle was a little jaundiced but didn't require any extra hospital time. This time my blood pressure never got severely high and came back down a week postpartum.

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Re : A welcome from your moderators....

Postby blythe » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:41 am

Hello! I have just joined the moderating "staff" for "Ask the Experienced" and I'm excited to be here!

I'm one of the few posters here with only mild PE; most mild gals never find their way here. It seems like for most women, they do not even realize they've had PE. Their doctors tell them their BP is high at the end of their pregnancy, they have to induce at 36ish weeks, mom and baby end up fine.

That wasn't enough for me, especially because I did NOT want to be induced AND my son had a rough start from being born early. My little guy was on the small side for 37 weeks, ended up in the NICU with a spinal tap and a host of other preemie interventions, and I didn't get to see him for over 30 hours after he was born. He had high mgso4 levels, respiratory distress, suspected sepsis, and jaundice. I pumped for 9 weeks before we figured out breastfeeding.

*Now* I know how lucky we both were, but in the meantime, that experience sent me on an odyssey of over 4000 hours of literature searches. I'm serious when I say my kids would have been raised in a med school library if it weren't for the internet :->.

For #2 my doctor gave me a 5% chance of recurrence. At 36 weeks I noticed my BP jumped, and by 36 1/2 weeks my BP was diagnostic. http://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18080 is my post the night before (what ended up being) my induction.
I was so grateful to have everyone's input when I posted that night. I even printed out the responses to re-read on the way to the doctor's office the next morning.

When I got home from the hospital I started visiting the boards more and posting more. I was so impressed with the moderators' information and emphasis on sharing, support, and above all, information that had a scientific basis. I am doing my best to follow in that tradition!

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Re : A welcome from your moderators....

Postby sonja » Fri Mar 02, 2007 05:56 pm

Hi and Welcome. My name is Sonja and I am one of your Ask the Experienced moderators.

I had a perfectly normal first pregnancy until 37 1/2 weeks when I showed up for my normal OB appointment, the nurse took my bp and told me to lay on my left side. My OB came in, checked my bp again and told me to go get some blood work done and that she was going to send me home on strict bedrest. As it turns out she decided to send me to the hospital instead. She said that it just "looked like I had pre-e." At the hospital they took my blood, which didn't look too bad, but they decided to keep my anyways. The OB on call also said that I just looked like I had the disease. My choice was to start induction that night or wait until morning and then start it then. My husband and I decided to start it that night. My induction went rather quick - my baby girl Kira was born about 12 hours later. I was on mag during my induction and for 24 hours afterwards. Looking back at the experience I see now how scary it could have been, the nurse never once left my room, but at the time I really had no idea. I found the PF while getting ready to start trying for number two. By that time I had figured out that pre-e was a really scary disease. I had been tested for underlying disorders, which nothing showed up. In my case it looks like a strong family history of heart disease and extra weight on my part played into the equation. When I got pregnant with my second little girl I made sure that my OB was very proactive and would send me to a Peri if anything were to happen. As it was my bp started to creep up at my 12 week appointment so my OB sent me to a wonderful Peri who comanaged my care and diagnosed me with "high cardiac output." I was eventually put on 100 mgs of Atenolol and watched very carefully. I went on to have a second healthy baby girl, again at 37 1/2 weeks, but this time completely naturally.

Almost 3 years since the birth of my last dd I am still on bp meds, although the dosage is way down. I am extrememly interested in how having had pre-e will effect me in the future and doing what I can to be as healthy as I can be. I also want to help as many people as I can who are touched by pre-e.

I look forward to getting to know the members here and helping in anyway that I can.

Here are some ways you can help:
Donate to the Preeclampsia Foundation:

Sign up with the Preeclampsia Registry:

Shop for t-shirts, mouse pads, and mugs to support the Preeclampsia Foundation:

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Re : A welcome from your moderators....

Postby caryn » Fri Mar 31, 2006 01:42 pm

Welcome to the Preeclampsia Foundation! I'm a new moderator for the Ask The Experienced forum, and hope to be able to put my information junkie habits to good use here at the PF. I've learned a lot about this disease, and I'm hopeful that sharing that information will help make your experiences easier to understand and maybe even safer.

So about my experience: my son was supposed to be born at home, so I'd have the best shot at avoiding unnecessary interventions in my birth. My mom had four spontaneous postdates unmedicated vaginal deliveries, so I figured I had a good family history for homebirths, and I'd been at three natural births by the time I got pregnant. I ate organic food, walked or hiked about four miles a day, read all the birthing texts I could get my hands on, and booked a homebirth midwife. And I was having my first baby, with a strong family history of hypertension, so I read up on preeclampsia too, just to be on the safe side. After all, homebirthers are supposed to know their transfer criteria, and PE is *the* reason for most of our prenatal care.

At my 33 week midwife appointment my bp was 130/80, up from an initial value of 90/60, and I scored a trace protein strip. We thought I just hadn't gotten a clean catch. She instructed me to take it easy, suggested I might get a massage for my stress levels, and scheduled my next appointment two weeks out. So I borrowed my mom's bp cuff and tried bedresting on my left side interposed with periodic walks, upped my antioxidants, and cancelled work. When I woke up swollen a week later and discovered I was peeing bubbles with a bp of 220/116, I transferred care to an OB. He sent me directly to a hospital which was 10 minutes away and had a level 3 NICU on the basis of the bp, a +4 strip in his office, and a beat of clonus.

So I was admitted and triaged and bolused and monitored and dripped and drugged and shot, and after 24 hours my urine catch had come back at 17000+ and I'd started reporting hallucinations, and after 48 hours propped on my left side on IV mag and labetalol DS had stopped bothering to move or practice breathe and had started having heart decels. At that point we stopped trying to do an induction and went to the emergent c-section. Boy were those *necessary* interventions, and all the information I'd gathered had led me to transfer care when it was important, and had saved my life and that of my son.

DS spent only a week in NICU (yay steroids!), learned to breastfeed despite his early arrival, and is now a thriving 3 year old. I spent three postpartum days on the mag and four postpartum months on labetalol. So far I am too paranoid to attempt another pregnancy.

Please feel free to email me. This disease is so very scary, and I understand just how lucky I was to have such a good outcome.

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Re : A welcome from your moderators....

Postby rachel a » Wed Jun 29, 2005 09:22 am

Hi Ladies!

I developed problems at 18 weeks. I should have been diagnosed with chronic hypertension, but for some reason that failed to ever make it into my charts. My bp had a slow, steady climb and protein was trace at 25-25 weeks and more "dumpage" around 26-27 weeks. By 28 weeks I was routinely in and out of the hospital for observations. I was one of those that had a really high reading upon admission only to have it drop to a normal level within hours. At 31 weeks I was visiting my OB for bp/protein/weight check...the nurse was shocked. She wouldn't tell me a thing. She had me lay down on an examining table and my dh and the OB came in seconds later. OB said, well we have to take that baby today. My bp was 240/120, I was at 4+ protein, and had gained almost 25 pounds in two weeks. (I thought I was going to have a good visit.)

I was stabalized at the local hospital, transfered by ambulane to a hospital three hours away and managed the mag for an additional four days. I really wanted Dylan to make it to 32 weeks. He did! It was tough and thanks to the mag, I only remember tiny bits of what happened.

I was discharged a few days later only to develop postpartum Preeclampsia. I had no idea such a thing even existed. I only checked my blood pressure because MIL said I looked strange. It was 226/102 and I was six days postpartum. Upon arrival, I discovered I had gained 13 pounds in the six days since my c/s, and I was spilling 2+ protein. I spent an additional 3 1/2 days at a hospital in Texas, while ds was in Central Arkansas. Those were rough days!

He's quite the little miracle. He was born quite big for his age...4lbs 4oz and 18in long. He spent 11 days in the hosptial (split between NICU and special care).

I'm also the Arkansas Coordinator and look forward to getting things going here in my home state!!

Sorry for the length. I'm a talker, as you'll soon find out!

Rachel Adamson
Arkansas Coordinator

Dylan Samuel 10/04/04 @ 32 weeks (due to severe PE)

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Re : A welcome from your moderators....

Postby julie f » Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:36 am

Hi and welcome from me too! I'm Julie, the other co-moderator of the "Ask the Experienced" board.

I became pregnant in the winter of 2003 and couldn't have been happier, I was having a "textbook" pregnancy and swore up and down that I wouldn't believe there was a baby in there until he came out and screamed. Things were going so well, I just felt great. One day at 25 weeks, I got out of the shower and doubled over in pain. The pain subsided and later came back with a vengance - winning my husband and I a late night trip to L&D. Despite my extremely high bps, L&D told me to go home, that it wasn't a baby problem but, to head to the ER if the pain was that bad. Well, it was, so we headed downstairs. All the time we were so happy that it, "wasn't a baby problem." Well, in the ER my bp remained very high (149/95 and my norm was 100/60), they found protein in my urine, my platelets had begun to drop and, my liver enzymes were climbing off the charts. They gave my tylenol for the pain, some vicodin to take home and, sent us on our way. Now, had I known a thing about preeclampsia, I would have never left the hospital that night.

Fortunately we saw my Dr. the next day and she immediately diagnosed me and I was admitted. I was given steroid shots for my baby's lungs and put on mag. The next day when I woke up, I had developed large brown spots in my line of vision that steadily got worse over the next couple of days. Six days after being admitted, I woke up and could not feel the left side of my face. My doctors told me that there was no more waiting around, I would have a baby that day. I was 26 weeks and 3 days. My son was born via C-Section later that morning and entered the world with the sweetest cry I've ever heard, he was so tiny, his cry sounded like a little cat's meow. Two days later, I finally got to see my little miracle. He was beautiful, looked just like my husband, right down to the same scowl. Unfortunately, as I started to get better, he started to get worse. He developed a level 3 brain bleed that soon developed into a level 4. The NICU doctors told us that the bleeding had become so severe that Zach had sufferred "neurological devestation," meaning that he would not have any brain activity. When Zach was five days old, we had him baptized and then my husband and I held him as his spirit soared to heaven.

My son was the greatest gift I have ever been given and taught me more in his short time here than I have learned in a lifetime without him. I wanted to find out what had happened to us, I wanted to know why the L&D and ER Dr.s didn't catch it, I wanted to know how to warn other people about this, I wanted to know how to make sure no one else lost their precious babies - and that is what led me here, to the Preeclampsia Foundation. I have learned so much, cried so much and have been the recipient such of overwhelming grace and support here. My hope is that I can give some of that back.

My husband, Andy, and I live in Southern California and have been married for almost four years. We're currently expecting our 2nd little miracle and are praying for a healthy, chunky baby in February. Many success stories have given me such hope here and I pray to add another one into the mix.

I am also the Southern CA Coordinator and am looking forward to bringing our So Cal group together again soon.

Please, never hesitate to email me if you need to. Pelote77@aol.com That's for venting, support, encouragement - whatever, I'm here. And, I'll continue to be here, because in July of 2003, my life was changed forever.

Julie (27)
Zachary James, 7/22/03-7/27/03, born at 26wks - severe pe

Miracle in progress... #2 is due February 2005!!!

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A welcome from your moderators....

Postby laura » Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:21 pm

Here are some ways you can help, too:

Donate to the Preeclampsia Foundation:

Sign up with the Preeclampsia Registry:

Shop for t-shirts, mousepads, and mugs to support the Preeclampsia Foundation:

Now, the crib sheet:

Do you wanna know if it's going to happen again? Read this link:

Do you wanna avatar? Here's how ya do it:

Do you wanna know what the rules are? Here they are:

Do you wanna know what all those crazy abbreviations mean? Look here:

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