My first pregnancy at age 27 went uneventful until the beginning of my 37th week.
Post On Friday, January 14, 2005 By
My first pregnancy at age 27 went uneventful until the beginning of my 37th week. I was at my doctor's visit when it was discovered I had protein in my urine and an elevated blood pressure. Since I was far enough along, my doctor scheduled me to be induced. Fortunately, when I arrived at the hospital it turned out I was already in labor and didn't know it. Seems that I couldn't feel the contractions. Labor never got very intense and 13 hours later with only 5 pushes my son was born - a little blue, but he got an APGAR of 9. I didn't think anything about the preeclampsia at the time because most of what I had read (this was 14 years ago) stated it was common among first time mothers. 5 years later with my second pregnancy I came down with preeclampsia again...this time at my 31st week. I was regulated to bed rest and checking my urine for protein levels everyday. After a few weeks of this my blood pressure kept rising and I was hospitalized for four days with complete bed rest (they wouldn't even let me up to use the toilet!) The unusual part is that I felt fine - a little dizziness and difficulty breathing if I walked any distance but otherwise no outward signs of the disease. I was sent home after the four days but to continue bed rest and visited by a nurse. By the 37th week I was far enough along that they induced labor and after only 3 hours of labor my second son was born. He was healthy with no problems (7 lbs 4 oz). Two years later I was pregnant with my third child and decided that I should be careful and do research because I thought the preeclampsia was getting worse with each pregnancy - I was afraid this one would kill either me, my child, or both. At the time I was living in the Pittsburgh area and McGee Women's Center was doing a study on preeeclampsia, so I participated in the study. This time, however - no signs of preeclampsia whatsoever and I delivered a 9 lb 4 oz boy after an hour and a half of labor on his due date. That was seven years ago.
What made the difference? I don't really know, but I do know that with my first two, I couldn't stomach the prenatal vitamins the doctor gave me and didn't take them. With my third, I had lost a lot of weight on Jenny Craig and had been using Carol Bond Health Food's multi-vitamins recommended for pregnancy. I think that might have been some contributor to my nutritional situation as studies have shown that those countries where nutrition is poor, there is a higher incident rate of preeclampsia.
Also, both boys with whom I had preeclampsia had other health problems growing up. (primary enuresis, problems with bowels, attention difficulties, etc.)