I had my first child at age 18, poor nutrition and my first baby. You
I had my first child at age 18, poor nutrition and my first baby. You would have thought I would get preeclampsia then. But I didn't. I ended up with preeclampsia with my second child.
At 35 weeks my doctor noted my blood pressure was going up. He asked about lifestyle and if I had any changes. Then he ordered a 24 hour urine, and to see him the following week.
At 36 weeks again they told me, lay down on your left side, again I didn't know why. They took the pressures and then had me lay down for half an hour, they came back in, and took it again, it was normal so they let me go home. By this time I had been having the upper right pains, I too thought it was just the way the baby was positioned so I never said anything at all. I also had headaches in which the doctor told me to try drinking a coke, alternate hot and cold. I let this go one for a week. That was around the 20th week or so.
By 37 weeks my visit again went the same, lay on left side to take the pressure. It didn't go down after an hour. The doctor then explained to his med student that my blood pressure was in the preeclampsia range 140/92 (normally I was 110/65. He ordered me to the hospital for a few hours worth of blood pressure readings, and let me drive there, explaining that if it was high after a few hours he would come to induce me. He never explained to me what this was, and I was so afraid I didn't ask.
I called my husband at work and told him I was swinging by to pick him up and that we would go to the hospital, that my blood pressure was up. The nurse at the hospital that took my readings was great. She explained more and told me that I was very swollen, and asked if I was on bed rest. I told her no I wasn't. She told me I probably should have been, and to rest as much as possible. The blood pressure went down, and I was having some contractions. At first the nurse thought she would be able to keep me because of them! When she called the doctor to give him the readings he sent me home, to see him again in a week.
At 38 weeks I again went in to his office. He then reviewed my urine and noted that I had an excessive amount of protein and since my pressure was still up he was going to induce me the next day, before he had a sick mom and baby. I delivered my daughter with a very swift labor, she came in under 2 hours. I was not on mag sulfate or any other preventative drugs, not even aspirin. I however was lucky and did fine. My daughter had to go to the NICU for a few days due to her blood sugar being low, but has had no problems since.
Now that I am in my third pregnancy I am seeing a high risk doctor. They told me that I had mild preeclampsia. They didn't mention HELLP but I know I had to have that because they stated that I had a low platelet count...under 20,000, and I had the pains but I just didn't know what they were. I am hopeful that this pregnancy and postpartum will be uneventful.
It just amazes me how many conflicting things there are out there about this disease. All the doctors looked at me like I was stupid because I didn't have preeclampsia in my first pregnancy, one even thought they just missed it! I am concerned about the lack of knowledge out there, every doctor has different opinions and treatments. Most seem to give aspirin, calcium, bed rest, something to try to suppress it, others do mag sulfate as a standard practice, mine did nothing extra. I just realize now how lucky I was given no other medications or warnings.
Please help to support this foundation, so that hopefully our children will not have to deal with this! We need to get the information out there, especially to the medical community, they are stumped. Maybe if they just listen to us, they can get some answers. We break every "rule" of this disease on a daily basis! And I read that every hour 9 women die from this, and probably hundreds of babies. Yet they still call this "rare".
I am so glad that my daughter made it, now my only concern is...Will she get this?
Ethan will be turning 3 at the end of this month (October). The month of October always brings up some scary memories and emotions for me... I never thought I would have a difficult pregnancy or labor. After all...