My name is Rishika Krishna; I am 28 years old and live in Durban, South Africa.
In October 2001, I was 19 weeks pregnant when I was admitted to hospital because I was experiencing severe epi- gastric pain, and my blood pressure was elevated with the presence of protein in my urine and the level of my platelets was under 100. I was told that I would not be able to carry my baby to term and that there was nothing that could be done to prolong my pregnancy any longer. I had to have an immediate termination of pregnancy done. At 19 weeks of pregnancy my baby boy was born at 450 grams and I was devastated as there was nothing that could have been done to save him as I was too early in my pregnancy for him to survive outside the womb and my condition was too far into pre-eclampsia, so that was my only option.
I did not know at the time about pre-eclampsia as there was not much information known to people that I had known. All I was told was that there was a possibility that it could happen in my next pregnancy.
After what had happened to me I was too scared to even think of getting pregnant, but I also still longed to have my baby kick and move inside me and I so badly wanted what I had lost. Two years later I decided it was time to try again, maybe God would bless me with a child I so badly wanted. I started taking iron and folic acid supplements as soon as my husband and I decided to get pregnant. Six months later we discovered that I was pregnant. How excited we were yet on the other hand so scared too.
At about eight weeks of my pregnancy I bled. I was scared that I was losing my baby again. When we visited the Doctor and had an ultra sound scan done, we found that everything was fine and we went home relieved. When I started attending antenatal clinic I told the staff about pre-eclampsia in my first pregnancy and the doctor in charge advised me to start on low dose aspirin right away. So I started taking ¼ disprin every morning after breakfast. This I was told would help the blood flow in the placenta from me to baby.
In a routine blood test it was discovered that one of the tests had come back the way it should not have. I was asked to come in the very next day to see a specialist gynecologist. He explained to me that there was something that he had found during an ultra sound scan, but he needed to confer with a partner. I was then asked if I had bled in my early pregnancy, the answer to which was yes. He then explained to me that he had located a second placenta in my womb not attached to anything. I was apparently pregnant for twins and unfortunately when I bled in my early pregnancy I had lost one. This multiple pregnancy had caused my alpha feto protein level to be elevated, thus giving us something to worry about. The specialist gynecologist now became my doctor and I had to visit him at regular intervals. I was told to make a booking at an alternative State hospital in case I developed symptoms of pre-eclampsia I could get admitted there as our medical aid would not have been able to cover me staying so long in a private hospital.
At about 25 weeks in my pregnancy I started to experience epi-gastric pains and decided to go to my ante-natal clinic where I was treated for gastric reflux and told to get some rest, no bending and doing heavy work. At 26 weeks, still suffering from epi-gastric pains, my feet started swelling and I was starting to vomit. I immediately got my blood pressure checked and it was elevated quite a bit so I went to see my GP. He also checked my blood pressure and saw it was elevated. He then asked me for a urine sample and he then told me that I had protein in my urine. I was told to get admitted to hospital immediately as I had developed pre-eclampsia.
On 23 September I was admitted to a State Hospital where there was so many tests run on my. After two days I was told that my condition was deteriorating, my platelets were now dropping to just over 100. I was told that there was to be an emergency termination of pregnancy done. I begged and pleaded with the doctor, who eventually got me transferred to a high care state hospital not too far away from that one. I stayed at the high care hospital till I was 29 weeks pregnant, being closely monitored every day and when my pregnancy time was pushed to the max it was decided that I deliver at 29 weeks gestation.
I delivered via cesarean section at 10:00 am on 22October 2003, a day before my own birthday, to a baby boy, weighing in at 1.075 kg. Because I was given steroids to strengthen baby