I'm so happy to see attention being brought to this condition. I read the article
Posted On Thursday, June 20, 2002 by Amanda
I'm so happy to see attention being brought to this condition. I read the article in this month's Cosmopolitan magazine, and saw your website information there. Prior to my own experience, the only knowledge of preeclampsia was through what happened to my first cousin about a year prior. She had a normal pregnancy, but near her due date, her husband woke to find her in seizure. She had actually knocked her front teeth out in the process. Luckily, both she and her baby survived.
I didn't really give it much thought again until my sister, who is an RN, mentioned to me around the beginning of my final month, that my swelling looked excessive, and that I needed to mention it to my doctor. I had not had an easy pregnancy anyway. At the fifth month, I had a kidney stone and was hospitalized for a week, enduring multiple x-rays, Demerol, IVP's and finally a cystoscopy removal of the stone (without the benefit of anesthesia I might add!) I've never been good at drinking enough water, and the doctors pinned the problem on this.
I had an appointment with my obstetrician to ask if it was okay to take a short trip across the state with my parents to visit my brother. When I went in, I mentioned the swelling, and relayed what my sister's concerns were. I was told that I had two choices that morning - go to the hospital and stay, or go home and stay in bed on my left side for the remaining month. I was dumbfounded! My blood pressure was rising, and I had protein in my urine. My fingers/hands had been numb from the swelling for some time, but I assumed it was normal. But my doctor was firm about my choices, and pulled no punches with me. So I dropped by my office to let them know the situation, then I went home and got in bed like he told me to. I remained in bed, on my left side, getting up only to go to the bathroom and eat, or to visit my obstetrician twice a week. It was torture, but I knew I had to do it. Each time I visited my obstetrician, I underwent a non-stress test and nipple stimulation contraction stress test. It was uncomfortable, but I felt assured that my doctor and nurse were monitoring my situation well.
As my due date arrived, and no sign of contractions or cervical dilation/effacing was found, it was decided that labor induction using pitocin was necessary. My obstetrician explained that the only way to "cure" the preeclampsia was delivery of the baby. I was ready to get it over with by this time anyway! At my Friday appointment, my obstetrician scheduled me for the following Tuesday, which was one day from my actual due date. Everything went well, although my cervix never dilated past about 5 cm. After being at the hospital all day, my obstetrician determined a C-section was necessary. He said my baby was fairly large, and it didn't look like I was progressing at all. Afterwards, he said he was concerned about the baby's heart rate as well. So on 11-05-85, Jake Southern Potter was born via vertical incision C-section, weighing 9-lb., 10-oz., and measuring 22 inches in length. Whew! But he was healthy as a horse, thank God!
After the delivery, I remained in the hospital another three days. I was monitored constantly, and weighed daily. Before leaving the hospital, my obstetrician came in and talked with me and my husband, telling us we needed to wait at least five years before considering another pregnancy because of the risks. He also explained that the reason they monitored me so closely was that with the preeclampsia, there was a high risk of heart attack and other complications after delivery. I felt my obstetricians gave me their best care, and were completely aware of the problems that could have arisen due to my condition. I thank God they did.
Since then, I've divorced, and I've developed hypertension, and have been on medication for several years. I battled severe cervical dysplasia for the last three years, resulting in a TAH/BSO on February 5, 2002, performed by the same doctor who delivered my son. So my story actually has a happy ending.
I'm interested in any new developments that may point to future health problems for women who have experienced preeclampsia, such as diabetes. I'll continue to monitor your website for news. Marcia M. Potter, Jacksonville, NC, Date of delivery: 11-05-1985 OB-GYN doctor: Paul Williams, MD The Crist Clinic for Women, Jacksonville, NC.
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