Pre Eclampsia support

For Women & their families who have suffered with Pre Eclampsia, Eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) and related conditions.
 
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 My Story

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LyndaB
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Join date : 2008-09-02

PostSubject: My Story   Mon 08 Dec 2008, 9:41 am

It was this time last year it all kicked off!

In a way my story is so similar to most but not half as bad in comparison to others. I had a brilliant pregnancy up to week 32 when it all went pear-shaped. I had been on PE watch throughout the pregnancy as my bp at booking appointment was slightly high (I tend to get white coat syndrome). I was so lucky as at my first appointment the Consultant saw me he mentioned pre-eclampsia and followed all the PRECOG guidelines and scheduled extra scans and clinics. All I knew about pre-eclampsia was that it was something to do with my blood pressure and that my hairdresser had been in hospital for 5 days before delivery with it. I did look in my pregnancy books but they are very vague about it. Anyway, I didn’t have it and they just thought I might get it, why worry.

My 20 week scan picked up a low placenta and this became the focus of my worries, 28 week scan placenta still low but baby was growing fine. At 31+4 weeks I went to a regular midwife appointment my blood pressure was fine and urine was clear. 2 days later I got a severe pain in my right hand side by my ribs I thought it was baby jamming foot into my rib cage. What an idiot! The pain was excruciating and I remember crawling around the bedroom floor thinking I just need the baby to move a little bit and it’ll be ok. The slightest movement hurt and I could barely draw breath. I took a couple of days off work and just lay on the sofa resting. I went back to work on the Wednesday had an antenatal class that afternoon and decided to do the remainder of my Christmas shopping afterwards. I started to feel ill again shopping and just thought I’d overdone the shopping and must have pulled a muscle as the pain seemed to be in my back now as well.

The next evening when I pee’d it was slightly pink. My doctors office was closed so I rang the hospital, the midwife told me that I might have to go in but to drink loads of water first and then pee again and call her back. Well it was clear after that so she said to go to the doctor first thing in the morning as it sounded like it might be a UTI. I couldn’t do a sample when I was at the doctors the next morning so he gave me a bottle with UTI? written on it and told me to drop it in. I didn’t mention the pain by my ribs as it had really eased by then, I just mentioned the pain in my back. Again I could kick myself for that. I did eventually drop in a sample on the Friday morning but forgot about it really. That weekend my feet started to swell the following week I just started feeling tired and weak. My next hospital appointment was at 34 weeks (Christmas Eve) another scan to check the placenta however it showed baby was now falling behind and pre-eclampsia diagnosed by routine tests – protein had shot straight to 4+ as soon as it was dipped!! I had to do a 24 hour urine collection on 26 Dec and back to hospital on 27 Dec – apparently my blood tests were terrible, liver enzymes were present and the 24 hour collection showed in excess of 4+ protein. I was immediately admitted for observation and bed rest. My blood pressure began creeping up and proteinuria was a constant 4+.

By 5 January things seemed to have stabilized and I was left out that afternoon. I had to go back in first thing on 7 Jan (Week 36) for another scan (again to check on the placenta), the scan also showed the baby was now far, far behind! I saw Consultant again – he took one look and said – “your face is starting to swell” – he popped out and midwife came to see me. She said “he’s having a dilemma” I asked what about and she said “when to deliver you”. I remember sitting with my husband saying it’ll probably be next week then in he comes and says “Right – I’ve you booked in for Wednesday”. I was told not only did I have to have a c-section because I had placenta previa but it was anterior and they would probably have to cut through the placenta to get the baby out. As a result I would probably bleed quite heavily and if they couldn’t control the bleeding I’d have to have a hysterectomy. I was given paperwork to get some blood taken before I left the hospital, of course I read through them, one was an order for 4 pints of blood! I was in a complete state of shock. I got a steroid injection that day and a second the following day. Apparently he had been debating whether or not to even wait for the steroid injections. The section went brilliantly as the surgeon was fantastic – they managed to skim around the very edge of the placenta and as a result I only lost 600mls of blood. My little son was born at 14.57 on 9 Jan and my first sight of my little boy was a naked bum that was held over the screen above my head and then whisked away again. I didn’t even know he was boy at that stage. The tough little thing was born at 36+3, weighed 4lbs 10.5oz, scored 9 on his apgar after 1 minute and 10 after 6 minutes! He was swaddled and passed to my husband to hold while they continued to work on me. The next problem came after I had been stitched up as my uterus wouldn’t contract, so I had to be opened up again. It was only when I got to recovery that I got to hold my little boy for the first time – he looked so tiny with beautiful blue eyes and was wide awake. Next day I was sitting up in bed but my back felt damp, I put my hand back and it came back soaking wet, my pillow and bed clothes were drenched! I called the midwife who took one look and within a minute I had anesthetists in the room with testing swabs. It turns out I was leaking water out of my back, and lots of it, (at the time they were concerned it was spinal fluid) – my body was swelling and the water was coming out the only way it could – through the needle holes in my back! All they could do was put a special type of bandage on it that could soak up the volume. The day after deliver my blood tests were atrocious, my platelets were dropping further and I’ve been told by my nephrologist that it was possible that I had been heading towards HELLP but that the decision to deliver had been taken just in time. My baby was thriving and ready to go home on 12 January but had to wait until 14 January for me, when my blood results were starting to head back in the right direction. I was on Labetalol and was eventually weaned off them about 7 months post partum. It took 8 months to stop leaking protein but I had been under the care of nephrologist and had loads of tests and my kidneys scanned which were perfectly normal thankfully. I had two clear tests and then last week I had one final test for protein, if clear, I’d be discharged. The protein test came back positive, it was only 0.3 but I’m back to the nephrologist on 9 Jan – my sons first birthday! A year on and its still not behind me.

I am so happy that aside from being slightly small my son wasn’t affected by the PE at all and all the affects were on me, I know there are thousands who would swap places with me. I get the feeling the 0.3 was an anomaly and I’ll get the all clear on 9 Jan, so fingers crossed.

Happy Christmas to all! santa rendeer Just had to use the Christmas emoticons!!
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ingrid
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Join date : 2008-05-25
Location : runcorn cheshire

PostSubject: Re: My Story   Wed 10 Dec 2008, 2:51 pm

Hi Lynda

Welcome to the site. So sorry to hear of all the trauma you went through very much the same as many ladies on here have suffered, but glad of the safe arrival of your little boy king soon to be one cheers Hope you will soon be 100% well and I hope you find the support on this site helpful.

Take care

Ingrid x

Merry Christmas to everyone santa rendeer ( had to use these as well )
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Liz Pidgley
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Join date : 2008-04-23

PostSubject: Re: My Story   Thu 11 Dec 2008, 2:08 pm

Hi Lynda,

Welcome to the site and Thank you for taking the time & courage to tell us your story.

I am glad to hear that your son is well & soon to enjoy his first birthday.
You sound like you have really been through the mill, I hope that you are recovering well.

Birthdays are often bittersweet. Bitter as we remember 'where we were' a year ago today and sweet when we look at the result - our childs birthday.
These swings of emotion can be really unsettling as we are 'supposed' to be happy - and for part I suspect we are. But it doesnt always stop us thinking 'but this is not the dream I signed up for'.

I hope you can enjoy your sons 1st birthday with lots of happy memories to be found.

Warm Wishes
Liz

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Every Woman is entitled to understand what happened in her pregnancy when pre eclampsia strikes. I hope to be able to support that process.
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