Fit Mom now a Patient Advocate

Post On Thursday, March 09, 2017 By Kristin

Fit Mom now a Patient Advocate

My husband and I were beyond thrilled that we were going to have a baby! We were both excited and nervous! Excited that we were starting a family of our own! I was in the best shape of my life; training for a 10k and working out 5 days a week because I wanted to ensure a healthy pregnancy. As a first time mom I didn’t really know what to expect other than morning sickness, fatigue, cravings, weight gain and lots of doctor appointments. I asked friends and family for advice and even read “What to Expect When Your Expecting” to make sure that I was fully prepared.

Other than extreme fatigue and morning sickness, my pregnancy was uneventful and I was finally starting to enjoy it. At our 20 week anatomy scan we learned that our baby girl was breech but still had plenty of room and time to move into position. A few weeks later I had to take the glucose challenge test and failed it. Great! Although my doctor wasn’t concerned, I still had to take the glucose tolerance test. I passed, phew! Although this is common, it was a huge wake up call for me so I really watched my diet and continued to exercise.  At 28 weeks we went and toured hospitals so we could decide where we would welcome our sweet girl. During one of the hospital tours I didn’t feel right because I was hot, dizzy, thirsty and felt like I was going to pass out. I debated on telling the nurses how I felt but I figured that maybe I had overdone it that day. We left as soon as the tour was over and when I got home I realized that I was bleeding. I was beyond scared as I thought that I was losing our sweet little girl and started crying. My husband heard me panicking and told me to try to relax as much as possible and keep an eye on it to determine if we need to make a trip to the hospital for further evaluation. A few hours later the bleeding stopped. Phew! Well that was a scare! I was relieved yet confused so I told my doctor at my next appointment and he advised that I go to the emergency room if it happens again.  

 

The Diagnosis:

At my 34 week growth scan we confirmed that baby girl was still breech and my blood pressure was high. Although my doctor wasn’t concerned about my blood pressure being high because he thought I had “white coat syndrome “he wanted to run some additional labs and do a 24 hour urinalysis to rule out preeclampsia. That’s a scary word! If my doctor wasn’t concerned then I wasn’t concerned because I didn’t have any other symptoms other than high blood pressure during a routine visit. The following week I got my results which confirmed that I had preeclampsia due to high blood pressure and protein in my urine and I was put on bed rest the remainder of my pregnancy. What else can go wrong? I was in shock I think as I was in no way prepared for this not whatsoever. I was trying to make this pregnancy experience as happy and exciting as it could be but I was also an emotional wreck because I knew it was too early to deliver and what if something goes wrong? After a few days of processing everything and praying, I told myself to enjoy the time of rest as God knew that I needed it. Before I knew it my due date was quickly approaching and we started discussing my birth plan. At my 38 week appointment my doctor checked my blood pressure and it was 168/100 after lying on my left side for 20 minutes and we confirmed that my baby was still breech.  I was terrified  and thought that I had waited too long and that something would happen to me or my daughter so my doctor reminded me that the only cure for preeclampsia is delivery and scheduled a C-section for the following day as a planned C-section is better than an emergency C-section.

Due to having a history of preeclampsia I have a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or a stroke 5-15 years after being diagnosed with this condition. I am a preeclampsia survivor because my doctor knew the signs and reacted quickly. Now more than ever I want to raise awareness because it is important that other women know the signs and symptoms because sometimes you don’t know you have symptoms, like me. I believe that raising awareness is important because too many women and babies lose their lives to preeclampsia. I will continue to support other moms and be an advocate for further research and education on this condition.

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