Preeclampsia at 30 weeks

Post On Wednesday, October 28, 2015 By Sarah

Preeclampsia at 30 weeks

It took my husband and I two years and three early losses to finally get a pregnancy to stick.  Thankfully the first half was uneventful, but by 24 weeks my midwife noticed my fundal height was measuring short.  Ultrasounds revealed that the baby was measuring behind by a couple of weeks.  Small babies run in my family, but I started googling SGA and IUGR, and through IUGR discovered preeclampsia.  My blood pressure, always on the low end (105/65 at the first prenatal appointment), was creeping up throughout the pregnancy, rather than dropping like it was supposed to around 20 weeks.  I started to think that this would probably happen to me.  I knew I sounded paranoid.  Around 28 weeks I started getting heartburn really bad, and antacids didn't always help.  I also started getting a bit of nausea and headaches.  I chucked all this up to normal pregnancy fun, because I was just being paranoid, right?  And the headaches felt like sinus headaches.  The nausea and heartburn were due to my stomach getting squished.  At 30 weeks I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, and my fundal height was still measuring 2-3 weeks behind.  Three days later I was sent to the hospital (a 3 hour drive away) for monitoring after protein was found in my urine.  My blood pressure was creeping up so I was put on a higher dose of labetelol.  After four days I was released and was to be monitored twice a week by my midwife.  At 32 weeks I woke up to a 2 kg weight gain and visual disturbances.  A meeting with the midwife found more protein in my urine (2+), and I was sent back to the hospital.  That night I received the first round of steroids to help mature the baby's lungs.  The next morning I was due for an ultrasound to check the baby's growth.  She hadn't grown any, and had possibly lost some weight.  A c-section was scheduled for the next morning so I could get the next round of steroids in, but that evening my "sinus" headache was worse.  When I asked for some panadol, the doctors were called in.  They did more blood tests, stuck a couple of cannulas in my hands, and went off to consult amongst themselves.  When they came back they decided it was time.  The midwives rushed about to prep me (I had collected four midwives by this time), and I was hooked up to a magnesium sulfate drip, and we were rushed off to surgery.  Emily was born shortly after, weighing only 2lbs 3oz.  She cried right away, which was such a relief.  She needed only 6 hours on CPAP, and spent 5 weeks 6 days in the NICU, where she did really well and had no problems (apart from a brief scare about a stomach infection which turned out to be just an inablility to tolerate breast milk for a short time).  She was just under 5lbs when we brought her home, and is now, at 5 months old, over 10lbs.  I was kept in the post natal ward for 8 days while they tried to get my blood pressure under control.  During that time, and my subsequent stay in the NICU, I learned just how serious our situation had been.  My platelet count had been dropping, and some of the other blood work looked like I was heading into HELLP syndrome territory.  My placenta was 1/3 the size it should have been, and the umbillical cord snapped off when they removed it.  We were lucky.  My first midwife had been keeping a close eye on me since the baby was measuring small.  The midwives at the hospital fought the doctor to get that first round of steroids.  They looked after us, and our story has a happy ending.

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