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Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

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Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby Norinda » Wed May 23, 2012 11:30 pm

by Norinda (3 Posts), Wed May 23, 2012 11:30 pm

Hi. First post here. I'm not really sure what I hope to get out of joining this forum. I guess just a better understanding of how common eclampsia is, and maybe a place for emotional support.

My little sister died last week after suddenly developing eclampsia. She had only six weeks until her due date. When she presented with high blood pressure, then started seizing, they delivered the baby via c. My sister returned from delivery on a ventilator, and never woke up. She developed HELLP syndrome and everything just started failing. They tried dialysis, and revived her once when she stopped breathing. Eventually, they did a cat scan and said there was nothing else to do for her.

The baby stayed in the NICU this week, but is coming home tomorrow with daddy. Thankfully, she is healthy and thriving. I usually live far away, but I am here now to help him until he has a routine and also time to grieve.

My sister and I were really close. We are going to figure this out, her husband and me, but it breaks my heart that she never got to hold her daughter. It was her first baby, and she was so excited. My sister was only thirty, and had just finished her college degree twelve days prior. I guess everyone in my family is having a hard time understanding how everything went so wrong, and so quickly. Is that common? I mean, i know there are no absolutes in medicine, and my sister had some risk factors like PCOS and obesity, but i guess you never expect anyone to die in childbirth in 2012, you know?

I'll keep reading around this site for information in general, but I have been so busy this week getting their nursery set up and planning the funeral. Everything seems so wrong, even though I am overjoyed at my new niece. She looks a lot like her mama. I see a lot of stories here about people who lost a child to preeclampsia. Anyone else grieving for a sibling, or a wife?
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Re: Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby caryn » Wed May 23, 2012 11:38 pm

by caryn (10178 Posts), Wed May 23, 2012 11:38 pm

I am so very sorry. And you are not alone.

We have stopped telling the story where the children are raised by the ugly stepmother because the mother died in childbirth. I'm not sure why we stopped telling it.

Please ask any questions here - we will grieve with you.
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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Re: Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby trish » Wed May 23, 2012 11:54 pm

by trish (2949 Posts), Wed May 23, 2012 11:54 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately it is still way too common to lose a mama and/or a baby to this awful disease. I just walked here in OKC in the first Promise Walk here & the people who coordinated it lost their daughter and first grandchild this time last year.

I'm sure you will hear from others soon. I hope you can find some support here. (((HUGS)))
Trish: mama to my 3 PE Princesses:
Elizabeth 11/6/03 induced at 37 weeks for PE
Katie 4/13/05 induced at 38 weeks for PE
Allison 12/27/07 induced at 36 weeks for PE then PP PE & BP issues for over a year
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Re: Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby kerisue » Thu May 24, 2012 00:12 am

by kerisue (623 Posts), Thu May 24, 2012 00:12 am

I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. This awful disease preeclampsia/eclampsia/HELLP has taken so many loved ones, including my own baby girl. I know this is no consolation at all, but at least your niece will have you to tell her all the stories about her Mama, all the crazy and wonderful things she did when she was younger, and how much she wanted a baby.

You asked whether the the quick progression of disease is common. From my own experience, yes. I believe that the disease was silently beginning early in my pregnancy, but its outward manifestation was very fast- less than one week from diagnosis to delivery. A nightmare whirlwind it was. In others though, it can limp along slowly and never become "critical" or "severe".

Thinking of you, your niece, and your brother in law.
Mama to Millie
born June 2010 @ 24 wks. gestation due to my severe PE and CHF
lived 25 days, loved and missed
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Re: Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby brandib » Thu May 24, 2012 00:33 am

by brandib (510 Posts), Thu May 24, 2012 00:33 am

I am so so sorry that you've lost your sister. You're right, we don't expect to still lose mothers to child birth in 2012. It just doesn't seem right. The Preeclampsia Foundation holds a " Promise Walk for Preeclampsia" in cities across America every May to raise awareness and to raise money so we can search for a cure!! We still don't understand what causes preeclampsia or how we can prevent it. We certainly do not realize why some women die and others get mildly sick. I wish I could help you more. I can tell you though that Preeclampsia affects 5-8% of all pregnancies. 10 million women a year will develop it. As uncommon as it seems with women having a 92-95% chance of NOT getting it, it still feels way too common. I am so glad you've found the forums! We all grieve with you. I am so very sorry for your loss.
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Re: Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby annegarrett » Thu May 24, 2012 00:50 am

by annegarrett (2525 Posts), Thu May 24, 2012 00:50 am


So sorry for your loss. I sent you a private message. PLEASE feel free to reach out to me directly. I am here for you.

Anne Garrett AddisonFounder, Preeclampsia Foundation
P/E 85, Miscarriage 86, HELLP 96, P/E 99
four healthy sons - life is never dull
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Re: Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby angieb » Thu May 24, 2012 07:55 am

by angieb (1194 Posts), Thu May 24, 2012 07:55 am

I am so, so sorry for your loss. Praying for your family.
Me (29) DH (30)
#1-Olivia Caetlyn-9-28-09-9-28-09, 23+2 wks, emergency classic c-section, class I HELLP, IUGR
#2- Lucas Oliver (rainbow baby)- April 2011, 36+2 wks, HELLP and pre-e free! (lovenox and LDA pregnancy)
#3-Matthew, late October 2012...mostly normal, 37 wks, (lovenox and LDA again)
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Re: Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby laney_p » Thu May 24, 2012 08:07 am

by laney_p (75 Posts), Thu May 24, 2012 08:07 am

Hi Norinda,

We are so sorry for your loss. I have two sisters myself and can only imagine the pain that you are facing; but you have found such a wonderful community of women who have walked in your shoes. As you can tell from all these posts, we are all here for you, in any way you need. Preeclampsia affects approximately 1 in 12 pregnancies, and about 25% of those face severe consequences, which in our Foundation's opinion, is far too many women and their babies. We are hear to lend an understanding ear.

We also have a wonderful group of volunteers who are our part of Patient Support Network, and who have all been through the grief and loss that is cause by this devastating condition and provide emotional support. If you'd like to talk to one directly by phone, let me know, or you can call our toll-free patient support line at 800-665-9341. Please let us know if there is anything we can do, and don't hesitate to reach out to us directly!
Director of Community Relations for the Preeclampsia Foundation
*does not provide any medical advice*
for more information, please visit

La Director de Relaciones con la Comunidad
*no ofrece consejo médico*
Se habla español
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Re: Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby patty » Thu May 24, 2012 08:24 am

by patty (667 Posts), Thu May 24, 2012 08:24 am

(((hugs))) So incredibly sorry for your family's loss. Pre-e is such a terrible disease. I think it is more common to lose a baby then a mom but sometimes the disease does move very suddenly and tragically. I will keep you and your sister's husband and your little niece in my prayers.
Patty mom to: Seth 6-24-95 (severe preeclampsia that got worse postpartum, delivered at 36 weeks), Brooks 9-11-98 (preeclampsia delivered at 35weeks), Sylvia 5-24-01(my only girl, PIH delivered at 38 weeks), Raleigh 2-19-06 (born on my 37th birthday, severe preeclamsia, 3 weeks of hospital bedrest, delivered at 34 weeks) and last but not least little Randall 5-07-08, 3lbs 11oz.(severe preeclampsia, a month of hospital bedrest, delivered at 31weeks, 25days in the NICU with RDS, chest tubes and NEC)
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Re: Lost my sister. Lost without my sister.

Postby lulum704 » Thu May 24, 2012 08:32 am

by lulum704 (3 Posts), Thu May 24, 2012 08:32 am

I am so sorry about your lost.... Last April, our family lost my son's girlfriend (Emilly - they were on their way to getting married) and their son (Connor - my first grandson) to preeclampsia. Emilly's family and I worked together to hold a Promise Walk in OKC. We too had never heard of preeclampsia until the loss our family suffered. It is so good of you to be able to be with your brother-in-law and help with the baby through the pain you are suffering. Your neice will need in our life as she grows up to tell her the wonderful stories of her mother.... how she was as a child, how she couldn't wait to hold her.....

Emilly's friends also started a scholarship in her name at the college she had just graduated from the year before... Em's family and us work with them on fundraisers. If you need anything; please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be praying for you and your family.

love, laura
Last edited by blythe on Thu May 24, 2012 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited out phone number - forum is publicly searchable, please feel free to share contact info in private messaging!!
Laura M.
Grandmother to Connor, my sweet angel in Heaven
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