Two Babies, Two Episodes of Preeclampsia

Post On Thursday, March 29, 2018 By Jaclyn

Two Babies, Two Episodes of Preeclampsia

When I was 21 and pregnant with my daughter, I was young and healthy.  Being pregnant didn’t affect me other than the occasional morning sickness with her and I was excited to meet my baby girl.  After week 30, I began rapidly gaining weight.  My indulgence was not more than an average pregnant woman and my cravings certainly could have been worse options.     My weight continued to go up and at every appointment they mentioned to slow down on my intake and looked more concerned and spent a longer amount of time checking my blood pressure.  At 38 weeks, I began having contractions and went in.  What happened was not what I expected to happen while giving birth.  They told me she had to be born because my blood pressure was getting out of control.  I was a young, soon to be single mom with an amazingly supportive family and my mom was with me in the delivery room.  She told me it would be ok, I believed her and the doctors.  Looking down at my ballooned feet, hands and legs- I knew something was wrong.  Labor itself was not a bad experience, my body responded well to it.  It was my blood pressure that put both myself and my beautiful daughter in danger.

Fast forward.  I started a healthy lifestyle and put my experience behind me.  Thoughts filled my head- maybe I didn’t exercise enough? Eat right?  Regardless... my daughter was healthy and I began running and taking care of my body and eating right. Soon enough, I was slim and healthy again.

 I met a wonderful man who became a father to my daughter and we started a life together.  I became pregnant with my son.  I was in good health and excited to finally have a sibling for my daughter a decade later and grow my beautiful little family.  Unlike my daughter who was due in November, he was due in June- a summer baby!  My pregnancy was uneventful, not even morn sickness.  Sure, I indulged in chocolate ice cream and my husbands phenomenal cooking but not to an excessive level.  Dejavu. My weight began rapidly increasing. My hands, feet and ankles swollen. Was it because of summer coming? Was I drinking enough water?  Should I slow down on the ice cream?  So many questions again came to mind in week 32... and then there was the jaw pain which scares me to even think of that I got daily as the swelling increased.  My doctors became concerned and began closely monitoring my rising blood pressure.  Sure enough, they had me do a 24 hour urine sample. Another check and they told us to head straight to the hospital at 38 weeks pregnant.  I went. Terrified. Swollen and in bad shape. In the room, they had to wait to begin induction until I “relaxed.” My blood pressure had to go down but it kept rising. After an easy labor he was born. My blood pressure should have gone down but it went up higher and I was kept in my delivery room with my beautiful son and husband and it wouldn’t go down. Labetol was given via IV and I was finally sent to my room. Two days went by and I was finally cleared to go home but I had to go in two days later for a blood pressure check. I looked at my beautiful family hoping I’d be there for them and my blood pressure stayed down. I’ll never forget the moment my husband pulled up with the car at the hospital to take our son home with my smiling daughter and seeing the sunlight after the terrifying experience and just seeing stars... I should have turned around and gone back in but I so badly wanted to escape my terrifying reality.  My blood pressure remained high for a month until it regulated again.

 I struggle with what I could have done differntly.  I’m blessed to have my children and my life.  Implementing a healthy lifestyle did not guarantee our safety and I want to learn more and help others in this terrifying situation.  I want to understand more about this condition and help others in the future.  I have two beautiful children and one day we hope to have one more but I am fearful if what could happen.  In the meantime, I am focused on a healthy lifestyle.

 

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