I developed preeclampsia in my 1st pregnancy at week 35. Was picked up 'by chance' as my friend thought I was beginning to look odd.
I saw the midwife who did BP and urine check the week before,nothing showed. I complained about the (what I considered extreme) swelling in my hands/feet/ankles etc - so much that I struggled to walk since my ankles were so swollen. I also had 'carpal tunnel' in my wrists from about week 30(?). And heartburn of course! A week later I felt a bit out of breath, uncomfortable, achy etc. Just the 'usual' pregnancy complaints. Since I was only seeing the midwife again the next week, I asked my friend to check my blood pressure, just because I felt a bit weird / spaced out / on edge. It was sky high! Sent to hospital straight away. They confirmed I had PE after they check BP again and did urine test (+4 at this stage). Stayed in hospital for a week, what an awful experience. On BP meds (I can't remember what BP was, but kept under 'conrol' although it remained high.) Here I learned that the 'heartburn' was really my liver playing up from PE! So Gaviscon was no good.
Had to do two 24 hour urine collection while in hospital. After the 2nd one, a week after admission, got woken in the middle of the night by consultant - protein in urine went up to +8! They thought I was about to convulse, but I still didn't feel any different from when they admitted me - just more spaced out from lack of sleep, stress and generally miserable from stay in hospital.
Was put on magnesium sulphate and induced straight away (week 36) and gave birth to gorgeous baby girl by emergency c-section. So glad we made it! Had to stay in hospital for another week on BP meds etc. Although I only realised after we were discharged and read about the condition how serious it all was!
Now, 18 months on, I'm considering trying for a 2nd
I am really scared of having a similar experience. Medical staff and procedures don't usually sit well with me. My body went into complete 'fight/flight' mode the last time, so much so that when they induced me I was a shivering, shaking, paralysed wreck!!
I just wonder about all my 'normal' pregnancy ailments before I was admitted and diagnosed? Were they signs / symptoms of what was happening in my body? Especially the water retention. I don't understand biology all that well, but just wondered if one thing lead to another?
There is no history of blood pressure problems in our family, I'm generally healthy, used to be fit (before my 1st pregnancy) and I am 39.
I read that PE has something to do with an immune intolerance. I wondered if taking supplements such as Echinacea (i.e boosting immunity) would also play a part? I certainly took Echinacea and Omega 3 and Folic Acid supplements in my first pregnancy. Is this best avoided?
Could it be that if you are too 'healthy' that your immune system is too strong?
Just wondering about all these things while I'm trying to decided about a 2nd pregnancy... I live in UK, and specialist advice is not very easy to negotiate on NHS!
Any advice would be appreciated!