I had preeclampsia and I didn't know...

Post On Friday, March 29, 2013 By Bonnie

I had preeclampsia and I didn't know...

I am 20 years old and have a 1 year old son Cooper. He is my first successful pregnancy; my first two were miscarriages.

I was 3 months pregnant when I found out I was pregnant and was overwhelmed. I spent so much time trying to organize all my important appointments and find a hospital to book myself into very quickly. I knew very little about preeclampsia but I did know that some of my family suffered from the condition in multiple pregnancies. When I alerted my obstetrician he informed me that preeclampsia is not a genetic disorder so I needn't worry myself too much about the condition. Two weeks before my 3rd obstetrician appointment I had started to "blow up" through my legs, feet, hands, arms and particularly my face; when I spoke to my midwife on the phone she told me to stay off my feet and keep cold packs on my ankles and keep my feet higher than my heart and that I was more than likely carrying a little extra fluid. As it got closer to my routine check-up the swelling had become much worse and my friends and family had begun to become more concerned in my health.

When it came time for my appointment, I was having a lot of trouble walking and standing on my feet for too long a period of time. Once I arrived at the doctor's office, the midwives began taking my blood pressure and had trouble getting a stable reading. The highest my blood pressure came back as was 210 over 140; they sent me straight up to the closest hospital's maternity ward. There they repeated the reading of my blood pressure and became alarmed at how rapidly it was increasing, so they admitted me into the hospital and set up a magnesium sulphate drip to bring my BP down to a safer number and keep it down. I was then later informed I had preeclampsia, but of course by this time the waves of heat I felt through my body because of the drip had wiped me out pretty severely and wasn't quite able to grasp how serious the issue was. I was given a shot of steroids for Cooper's lungs so that if I had an emergency c/section he would have a slight more of a chance of fighting. I was transferred to a level 3 hospital (a hospital that was more catered to my needs) and was told the doctors didn't want do anything until I either got worse or until they had given me the second shot of steroids for Cooper's lungs.

I was in the hospital for almost 36 hours all up before I began to lose my vision after I had the second shot. I was rushed into theatre to be prepped for the cesarean to have Cooper. Cooper was born and weighed 1040 grams and was 36 cms long and was immediately showing signs of trying to breathe on his own. The doctors were amazed that because he was born almost three months early and attempting to breathe without any machine assistance. After the doctors had announced that I had a boy they began to finish the operation and had to have a nurse talk to me to keep me awake because if I had gone to sleep with how low they were keeping  my BP they could have lost me.

The following weeks after Cooper's birth was hard because he wasn't putting on any weight but was breathing without any machines after 3 weeks. I was approached by a medical team that was researching preeclampsia and had asked for whatever was left for research I gave it all to them and began buying all sorts of different items that was to do with premature babies and preeclampsia. I read so many different stories about people who have survived with their baby and people who suffered the loss of their baby, my heart always hurts so much when i read the stories about those who endured the worst suffering any women should never have to go through. I pray everyday for Cooper because I do know I was very lucky to have survived and to have Cooper survive it as well. 

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