postpartum preeclampsia

Post On Tuesday, May 13, 2014 By melissa

postpartum preeclampsia

Hello everyone, My name is Melissa and My fiance and I have two children. My first pregnancy with our daughter who is now 5 was completely uneventful. I felt great and never had any issues during or after delivery. When she was 4 and a half we decided it was time to have another baby but this time we needed the help of Clomid. It worked first cycle and I now have a son who will be one in a week. My pregnancy with him was hard from the start. Gushing bleeds from 8 weeks up until 13 weeks. Then I had gallbladder attacks at 20 weeks exact. Our daughter was a small birth weight baby so this pregnancy they kept a really close eye on me and the growth of our son. Every appointment was good and my blood pressure was always around 120/75 and growth of our son was great. I had preterm rupture of membranes at 35 weeks 5 days. I went straight to hospital where they told me they didn't think it was my water until the dr took a peek and got squirted with some more coming out. I was given antibiotic injections and told if I didn't go in to labour by morning they would induce me. They did another ultrasound around 9:30PM and we were told he wasn't in postition to be born yet and he was going to be atleast 6lbs. It looked like I would be having a c-section in the morning.

11PM came and I started getting small twinges so the nurse came in and checked my cervix and it was still closed and the contractions weren't registering on the machine. She told me she would be back in 20 minutes to check on me. Well when she came back I was 5 cm and taken straight up to delivery. My blood pressure was a little high by then but nothing to be concerned about. Our son was born 2 hours after labour started. He was taken to NICU because he came out at 3lbs 13oz and they were scared a natural labour could have been bad for him given his small size. He was fine but he couldn't hold his body heat or suck so he had a feeding tube.

Next morning I was seen by a dr and my blood pressure mildly elevated but they said I could go home that after noon as long as I had the DR in the NICU check my blood pressure 3 times a day. One female dr who was really looking out for me wanted a 24 hour urine catch as she was concerned it was more than just mild elevation. I agreed and went home. Next morning in the NICU my blood pressure was 160/100 so I was readmitted to maternity so I could be close to DS. They started me on Labetalol 100mg 2x a day which seemed to work and I was again released with a blood pressure of 150/100. Next morning at the NICU again my blood pressure was checked and it was 170/110 so I was readmitted a second time. The 24 urine catch results came back with increasing protein. So they had me do another with blood work. My bloods came back as mildly deranged liver function but increasing protein in the urine catch again. Labetalol was increased to 300mg 3x a day and blood pressure checks every hour!

On my 5th night in it got up to 190/130 so I was taken to high dependancy and given a shot to bring it down. The next day in the afternoon I was taken back down to materinty and a specialist medical team were assigned to my case. They told the other dr's to stop checking my blood pressure so often as it was probably causing so much anxiety. I was also given 4 hours leave every afternoon to spend with our daughter at home doing her dinner, bath and story before bed. My meds were changed yet again 400mg Labetalol 3x a day 10mg of Amlo 1x a day and 10mg Ramipril 2x a day. Another urine catch showed my protein was declining and my bloods showed liver function was back to normal. But my blood pressure remained at 150/100 for 4 days with no change. I was given renal ultrasounds, echocardiograms (3 of each). On the 9th day after our son was born I had another echocardiogram and while I was waiting to be taken back to Maternity I snuck outside to have a smoke ( I quit before trying to get pregnant and started again on my 4th day in hospital ). While out there I started getting really dizzy and that scared me because 2 days before this the lady in the bed next to me had an eclamptic seizure twice in 20 minutes. So I went as fast as I could back to Maternity and told them I didn't feel right and I think something is wrong. I was taken back to my bed and hooked up to monitors right away. As soon as they said it was my blood pressure I assumed I was going to be taken back up to high dependancy but it turned out it was dropping to 85/45! They checked it 7 times that day and it stayed down so I was discharged with the results from the latest urine catch only showing trace amounts of protein.

I still had to have my blood pressure checked in the NICU 3x a day and I had to do it at home as well. In the first week Labetalol was taken away and the second week after discharge Ramipril was cut to 5mg 2x a day and Amlo 10mg 1x a day. I was having spikes sometimes but nothing near as bad as in the hospital. In the NICU 2 nights before DS was allowed home it rose to 150/100 again but the DR said it was seems he just witnessed me eating a bar of Chocolate while having the reading done. It's been a year almost and I am still taking the amlo and ramipril, Not sure if I need it, My dr's don't think so but I do NOT want to ever have to go through something so scary again so I refuse to stop taking them. On the meds my blood pressure sits in the range of 90-115/ 55-75. My experience was so traumatic that I will not have another child. The dr's seem to think I will change my mind but I was scared of leaving my children without a mum that there is no way I can ever think about doing it and our daughter was old enough to remember mummy was really sick and she was scared I cannot do that to her again.

I had no other symptoms even when my blood pressure got up to 190/130, not a one. I also never knew about being able to get Pre-e after delivery, I think it needs to be talked about more because if my son wasn't in the NICU and I didn't have that one lady dr around I might not be here today to tell my story. And this is the first time I have sat down and actually typed it. Sometimes when I think about my blood pressure has spikes. The one thing also is that I never had it with our first child which is when we were told to look out for it and 2 of the other dr's at the hospital said they didn't think it was pre-e seems it wasn't our first. They even asked if my fiance was the father of both and I didn't know how to respond. They both have the rare genetic disease my fiance has so they should never have even needed to ask. My fiance knows that I would never do anything to hurt him either including having an affair so lucky for me he knew they are both his children or else it could have caused so much greif from one question, The lady DR explained to them that text books are outdated and they are seeing more and more in second or third pregnancies. I now know 3 of my friends who also had it during their second pregnancies with their husbands.

I was the only case of postpartum pre-e in the hospital in our town in 4 years and I am so greatful to the lady dr who although had never seen it herself had heard about it. I think pregnant women should be made aware that postpartum pre-e is real and harder to deal with seems the cure for normal pre-e is delivery of the baby but with postpartum pre-e they just have to try their best to manage it until it resloves on it's own. Looking back through the last weeks of my pregnancy though I did have a rare blood pressure reading of 130/90 at an antenatal appointment, a ++ on a dipstick test for protein and I was swollen all over but the next week at the appointment they were back to normal. Sorry this is a long post but I really need to get it out. Thanks for reading and I am sorry you find yourself here. It's a traumatic experience you wouldn't wish upon anyone

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