Going to try again

Are you considering having another child after preeclampsia? Trying again after preeclampsia can be an emotional challenge. You can find support with others who share your concerns here.
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Re: Going to try again

Postby [email protected] » Wed Apr 13, 2016 05:02 pm

Hi Anne Marie,

Sorry to be late chiming in. I agree with everything Eleni said; it's great to be proactive and to try to do what we can to try to ensure a successful pregnancy. Like you said, there are no guarantees, but hopefully it gives even a little peace of mind as a mom that we do what we can for our kids.

I agree that working with an MFM--one that you totally trust with yours and your unborn child's life--is key. One who will take the time to answer any questions and address any concerns that you may have to your satisfaction, and that you never leave his or her office with any unanswered questions.

That being said, once you find the MFM that works for you, the questions to ask are what is the game plan? what does he or she plan to do should things begin to go south? What are warning signs I should look out for? What do I need to do to partner with you to make sure that this pregnancy will be as successful as can be? My perinatologist and his nurse were truly lifesavers, and left no stone unturned when it came to peace of mind and what I could do for my unborn children. Partnering is key.

In terms of a doula, I didn't use one, but each of us moms are different and our needs are different, and if you feel a doula will work for you, I see no reason not to look into getting one. Whoever you need on your team, go for it. This is your pregnancy-to-be, and it sounds like you have a great start.

Both of my pregnancies were successful: first pg boy/girl twins induced at 38.4 weeks, and second pg singleton boy delivered at 36 weeks. Preeclampsia did rear its ugly head both times (first pg postpartum, second before delivery and postpartum), but my MFM was so diligent, and so knowledgeable about the disease, that my husband and I knew that we, children included, were in the best hands possible. Communication with him and his team remained a key factor, and contributed to the success.

Wishing you the very best as you start on this journey,
Patient Support Network Volunteer

boy/girl twins, 38.4 weeks, postpartum preeclampsia twice
boy, 36 weeks, preeclampsia/postpartum preeclampsia

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Re: Going to try again

Postby eleni » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:29 pm

Dear Anne Marie,

Firstly, I'm so sorry that nobody has jumped on here to respond to you! You are clearly thinking through this very carefully for which I applaud you. Being an educated, empowered patient is often half the battle!

Your goals for getting healthy and reviewing your heart health are right on! While neither are guarantees of preventing preeclampsia, it'll reduce your risk. Getting with an MFM would be important and if you're in a position to travel and insurance will accommodate it, we can recommend several centers that have the added benefit of integrating cardiovascular specialists into their practices. (if you want to send me a personal email with your location, we can see who we know near you.) I would add an overall review of your interconception health, any underlying conditions, etc. to the questions you ask the MFM.

As for support, I used a doula who specialized in pregnancy massage to help me through my second pregnancy (which also turned into preeclampsia). It helped with anxiety and staying peaceful through a mentally tough time. (I lost my daughter at 29 weeks in the first pregnancy.) My doula was wonderful and came to the hospital during the days when we were just waiting and waiting for things to get worse. I had not planned to use her for birthing. While we knew it would probably be a c/s, she gave me foot massages, head massages, and just her general peaceful nature was therapeutic.

It's a lot to process, but for me working in partnership with my MFM throughout my second (and then third) pregnancy made all the difference.

Best wishes,
Eleni Z. Tsigas
Executive Director
Preeclampsia Foundation

2x PE survivor; 29 week daughter died, 35 week IUGR son made it after 2 weeks of NICU fun; 3rd pregnancy PE-free resulted in strapping 8 pounder son, born at term.

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Going to try again

Postby dracarey » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:52 pm

Hi there. I'm sure my story is a familiar one to many of you. I developed preeclampsia at around 27 weeks into my first (and presently only) pregnancy. At first my BP was pretty labile, but finally by 29 weeks, I had settled into severe preeclampsia. I was airlifted to a hospital that had high risk obstetricians, and an excellent NICU. My daughter was born at 30 weeks, 2 lbs 9 oz. It was a tough experience in the NICU, but now she is 4 1/2 years old, with absolutely no issues. I am very grateful for that. I also had post-partum preeclampsia that was quite bad, which actually resulted in pulmonary edema, but probably the worst of it all was the PTSD afterwards. I would say it took me a year to get off blood pressure meds, but much longer to get past the trauma of realizing that something bad can actually happen to you.

So, it's over 4 years later now, I'm 33, and although I swore-off ever having another child, I am really longing for that again. I know I am not at my healthiest right now. I am carrying an extra 20 lbs that I don't need, and my blood pressure is borderline. I have white-coat syndrome, so the best my blood pressure is at the doctor is around 130/80, but at home it is around 120/70-80. Nobody wants to medicate me yet, and fair enough. Certainly there is room for some lifestyle changes that I hope would positively impact my health.

My hope is that in about 6 months my husband and will start trying to conceive again. My plan for these next 6 months (which has already been set in motion) includes:

1. Getting in shape, and dropping a few extra pounds. I figure the healthier my cardiovascular system is going into this, the better it will be able to rebound from another episode of preeclampsia.

2. A referral to an MFM in advance to discuss my risk and any preventative measures I may be able to take. I'd also like a plan for managing the actual pregnancy.

3. An echocardiogram. This is mostly to indulge my paranoia because the pulmonary edema post-partum was terrifying, but I also have a heart murmur. I've had a previous echo that showed mild thicking of one of my aortic valve leaflets, so I'll have something to compare against.

4. I am tracking my fertility because once I'm ready to get started I want things to move quickly!! No time to change my mind, haha.

I am looking for some advice from all of you brave ladies:

1. What would you suggest I have on my list of questions as I prepare for my appointment with my MFM?

2. Did anyone use any particular support systems through a second pregnancy that kept you from going crazy? For example, is it worth it to consider having a doula? I know doulas and potentially emergency deliveries don't mesh well together, but it seems like they also serve as support through the pregnancy? I know this forum will also be a great source of support.

3. Does anyone have positive stories of pregnancies working out well the second time around? I'm not crazy, I know there's some big risks here, but I would love to indulge in some hope and keep those stories close to my heart.

4. My greatest fear is that I won't make it through another pregnancy. As in, it would be fatal. Nobody can guarantee me that it wouldn't be, and I know there are people in this forum who have lost women to this horrible disease. But, having an awareness of preeclampsia and personal experience with the symptoms, coupled with a plan involving an mfm and frequent monitoring (including at home) should keep me fairly safe, right? God I am so afraid, and yet I so want to do this.

Thank you thank you to anyone who chimes. I have visited this forum so many times since the birth of my daughter.

~Anne Marie

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