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Post On Tuesday, February 25, 2014 By Ketan
To my surprise at 43 I became pregnant! Terrified of all the issues that could happen at my age with pregnancy, I made sure I followed all the suggestions to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Everything was normal and healthy at 18 weeks so I allowed myself to be excited for the first time! Words can not express my feelings of joy and pride to finally be pregnant after thinking all my life I could not conceive. Around 20 weeks my body began to swell and I felt so bloated all the time nothing felt comfortable about my body. My OB at the time reassured me this was all a normal part of pregnancy. My BP was slightly high but nothing alarming according to my care provider. At 23 weeks, while at a conference for work, I had a shiny silver flecks cover my left eye. Had no headache and it disappeared in about 20 minutes. Visited my OB the next morning and told him what had happened. He didn't act like it was a big deal but did mention my BP was elevated and that the protein in my urine was a little high so he said to come back in a week. I was so swollen!! I felt horrible and waited at home in bed for another day and a half when I went back in to see someone else at the OB office. She took one look at me and sent me to the ER and then by ambulance to a hospital 2 hours a way who specialized in Preeclampsia and could provide a NICU for my baby. I developed severe preeclampsia and within 4 days of walking into the ER, my daughter was born at 24 weeks, stillborn. My lungs were filling up with fluid and the doctor said life support was not far away for me. I tried to get Olivia to a viable age but couldn't make it. NO ONE explained preeclampsia to me. NO ONE seemed concerned when I continually told them how bad I felt and the tell-tale signs of preeclampsia were so evident. It's been 3 months since Olivia was born. I am so angry at trained, health care providers (SPECIALISTS!) who should have warned me. Not sure how to feel now. It's as if I am waking up from a very cruel dream. I know now there are many stories like mine. I am thankful for the Preeclampsia Foundation. My family and I have plans to join events promoting education and awareness to pregnant women, families and providers. I urge all women to be the advocate for increased prenatal illness education and Preeclampsia Awareness in their communities. What a horrible experience that could have been detected much earlier for me and possibly a better outcome. My Olivia was so close to a chance.
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