So glad to have found somewhere where there are other women who have been through PE & understand what it’s like to go through.
From reading all your other stories I can see I managed to be treated early enough that everything turned out ok with baby, so I feel lucky. But being able to 'talk' to people who understand is going to help.
Here's my story....
This was my 2nd pregnancy – but I was not prepared for what lay ahead of me.
My first baby, James, was born back in December 2008. The pregnancy was relatively uneventful – a kidney infection at 29weeks and constant proteinuria after that, but midwives kept saying it was probably a water infection again starting every time I went to see them (although I never did develop one!) I had horrific oedema in my legs (ankles bigger than calves at one point!!) but they attributed that to me not resting enough. My BP rose then from my booking one, but never above their threshold for concern, so I wasn’t worried either.
He was born after a very fast labour – only 5hours and weighed 5lb 13oz at 38+4 weeks.
They found a placental infarct after he was born and said it was ‘one of those things’ and could have happened anytime – but probably that was why he was on the small side.
Me & my husband never thought anything more and got on with enjoying our baby boy.
Finding out I was pregnant again was a bit of a surprise. Having had clomid to conceive our son (due to PCOS) and still having no periods – this was a pleasant surprise to us all.
My booking BP was 100/60 and no protein.
I had a completely normal 1st trimester – but the proteinuria started to appear from 20 weeks.
From 28 weeks my BP was up & down. Every routine antenatal appointment at the community hospital turned into a 6hour epic in the main hospital when each time my BP was up and I needed monitoring.
The headaches started soon after. Awful constant headache – that no amount of paracetamol helped. I’m not a ‘headachy’ person – and nothing made these better.
Each time I went, I had BP bloods done; 24hr urine checked and reassured it was all normal.
Also developed epigastric pain – put down to reflux, but with no relief from gaviscon.
It had started to become a running joke amongst my friends – that I needed to take a book & a day supply of food and drink to a ‘routine’ antenatal appointment – because they always turned out to last all day.
One midwife even said ‘oh, you again – have you not told the doctors you just get anxious and that’s why your BP is up?’ – my response was ‘ how does anxiety give you proteinuria?’
I was also having growth scans during this pregnancy because of our son being small for dates – but the ones at 28 & 32 weeks were reassuring and baby was growing well along the 50th centile.
So when I went for my next growth scan & antenatal check-up at 35 weeks – it was a huge shock.
My BP was 160/100 and 3+ protein (the highest till then was 2+ protein & 150/95) Headaches were as bad as ever & after being examined I was found to be hyperreflexic.
I was admitted for bed rest – especially after the scan showed the baby was IUGR, below the 0.4th centile, oligohydraminos and the placenta was ‘mature and tired’ as the sonographer put it.
Between my 2nd and 3rd growth scans, I’d noticed that my bump was smaller than it had been (and my maternity jeans were loose!), but with the regular Braxton hicks I’d been getting, we all attributed it to baby engaging- having no water round baby was something I hadn’t thought of.
The consultant examined me and said baby was the size of a 30weeker approximately – again another shock as my growth scans had all been normal up till then. Baby’s head & body were all small – so they said it must have been the way they developed from early on, rather than just an insult in the later part of the pregnancy (when head growth is maintained) How had my growth scans been so out?
After 2 weeks of sitting in the ward, a horrific time being apart from my son and husband, and the doctors pushing me as close to term as possible, I was induced at 37 weeks. Up till then my BP had been under control with meds & bed rest– but it started to rise again & the protein increased also – so it was time for our baby to come out!
Our beautiful Eleanor was born at 37+1 weeks, I had a 2hr 15min labour (the midwives couldn’t get me to delivery suite off the ward fast enough!!) and she weighed 4lb 11oz.
She did go to SCBU for 24hrs because of problems with her sugars & jaundice – but she’s home a growing well.
The doctors now reckon that in hindsight I probably had PIH/mild preeclampsia in my first pregnancy too, there were too many small hints in my last pregnancy & my BP did rise from booking but not out of normal range - and especially after events in this pregnancy, it was a definite possibility.
Friends have been great, but don’t really understand what I’ve been through. No-one I know has had problems like this. It wasn’t the end to the pregnancy that I imagined.
I’d planned spending the last 2 weeks or so spending quality one-to-one time with James, before his sibling arrived.
Instead it was quick 30-45 min visits each evening once my husband picked him from nursery on his way home from work. James was always shattered and ready for bed – and it really started to upset him. It was heart breaking hearing him say ‘Mummy come home’ & ‘Me stay Mummy bed’ and climbing into the hospital bed with me, as he was leaving.
I knew deep down being in hospital was safest for me and our new baby – but it still hurt being apart from my family.
Eleanor is now 5 weeks old now and growing well. I’m still on labetolol, getting headaches if I’m late with a dose & a few random nosebleeds – just got to keep an eye on my blood pressure to see how long I need it.
I’m just relieved & feel very lucky that our surprise little one is safe and growing well, and I’m at home and well with my family.