Postpartum unpleasant surprise

Posted On Friday, February 15, 2019 By Mandi Gross

Parents expect the first weeks home with their new baby to be the best of times and the worst of times; bonding and cuddling, changing poops, and lacking sleep. We worry about the “little thing on the belly button” falling off, and whether that sneeze was normal, usually putting mom’s feelings and health second to the baby’s. Unbeknownst to me, my baby was fine; I was not. I am a rule follower and heeded every direction of pregnancy and post-partum care. I spent nine months without caffeine, soft cheese, parabens, and phthalates; I attended every OB appointment (and even requested extras to see if the random ache was normal). I always had low blood pressure, and... Read More

HELLP Syndrome?

Posted On Friday, February 15, 2019 By Kimberly Barker

I really loved pregnancy. The connection a mom feels with her growing baby is something that can’t be described, learned in a book or really understood until you experience it. It was and IS the most precious experience of my life. Its truly a spiritual experience, and you are sure that there is something out there so much greater than yourself guiding the process the whole time. Finally, the day had come to meet our baby! We worked on keeping my room really comfortable and peaceful with meditations and lots of aromatherapy that kept the entire nurse staff stopping in for a quick whiff lol. My son was born at 1:18Pm August 29, 2017. He was absolutely perfect and I am so... Read More

Errors In Eclamptic Care

Posted On Friday, February 08, 2019 By Amanda Bartlett

Hi. My name is Amanda. I'm a Registered Nurse and survivor of preeclampsia. On Tuesday, August 28, 2018, I was officially diagnosed with preeclampsia. My symptoms, however, started the Saturday before. A severe headache, nausea, and an overwhelming feeling that something wasn't quite right prompted me to contact my OB; it was clear that these symptoms weren't going away. Testing started Monday morning, and by Tuesday afternoon had resulted. Preeclampsia. My OB recommended a foley bulb induction, scheduled for the following morning. I never made it to that induction. I went into labor at home about 2 hours after the diagnosis was made. Once at the hospital, an epidural was started, which... Read More

Wife and Twins Passing

Posted On Tuesday, January 22, 2019 By Levi Moore

My wife and I had a very difficult time getting pregnant. Luckily for us, the issue was with me, therefore, my wife could get pregnant. We went through four-failed IUI and a failed IVF before our doctor recommended us putting our names on a list for possible donated embryo. We waited our turn for the next and possibly last hope at becoming pregnant. Luckily in March of 2016, my beautiful wife Denise got the news she had been waiting for. Denise was finally pregnant and we couldn't have been happier. Very soon after that we got... Read More

Miracle 26 Weeker

Posted On Tuesday, January 08, 2019 By Jacky Nghiem

My daughter, Adelaide, was born October 27, 2017 due to super-imposed preeclampsia. On October 25, my day started off just like any other. I went to work and chatted with my co-workers about our upcoming office Halloween party. I was really excited to reveal my homemade gumball costume to accentuate my baby bump. I develop a horrible headache and noticed my left hand was extremely swollen. Since I have a history of high blood pressure, I knew these were symptoms of a spiked reading. I had a blood pressure cuff at work, checked my readings, and sure enough the numbers were high. I called my OB and spoke to the nurse, she was aware of my health concerns. She suggested I go to the ER if my... Read More

The One Where A Baby Shower Turned Into A Baby

Posted On Tuesday, January 08, 2019 By Brittany Seybert

When my mother-in-law mentioned throwing a baby shower in my husband’s Ohio hometown, we thought it was a wonderful idea. We lived ten hours away in Tennessee and would just drive up for a few days like we always do. I hadn’t had any pregnancy complications and had even flown to South Africa for work when I was five months pregnant without issue. This trip would be a piece of cake! She scheduled our shower 7 weeks before my due date, which would give us ample time to go through gifts and set up the baby’s nursery when we returned home. We left on a Friday, and we had just met with our nurse, who gave me a clean bill of health and cleared me for travel, on... Read More

What the Hellp Almost Killed Me?

Posted On Friday, December 28, 2018 By Jen Fawcett

When I was 28 weeks pregnant, my blood pressure spiked and blood pressure meds were increased. The way I was feeling, I just figured “I’m pregnant. This is how all pregnant women feel. I’m finally experiencing the terrible side of growing a human being”. HELLP SYNDROME never crossed my mind. Heck, I never heard about it until I was 32 weeks pregnant.  Everything was fine until 30 weeks. My blood pressure spiked and I started swelling up. I was turning into a blown-up tick and not to mention Christmas was less than 5 days away.  Two days after Christmas, I went in for an ultrasound, still feeling like garbage. Blood pressure was... Read More

What the Hellp?

Posted On Thursday, December 27, 2018 By Stefanie Kuehn

After trying to conceive for several years we saught help from Shady Grove fertility and after our third IUI attempt we got pregnant. Below is my story ... It’s 5am on Saturday Sept 22nd. I’m 35 weeks pregnant and something felt off that morning. I called my doctor and she suggested that I come to the hospital for monitoring. My husband and I collect our belongings, get in the car and before we made it out of the driveway I got a pounding headache; the worst I’ve ever felt. 10 agonizing minutes later we arrive at the hospital. I explain my symptoms (headache, nausea, light spotting) and they inform me that my BP is 220/110....early onset preeclampsia. At 6:45am... Read More

First-Time Mom/ 28 Weeks Gestation

Posted On Wednesday, December 26, 2018 By Jasmine Griffin

“Did you take the stairs?” “Yes, why do ask?” “Your blood pressure is really high.” “No, let me pull my sleeves up. You have to take it directly on my arm.” The medical assistant retakes my blood pressure on my arm. “It’s still high. I’m going to have you lay on your left side, and I will come back to take your blood pressure.” ... Read More

Having a baby went from the happiest moment of my life to the scariest

Posted On Friday, December 21, 2018 By Brittanie Parker

Not many know about preeclampsia but it is a deadly and dangerous pregnancy complication that is also one of the leading causes of maternal and infant mortality and illness. That has no cure! With dangerous symptoms like uncontrollable high blood pressure, high levels of protein in your urine, swelling in legs and feet sometimes sudden, blurred vision, dizziness and gaining more then 4lbs a week. You can also get post partum preeclampsia which can occur anytime up to weeks after delivery. Be aware of the symptoms and listen to your body! With that being said since there is no cure no matter when in the pregnancy you get it you are highly monitored and usually hospitalized and... Read More

Nathan’s North Pole is this couple’s way of supporting the cause

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2018 By Debbie Helton

After years of trying to get pregnant, Stephanie and Mark Grode were more than excited. They invited family and friends to a gender reveal party where they learned they were having a boy – and they were absolutely thrilled. “I had an ultrasound at 20 weeks, felt pretty good, and my blood pressure was good,” said Stephanie. “I was still experiencing morning sickness but thought that was normal in pregnancy. I started getting headaches, which also seemed normal, so I didn’t worry about it.” “Then I got the worst headache I’ve ever had, along with vomiting,” she continued. “I was having blurred vision but didn’t realize it... Read More


Posted On Wednesday, December 05, 2018 By Michelle Valiukenas

On May 8, 2018, I went to an OB appointment and my blood pressure was 188/110. I also had some protein in my urine. My OB sent me over to the hospital for monitoring and possible treatment. When we got to the hospital, the blood pressure continued to rise and the protein was still in my urine. I was admitted and diagnosed with preeclampsia. Prior to the OB visit, I had had a few headaches but nothing of real concern and had begun to swell, particularly in my feet, but did not think it was unusual, just a normal symptom of pregnancy. I was in the hospital for three weeks and was on blood pressure medicines. My blood pressure spiked a few times and they were able to... Read More

Raising awareness takes many forms

Posted On Wednesday, December 12, 2018 By Debbie Helton

“A little awareness goes a long way.” – Ben Heller  When Amanda and Ben Heller lost their son Thomas to HELLP syndrome 13 years ago, they turned to the Preeclampsia Foundation for support. They had never heard of HELLP syndrome at the time and felt blind-sided by this pregnancy complication that took their son’s life. “A little awareness goes a long way,” said Ben. “I think if we were more aware, we may have gone to the doctor sooner and this may have been avoided.  This desire to raise awareness about preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome drives the Hellers to host a “fun” fundraising event every year in their son’s memory. It’s a pig... Read More

She lost her baby and nearly died herself – a burden no mother should know

Posted On Tuesday, December 04, 2018 By Debbie Helton

“Preeclampsia killed my baby and my work with the Foundation is my way of honoring her.” – Tamara Butler  In March 2017, Tamara Butler was pregnant with her second child, a precious daughter. “It was an exciting time for my family,” said Tamara. “We were buying hair bows and pretty little dresses. We were so excited.” Her son Sam was 10 years old at the time and looking forward to being a big brother.  Tamara found out about her pregnancy early and had been going to prenatal appointments since she was six weeks pregnant. Nothing out of the ordinary until she experienced high blood pressure at 22 weeks. Her doctor had her rest at home; her... Read More

One mother’s tragic death alerts another mom about dangerous postpartum complications

Posted On Friday, November 30, 2018 By Debbie Helton

“I just had this feeling like, ‘If I go to sleep, I’m not going to wake up.” – Marie McCausland One mother’s tragic death alerts another mom about dangerous postpartum complications When Lauren Bloomstein found out she was pregnant, she was absolutely thrilled. A nurse in her hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Lauren had always loved babies. “The prospect of becoming a mother made her giddy,” said her husband Larry. “Lauren was the happiest and most alive I’d ever seen her.”   After a smooth pregnancy, Lauren had a scheduled induction and delivered daughter Hallie. Within hours, Lauren... Read More


Posted On Tuesday, November 20, 2018 By Susan Wright

My beautiful daughter-in-law, Shannon, was 34 weeks pregnant with her first child, a boy. He was to be our first and her parent's first grandchild. Shannon had been put on bed rest at approximately 16 weeks due to a short/incompetent cervix. At that time, she began seeing a high-risk doctor in addition to her regular obstetrician. She did everything they told her to do and was very adamant about protecting her unborn child from delivering too soon. She was feeling so good! On December 22, 2017, the high-risk doctor told her that she was doing so well and the baby was also doing great so he released her from visits to his office on that day and told her she could resume... Read More

Trust Your Intuition

Posted On Monday, November 19, 2018 By Michele King

My story begins with my decision to be a surrogate for someone that desperately wanted to be a parent, but had no other option than surrogacy to make that dream a reality. I found the perfect Surrogacy agency that connected me to a wonderful person that wanted a little girl if his own. Contracts were signed, injections everyday for several weeks, and transfer set for March 5th. I knew within a few days that the procedure had worked. I had terrible morning sickness for roughly 18 weeks that left me on the couch most days, which is hard to do with a very active and energetic toddler. I felt pretty good until about week 24, I started feeling just "unwell". I mentioned to my... Read More


Posted On Wednesday, November 07, 2018 By Laura Kalinosky-Sanchez

A visit to the doctor on my 43rd birthday confirmed what an at-home test had already told us -- I was pregnant. I'll never forget the doctor's response to my slack-jawed reaction: "This IS good news, isn't it?" I quickly recovered from my shock and responded, "Yes!" while explaining my surprise at becoming a mother at this stage in life. The comedy continued as she responded, "Well it's not impossible!" She must have felt like she was talking to a teenager in denial. My husband and I had been trying to have a baby for about six months with the understanding that it might not happen, given my age. He had the perfect way of describing our daughter's arrival: "She was planned but not... Read More

Postpartum Preeclampsia with NO risk factors

Posted On Monday, November 05, 2018 By Kerri Finley

I have never had a day of high blood pressure in my life. It was normal (if not low) during pregnancy, normal during labor, and normal during my 2 day stay in the hospital after the delivery of my fourth baby. Six days after my daughter was born I developed a bad headache. I chalked it up to lack of sleep and caring for four children. Throughout the afternoon and evening the headache did not go away despite taking Tylenol and Motrin. Finally in the middle of the night my newborn was sleeping and I felt like my head was going to explode. Since I am a nurse and childbirth educator I grabbed my blood pressure cuff because I knew there was something wrong. My blood pressure was... Read More

Jaice Diesel

Posted On Thursday, November 01, 2018 By Natasha Place

My husband (boyfriend at the time) planned to get pregnant. We wanted to have a baby, then get married. We got pregnant on our first attempt. We were sooo happy. Everything was going great, but at around 16wks or so I stated having this really bad pain under my ribcage. I assumed it was heartburn and took tums which seemed to help. Then at around 22 weeks, I called my midwife because I had a migraine that wouldn’t go away. I had had it for 4 days. She scheduled me to come in and they gave me pills that helped. At 5 months I started noticing swelling. Unusual swelling. I started to feel like a ballon and grew out of my ring.... Read More

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