My Preeclampsia Experience — Baby #2

For a definition of what preeclampsia is please refer to My Preeclampsia Experience — Baby #1

Preeclampsia Symptoms

With my second child I also suffered from preeclampsia, this time I was well aware of what symptoms I was to look out for. If I may revisit the symptoms of preeclampsia for those that are not aware, they are:

· Headaches

· Blurry vision ( spotlights)

· Nausea and or vomiting

· Unable to control blood pressure even with medication

· Sudden swelling of the hands, legs and generally body all over a sudden

· Protein in the urine

· Generally feeling unwell.

Pregnant with my second child

Due to my preeclampsia experience with my first child, my General Practitioner (GP) automatically referred me for all my antenatal clinics to the hospital where I would be having my second baby. She explained that I needed to be monitored closely due to my previous experience.

I did not argue with her instead I listened and made sure that I kept all my antenatal appointments and I also checked my BP regularly at home using a blood pressure machine to make sure that everything was going well. I felt that it was important to continue to be vigilant because according to medical statistics, once you develop preeclampsia in a first pregnancy it increases your risk of developing it again in a second and subsequent pregnancy. Everything was going well and all my checks at home and in hospital were going well.

Preeclampsia we meet again

At about thirty weeks of my pregnancy I started to develop a slight pain around my womb and during one of my consultation appointments I mentioned it to the registrar who was looking after me. She did not seem concerned however she sent me for a scan. The scan was to check what was causing the pain and whether I had a high chance of suffering from preeclampsia again. In order to identify the latter they would be checking my placenta. The results came back to show that my chances were high of getting preeclampsia as my placenta was starting to slow down the passing of nutrients to my baby.

The registrar explained that I needed to consider my birth plan and that I should try having a natural birth instead of a caesarean. I was concerned about making this decision so I decided to discuss it with my family and close friend. What stands out to date is that one of my close friends said to me that if she was in my position she would definitely go for a caesarean though she is a strong believer in a natural birth.

The pain persisted, it felt as though my womb was opening but the doctor didn’t think that it was a cause to worry. However, around thirty-three weeks of my pregnancy at my weekly antenatal check, things took an awful turn. Aside from the pain there was protein in my urine and my BP had risen quite high. I was immediately admitted to the labour ward. The whole medical team was in a crisis although offering all the necessary support required. They administered the steroids to assist the baby’s lungs develop.

This time I felt relaxed unlike before because I knew that the medical team were more than capable of helping me and my baby survive. After been treated whilst in hospital, my blood pressure began to settle and the protein in the urine was no longer a concern. The doctors were happy to discharge me as long as I continued to take the prescribed medication as directed.

I continued to take my BP medication as prescribed and attend my antenatal clinics as required for another week or so. On week thirty-four after my antenatal clinic I went home feeling great with all tests showing that I was okay.

However, after getting home I had dinner with great struggle. I had severe burning abdominal pain and the eager to throw up as well as a severe headache. I took my blood pressure to check on it and found it to be high. I immediately took my prescribed medication but it did not settle and I continued to feel worse health wise. I called the labour ward and told them how I was feeling. They advised me to come in ASAP but to make sure that I get a lift from somebody as it was not safe for me to drive myself in.

By the time I got to the hospital I could barely stand up due to being in a lot of pain and unable to even speak. I was immediately admitted and before I could even get changed I was projecting sick.

The wonderful medical team came to my aid trying to make sure that I was stable. I was on constant observations to make sure that I was not deteriorating. The doctors this time had administered the steroids early so there was no cause for concern when it came to the baby’s lungs. However, they decided to try and push for the baby to stay in me longer. After about two days my week thirty-five came with no indication of my blood pressure settling and the only way they could achieve this was by delivering baby by caesarean.

The Happy Ending

Thank heavens they agreed to the caesarean because during the delivery I had complications where I was found to have adhesions which are scared tissue from my previous caesarean with my first child. This was what was contributing to the pain I was having as my womb was opening. I thank God that the medical team had the knowledge to deal with a case like mine and both my baby and I are here enjoying this journey called life.