Hello, My name is Allison and I'm here to tell my preeclampsia story. First,
My name is Allison and I'm here to tell my preeclampsia story. First, I want to thank the Preeclampsia Foundation for their awesome efforts to spread the word and educate about the dangers of preeclampsia. I wish I would have found this particular site while I was going through the signs and symptoms.
I was 28 years old, my first pregnancy, and aside from the normal morning sickness I felt great being pregnant. I was enjoying every single moment. At 25 weeks I came home from a normal 8 hour shift of work, being on my feet and noticed I had major ankle swelling and edema. So much you couldn't see my ankle bones. I'm a sonographer at a large hospital and so I'm walking and on my feet a lot. Linking in my head, swelling and high blood pressure, I decided to take it when I got home with my home blood pressure cuff. My normal blood pressure was always on the low side. Approximately 110/70. That day it was 135/85, so that seemed high to me. I called my OB office Monday morning. A nurse triaged my call. (Keep in mind this was a large teaching hospital that I was receiving my care at) When I told the nurse about my rapid ankle swelling and the blood pressure being higher than my norm. she told me that the high BP number they look for is 140/90 or higher and that my ankle swelling was probably because I was getting closer to my third trimester. It didn't seem right in my head but I'm a good patient and said "ok" and that was the end of the call. Now, thanks to this website, I know that its particular increases in the systolic and diastolic pressures that are important. My pressures continued to go up, and my swelling increased even off my feet and I started to notice it in my hands. My co-workers started to notice it in my face. As my pressures kept increasing, I kept calling the OB office to be triaged by the nurses and I kept getting the same answers. They did start asking if I had vision changes or a headache, none of which I had. About 3 weeks went by and my pressure was still going up and now I was at the key # of 140/90....so they said. Now they said that since I had a doctor;s appointment in a couple days, I should wait and be seen then. When I saw the resident he put me on meds no question. I kept taking my pressures as he requested and logged them daily. By the weekend I was 190/109! I called Triage at the hospital and they told me to double my meds. They didn't even want a urine dip! And looking back now, I can almost guarantee it would have been positive for protein. I was knowing this whole time things were going haywire and nobody would listen. By Monday I was feeling worse and decided to take it upon myself to do an ultrasound of my kidneys (which looked normal from an ultrasound stand-point)....but, I did have moderate plerual effusions on both sides. No wonder I was having back pain and breathing difficulties. So I paged my doctor immediately. He then advised me to go straight to triage. I did, I was 28 weeks pregnant. I had protein in my urine and my blood pressure was sky high. The meds were not working. At that point I was admitted and told I would be closely monitored until I was at a point to deliver because I had severe preeclampsia. Amazing that weeks ago I just knew that I was heading towards some sort of abnormality. So I was stable enough for the next few days but then I had an awful night where my breathing became increasingly worse and I couldn't sleep because I was gasping for air. They did another chest xray in the morning and it was substantially worse so it was then that they told my husband and I that our son, Bryson had to be born. I opted for a c-section considering my breathing problems. They gave me a choice to be induced but I could never have breathed through contractions.
Uncomplicated c-section and a while later and Bryson was born at 28 weeks 4 days with a loud cry and swept off to the NICU. He was on a ventilator for less than 24 hours, CPAP for less than 24 hours and proved to be quite a strong little man. Aside from the normal apnea of prematurity issues, he just had to get bigger and stronger to be able to come home with us. Two months later between Christmas and New Year's he did just that. We are so extremely blessed and I thank God for taking care of us everyday of my/our lives now. He's now 8 months old, chubby and in the 90th percentile for his corrected gestational age. I'm a proud Momma!
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...