Eclampsia at 29 weeks with my twin girls
Posted On Tuesday, January 08, 2013 by victoria
I found out I was pregnant with non-identical twins at my 12 week scan in February 2011. I had a difficult first 14 weeks with bad nausea but after this I began to feel well and enjoy my pregnancy.
At 27 weeks my feet and hands were swelling pretty rapidly, to the point I couldn't fit into my shoes or put my wedding ring on. I went to see my midwife who sent me into hospital to be checked out. My blood pressure was 145/88 (compared to 100/60 at start of my pregnancy) and had all the tests carried out and was let home. This was the first time I heard the word pre-eclampsia and it was explained to me but I was told I didn't have it but was told what to look out for.
I had another check up at 28 weeks and was told I was fine, babies growing as they should and the doctor actually laughed off my symptoms.
A week later, I had woken with an unbearable headache at 2am. My husband had bought me some urine analysis sticks so we tested my urine at home and the protein was off the scale. We went into hospital in the middle of the night; my blood pressure now at 180/99 and it was confirmed I had pre-eclapmsia. I was admitted and told I would have the twins in the next 3 weeks and was given a steroid injection.
At 2pm, I began to feel really confused, my mum was with me and was talking, but I couldn't understand what she was saying. I couldn't lift my arm at all or understand anything going on. Within seconds, I noticed my arm twitching and couldn't speak and at this point had an eclamptic seizure.
When I came round, I was told I had to have a Caesarean section or I would die. My daughter, Sophie, was born first at 2 pounds 6 ounces. Then, Katie was born, at 2 pounds 10 ounces. I was only 29 weeks and 2 days gestation. I was in hospital for 5 days and then allowed home.
The girls have come on so much and were let out of hospital 8 weeks later, weighing just under 4 pounds. They are now 18 months old and are developing well but are still seen by their neonatal consultant every six months for check-ups.
About two weeks after my seizure, I started with panic attacks. I would wake in the middle of the night absolutely convinced I was about to fit again, and several times I went to A&E. These panic attacks ruled my life for months, absolutely convinced I was about to fit and die.
I am now seeing a therapist for cognitive behavior therapy as I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and would really recommend this to any woman that has been through anything like this. You feel that no-one understands what you are going through but a therapist can really make things clear and help you to deal with this life changing experience.
I realize from reading other women's stories that I and my daughters are lucky to be alive and just want to share my story to raise awareness.
After surviving a very traumatic first pregnancy with a nightmare delivery (30 hours of magnesium-induced hell, ending in an emergency c-section) and even more debilitating recovery, one would think I was DONE having children. Let's be ...