Still grieving, yet ready to start a family...

Are you considering having another child after preeclampsia? Trying again after preeclampsia can be an emotional challenge. You can find support with others who share your concerns here.
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Re: Still grieving, yet ready to start a family...

Postby angieb » Fri Nov 20, 2015 03:06 am

I am so sorry for your loss. Our stories are very similar except that I had more of HELLP (bad bloodwork) more than the high blood pressure when I was diagnosed and had to deliver our daughter at 23wks+2d.

I wish there were more answers, but sadly, no.

A subsequent pregnancy after the death of your baby is probably one of the scariest and bravest things you will ever do. It's easy to imagine when the grief is fresh and your arms are so empty, but once you are actually pregnant, it is terrifying. Unless age is a factor for fertility, I strongly strongly strongly urge you to give it about a year to work through your grief. That first year after a loss is so very difficult. And being pregnant again is even more difficult. I have no idea how the women who end up going through both at once cope. The women I know who got pregnant again quickly REALLY struggled emotionally a lot more than the women who waited a little bit. (I am a huge hypocrite though and desperately wanted to be pregnant again the minute I was discharged without our daughter. Luckily it took us a lot longer to get pregnant than I wanted so we ended up unintentionally waiting almost a year, which was definitely the best thing in hindsight.)

You need a very good MFM that you trust and possibly an OB too. They need to be very patient because you will be a nervous wreck- that's just how it is. I got different opinions for treatment but ultimately had to go with my gut. All of my underlying condition bloodwork came back normal but my MFM put me on lovenox (after confirmed hb) and low dose aspirin (with + hpt) for my pregnancies. Whether they helped or not, or we just had horrible luck the first time, we'll never know for sure I guess, but we now have 3 healthy boys that were all born at 36-37 weeks after relatively healthy pregnancies. My lovenox dosage was the highest and I was on it the longest for my oldest son and he was the biggest (7 lbs 4 oz @ 36 wks), I was on the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time for my youngest, and he was the smallest- (5 lbs 13 oz @ 37 wks.) I do think my youngest son was struggling a bit because my blood pressure was labile and he started gaining weight very quickly and easily once he was out, whereas my oldest has always been tall and just big, it's his body frame, so I'm not really sure how much lovenox influenced my pregnancies, I just didn't want to regret NOT doing it when the risks of trying it seemed minimal. [One MFM told me yes to lovenox, another said no, since I had no known clotting disorders.] My weight was on the higher end of normal for my pregnancy with DD, I was slightly overweight with DS1, a much lower weight with DS2, and overweight for my pregnancy with DS3, that really didn't seem to make a difference in my pregnancies at all- my worst pregnancy [DD] was my lowest starting weight. My MFM basically said she wasn't going to tell me not to lose weight because obviously being as healthy as possible going into a pregnancy is ideal, but that she wasn't worried about it and didn't think it would make a didn't.

I just want to say again I am so sorry for your loss. Our daughter died a little over six years ago, and I never could have imagined back then that we would or could still go on to have three healthy babies after everything we'd been through. Feel free to message me or send me an email angiew901 if you have any more questions, we are pretty busy with our baby and 2 preschoolers so I don't come back here very often but I'm glad I saw your post and hope this helps a little.
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: Still grieving, yet ready to start a family...

Postby laney_p » Wed Nov 11, 2015 04:22 pm

So sorry about your loss. It's something no family should have to experience. We're here if you need to talk, vent or just have a sympathetic shoulder.

Yeah, the amount that we don't know about preventing preeclampsia in future pregnancies far outweighs the amount that doctors do know! But as jenh mentioned, we do know that getting yourself healthy in between conceptions, monitoring and treating for underlying blood clotting or autoimmune disorders (which are present in some, but not all preeclampsia survivors), and heavy monitoring of you and your baby when you do conceive can all be of benefit.

So sorry that you are going through this process; it can be so hard to even THINK about conceiving again after such a difficult experience. Sending good thoughts your way!
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Re: Still grieving, yet ready to start a family...

Postby jenh » Tue Nov 03, 2015 02:36 pm

Welcome. I'm so sorry for your loss.

The good news is most women who get PE only get it once, and if it does recur it's usually later and milder. Of course, there are always rare cases who don't follow that pattern, so there are no guarantees. Generally, the earlier and more severely you got it the first time, the higher the risk of recurrence.

Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to prevent it. It is believed to have a number of causes, and it's hard to figure out exactly which risk factors apply to which women. Aspirin and other blood thinners seem to help a small percentage of women. Getting yourself as healthy as possible before and during pregnancy will give you and baby the best chance of surviving any complications that may come up. Most of us who are high risk for recurrence are very closely monitored, often by a maternal-fetal-medicine specialist along with an OB, so it can be caught and managed as well as possible.
Wife to Brett 6/30/02
Mom to Ethne Joy 10/12/03, 35 weeks, severe PE
Mom to Catie Grace 12/8/06, 37 weeks, mild PE
Mom to Riley Faith and Gavin Arthur 7/7/09, 36 weeks, PIH 22 weeks, PE 31 weeks, severe post partum PE
Mom to four angels Grace (12/15/05), Ian (7/28/08), Declan (5/23/15), and Lucy (11/24/15)

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Still grieving, yet ready to start a family...

Postby utkg38 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 04:50 am

Hello All,

It's been two months since I lost my baby girl to severe preeclampsia at 23 weeks. This was my first pregnancy, and looking back on it now, I should've known something was wrong. All signs pointed to a perfectly healthy pregnancy with an all-clear anatomy scan at 18 weeks. While on vacation, I developed significant epigastric pain and increased leg/foot swelling. After being checked into L&D triage, it was quickly presented to my husband and I that baby girl G would need to be delivered and would not survive. I was admitted with BPs near 200/100, 3+ protein in my urine, and baby was <10% of gestastional developmental size/weight. Since my anatomy scan, she essentially had not grown at all due to IUGR - yet my severe symptoms had only been present for about a week. It was the most horrific night of my life, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still haunted by it. I'm currently seeking counseling and the help I need to cope.

My question for you ladies is: what can I do, or what have you been recommended to do (if anything at all) by your physicians before preparing to conceive again? I've gotten conflicting recommendations of when to begin again, whether or not I should try to lose weight, and what we can do in the beginning to prevent this from ever happening again - if at all possible. I'm looking for it all - whatever any MFM has recommended. As if it wasn't infuriating enough that preeclampsia is not widely understood, all physicians seem to have differing professional opinions.

While I heal both physically and mentally before trying again, I'd surely appreciate any input you ladies can provide - the good, the bad, and the ugly if necessary. I so desperately want to have a family, but I need to be 100% informed with support for whatever may come my way.

Thanks for listening... I look forward to your posts!

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