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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Amysmum
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PostSubject: New here   Fri 26 Nov 2010, 8:52 am

Hi

I am a new poster to the forum, however from time to time I have stopped by.

I had my first little girl Amy at 28+5 after having severe pre-eclampsia. It was present and showing the 3 main symptoms at 25 weeks, but the midwife I saw dismissed the raised (significantly) BP, swelling in both legs (i broke one at 20 weeks) and the trace of protein. After amys birth it was said I should have been admitted to hospital there and then. However I wasnt to see another midwife for another 3 nearly 4 weeks! By this time my BP was 200/110, protein was +4 and my both of my legs from groin to toe was triple the size (even the GP said the swelling was break related and i had to prop them up). Now I was sent straight to the hospital, with such urgency that the midwife wouldnt even call an ambulance because it would take too long and my partner could get me there quicker, he was told to just dump his van anywhere outside the main entrance and get me in!

Amy was delivered 24hrs after going in, weighing a tiny 1lb 14oz. To then add to the whole trauma of the experience, 12 hours after her birth she was moved over 50 miles, out of county, in the middle of the night (literally 3am), because there was not one cot any nearer to home and our hospital didnt have more than 2 intensive care cots (already in use). After a glimpse of Amy in the NNtransport cot, I didnt get to see amy for 6 days. It was only because I threatened to discharge myself that they transferred me to the hospital amy was at. My blood pressure shot down because I was relaxed to be with my baby girl, the most natural thing in the world!

Anyway, Amy is now a bouncing 2 nearly 3 year old. She is on the small side but i think its partly genetics! She is intelligent and cheeky. She is my world.........

However after been married for 6 weeks, we have just found out we are expecting baby no 2 and I am around 6 weeks pregnant.

I have 2 main concerns over this pregnancy however I am remaining positive and seeing a bouncing baby!!

My first concern, obviously is the dreaded PE! After some research I have gather that the earlier you have PE the more likely you are to get it again?! I have been to the GP who told me to book in with the midwife early, my first appointment is 9th December when I will be 7/8 weeks. What can I expect at this appointment? Will the midwife refer me straight away to a consultant or do I have to request it? What do I need to ask?

My second, not as major concern is my thyroid. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 2 years ago and it has been controlled by tablets that arent good for baby. These were stopped by my thyroid consultant immediately when my GP rang him. I then went into see him and he basically said, he was going to stop the tablets anyway so is just bringing it forward. I have to have a blood test mid december to see how its going, and he is referring me to a specialist in thyroid in pregnancy! So hopefully they will keep on top of it!


Ok, so I am really sorry for the longest ramble in the world, and thank you if you have read this far. I am really looking forward to getting to know you all.


Holly
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Liz Pidgley
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Fri 26 Nov 2010, 1:12 pm

Hi Holly,

Welcome to the forum and many congratulations, on the birth of your daughter, your marriage and your new pregnancy!

I can really understand the feelings you describe about needing to be admitted to hospital & a fast delivery.

I am glad you are being monitored from your thyroid point of view but you are right when you say, statistically as you had PE early in Amys pregnancy you are at an increased risk of getting it earlier again in this pregnancy.
The good news though is that especially with the right care, it is likely that should PE pop in again, it will be around 2 weeks later and with all you knowledge likely to be as severe. However I think the key words there are 'with the right care'.

As you have had PE it is essential your care is overseen by a consultant obstetrician but add in the hyperthyroidism this is even more so. Chances are you will need to commence low dose aspirin and heparin, this is most effective when in place prior to 12 weeks of pregnancy as the placenta is developing then.

You will certainly need closer monitoring not only in terms of your baby growing & developing as s/he should but to look after the whole you.

I hope this helps and look forward to hearing your updates.

Warm wishes
Liz

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Amysmum
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Fri 26 Nov 2010, 3:20 pm

Hiya Liz

Thank you for that. The only thing that worries me is my booking hospital isnt 'the' best, I want to give the consultant there a go, but what happens if I am unhappy with what they say/offer as treatment etc? I know I'm jumping the gun slightly, but the state me and amy were both left in, I just dont know what I would do if anything went wrong again and they could have noticed/done something like they could have with amy. Can you go to a different hospital after seeing your initial consultant?

I live near leeds (15-20 mins away) and was told that there is a really good doc over in Jimmys, I am just wondering whether my best option would be to see if I could get a referral to him asap, rather than sit around and wait to see just another consultant!

Sorry for my ramblings I just have trust issues with the hospital especially after amys birth!

Thanks again
Holly
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Bell
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Fri 26 Nov 2010, 10:53 pm

Hi Holly,

Just wanted to say welcome to the forum. I am so sorry you had such a terrible time with your first pregnancy. Congratulations on being pregnant now.

I had severe pre eclampsia in my first pregnancy over 4 years ago now and it took me a long time to pluck up the courage to try again because of the great fear of going through pre eclampsia again.

I am now 35 weeks and 4 days pregnant and so far no PE. I decided to change to a completely different hospital and different midwives. My gp supported me on this and made the referals for me. The care i have recieved this time has been brilliant. I have had appointments every two weeks from the beginning and from week 24 ,every week. Also they have a 24 hour drop in clinic at the hospital if you are worried about something. They never make you feel silly for dropping in and would rather you did even if its just for a wee listen into baby for reassurance.

You should expect to get regular appointments this time round, 2-4 weekly scans and dopplers. Also they may suggest taking 75mgs of aspirin daily.

Hope all goes well and that you have a long and boring pregnancy.

Bell.xxx
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Caroline
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Sat 27 Nov 2010, 3:10 pm

Hi Holly,

I just wanted to reply to your message to give you a little bit of hope. I had severe PE and HELLP in my first pregnancy at 27+6. However, in my second pregnancy, although I did go on to develope PE again it wasn't until 36+ weeks and very mild. So I am proof that things can be incredibly different next time round.

Congratulations on your marriage and your new pregnancy.

Caroline x

PS. I live in Selby.
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Amysmum
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Mon 29 Nov 2010, 11:39 am

Hiya Bell and Caroline,

Please dont think me rude for not replying until now, I work all weekend.

Bell - its nice to hear that you are having such good care and have got so far along. I really dont know whether to ask to be seen at another hospital. my only problem with this is I dont drive, and the other hospitals would be in Leeds, a half hour bus ride at least (hubby could take me but it would mean using holidays that he may well need later!!). I just keep thinking I will give my local hospital a chance and if they dont offer the care they should, I will demand it.

They were good with my sister after she lost her first little girl (it was a one in a million, literally, genetic problem). She had extra scans, was seen by a consultant etc etc. This is why I am uming and arhing about it!


Caroline - its lovely to hear that you got so far in your second pregnancy. Since finding out my goal has been 36weeks. I would be over the moon if we could get to that gestation safely! You defo have given me some hope Smile


Thank you so much for your kind words. Fingers, toes, legs and arms are all crossed that this goes as smoothly and quickly as possible Neutral

Holly
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Liz Pidgley
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Mon 29 Nov 2010, 12:47 pm

Hi Holly,

to answer your question, you are absolutely entitled to ask for anothoer opinion at another hospital if thats what you want or if thats what you need.

I will PM you with some info that might help but in the meantime time the other possibility you have is to ask for a 1 off second opinion with an expert in the field.

This might mean seeing your consultant at your hospital then having a one off consultation with an expert. That way you can feel assured the care you are getting is the best on offer (or not as the case might be!) Sometimes the experts will ofer a 'shared care' package if the trusts have a reciprocal agreement. Practically speaking this might mean the every day care is done by your local hospital on the instructions and follow up of the expert meraning less holdays taken by hubby.
You will need to think about being heavily pregnant and travelling across town with a toddler!

Best Wishes
Liz

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emmie
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Thu 02 Dec 2010, 10:56 am

Hi Holly,

Congratulations on your pregnancy, but so sorry you had such a bad experience last time around.

I haven't really got much more to add to what the other ladies have already said but like Bell, I am currently 30 weeks, 5 days preganant after losing my son at 25 weeks last time. I have been seen at least once a week throughout my pregnancy and have scans every 2- 4 weeks.

My Consultant is also working with a pre e expert so I know I am in good hands! Is this maybe something you could do with your hospital and the one in Leeds?

Good luck with your pregnancy and let us know how you get on- honestly, this board has been a life saver during my current pregnancy!

Emma xx
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Amysmum
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Fri 03 Dec 2010, 11:31 am

Hiya Emmie,

Thanks for your message, it is so good to hear that all you ladies are so far on in your pregnancies! It is giving me so much hope that I may get a lot further on this time!

Liz has given me details of a PE expert in Leeds. I think what I am going to do is, after seeing the midwife, who will hopefully refer me to the consultant at my local, I will see what their care plan will be. If I dont feel happy with it, I will ask my GP for a referral to the expert for a second opinion or ask for him to oversee the pregnancy! My GP's are fab, and the one I see regularly is always on the ball! I am pretty sure she or any of the others will refer me if I ask (i have been a patient since 1 years old and have hardly been there until my thyroid started playing up lol).

What is the minimum I should expect of a care plan? I know it obviously depends on my situation/the consultant, but is there a basic course of action?

Thanks again for your reply.

Holly
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Liz Pidgley
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Fri 03 Dec 2010, 2:40 pm

Hi Holly,

Your care should follow increased monitoring pattern from now!
You will probably need to be on aspirin. Because thyroid problems are often 'auto-immune' problems it may mean heparin is also advised.

You should certainly be offered increased growth scans and from around 22 weeks a doppler scan of the uterine artteries.
From the onset gestation of PE in your last pregnancy, you should be monitored at least fortnightly until delivery.

Hope this helps.
Liz

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Amysmum
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PostSubject: UPDATE!!   Fri 28 Jan 2011, 10:48 am

Hiya,
Sorry its been a while since I have been on, we've not had internet for a while!
Ok so, we went for 12 week scan and everything went well, we even had a wave from the little munchkin Very Happy

But all I have wanted was to see a consultant to know what extra care I would get in this pregnancy because of the awful PE last time. So after speaking to my midwife who the first few times said it was sorted then the last time said i would see them after my 20 week scan, I had a mini tantrum and rang PALS. After speaking to the lovely man there I had the midwifery team on the phone within ten minutes who I explained everything to and who actually seemed to be as worried as I was, she got on the phone to the antenatal clinic. Within 5 mins of her call the manager of the antenatal team phoned to say that I would be seen on the following thursday when I was already seeing my thyroid consultant.
The following day I received an appointment for the antenatal consultant that WOULD have been my first appointment at 23 weeks (2 weeks before I got PE with amy!!!).

Anyways, we went yesterday. My thyroid consultant has said that my blood results are normal and he thinks it will settle in pregnancy and then come back with a vengeance after delivery (so that should be fun lol).
I then saw the antenatal consultant who could not have been nicer. She said she would have rather seen me at 5 weeks, but she was happy that I had ranted to get to see her. Basically she has put me on 150mg of aspirin, every day til 36 weeks. My BP is down (quite low :S) but she was happy with it, and has booked me in for growth scans and to see her that day at 24, 28, 32 & 36 weeks! She even discussed VBAC, which made me smile and tell her I was happy to take the pain if she can get me that far. She was very positive and said she has had very good results of ladies with PE who are on aspirin the 2nd time round. We even got to hear munchkins heartbeat, which for some silly reason made it seem more real than the scan :/ I am glad to say this lady seems to know what shes doing!!

So, I'm really sorry bout the long post, but thats were we are at for now Smile I am feeling so much more positive knowing that this consultant seems to know what she is doing, and is discussing further along in this pregnancy than I EVER thought possible Very Happy

So fingers crossed, we have a full termer and the wonderful 6 hour discharge that I know all us ladies dream of Very Happy

Holly
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Liz Pidgley
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Fri 28 Jan 2011, 4:42 pm

Hi Holly,

Thats wonderful news regarding your consultant appointment. It is a shame you had to throw a rant to actually get it though - but well done to you for actually doing it!

Looking forward to hearing all your news and updates.

Best Wishes
Liz

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Amysmum
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Tue 03 May 2011, 8:05 pm

I'm going to start posting on this thread and this thread only now lol

Ok so we are 28+2 today, only a meer 3 days from the gestation amy was born Neutral

I have been seen twice a week by midwives or at ANDU. My BP is finally seeming to stablise, the top number is hovering around 115-135 while the bottom is 75-85 with the odd 90/91 here and there. Those magical numbers have been keeping me going and its great to know that the labetalol are working. I havent had one trace of protein at all, which again is keeping my spirits up. The only thing i have been experiencing is swelling of my legs/ankles, but am being reassured by the midwives that its due to the heat at the moment.

So today was a big day with our 28 week scan. Little man is still growing, however the sonographer said that his stomach isnt growing brilliantly. He is still within the normal ranges though and the consultant didnt mention anything about his growth this time! I'm actually a little annoyed as it was such a big problem 4 weeks ago. The other thing that is really bugging me is that both growth scans they have struggled to get the AC measurement (it was even noted it was difficult to obtain today), how can they say he isnt growing if they cant get accurate measurements? There was a trainee and a fully qualified sonographer today and they had 2mm difference in measurements!! The only new thing they added was EDF:present. From what i can gather that means the flow through the cord, and i'm assuming present is a good thing, meaning the blood is flowing through?

I also had my steroids last week.

So the consultant today said that i am to be seen at day assessment twice a week and at one of those appointments to be seen by her. She said so far no PE - Bp ok, urine ok, all PET bloods ok etc etc. And to keep going how we are.

Next mile stone 32 weeks!

Holly
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thaiba2000
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Wed 04 May 2011, 7:20 am

Yey, well done Amysmum!

Im currently on my 3rd pregnancy and im so happy to say after lots of set targets etc etc today im 37 weeks exactly and still no sign of Pre-eclampsia!!! Its possible hon.

Dont do too much (you can save all the work for after the babys born) and rest in a reclining position whenever possible especially when your having one of those off days and not feeling too energetic. I do still do the housework but i dont do too much and for example if the hoovering takes my breathe away i just simply leave it, rest, and then get back to it.
I cant say ive been lazy this pregnancy BUT not doing too much has helped me i think. I stopped working from like 23 weeks of pregnancy too.

Targeting myself has helped me too...i took it two weeks at a time and i simply cant believe today im 37 weeks which is considered full term. Now im just playing the waiting game as ive planned on having a Vaginal birth after 2 caesareans. The conditions set by my doctor were that PE has to stay away and that labour needs to come on its own as inducing poses too much of a risk for uterine rupture. Ive got a date for a c-section which im not too happy with but im meeting my doctor tomrow to discuss this. Its been booked for when im 6 days passed my due date.

Good luck hon and do keep us posted on how you get on...

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Amysmum
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Sun 08 May 2011, 2:19 pm

Thanks thaiba, I finished work at 24 weeks and have been taking it as easy as i can (not too easy with a toddler lol). Well done on getting to 37 weeks and PE free that is such an achievement, my consultant said something about having to go into labour myself because they wont induce due to the placenta, so i have my fingers crossed that if you havent already u do go into natural labour.

I am very happy to say that I am now more pregnant than I have ever been Very Happy Amy was born at 28+5 and i am exactly 29 weeks today. So not completely out of the woods yet, but I am excited that I am still pregnant and no sign of delivery yet Very Happy

Just wanted to let you all know

Holly
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Amysmum
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Fri 20 May 2011, 10:18 am

A little update from me! Not a lot had been going on until monday when i had the first of 2 weekly growth scans. Little mans stomach was still measuring small! So they sent me through to the day unit, BP was ok, no protein & CTG was fab. I was then back on Tuesday to see consultant, and to my usual DU appointment. This time not so great, still protein free, CTG was fab but BP had gone up (personally i think its because i was terrified but hey ho). Anyways saw a registrar who went to see actual consultant and decided because of his growth and raised BP they wanted to admit me!

So into hospital I go, all night and wed morning bp was 130/85 ish (back to normal). On the ward round my actual consultant made the decision to up my labetalol by another 200mg, so am now on 200mg 3 times a day. I was a little fed up of having no plan in place so asked her outright what she is expecting (obviously i know they cant make any guarantees). She said she is looking at the bigger picture rather than putting all her eggs in the scan basket (she knows they are subjective). So as long as my BP stays normal, I have no protein, the CTG's are good, my blood results are good and I am measuring right (which i am) she will be happy to leave me til 32 weeks (next growth scan) and review again. Her overall plan is to get me to 34 weeks and then she wont hesitate to deliver if the need arises!!

Yesterday we went back for a doppler, blood flow is fab and fluid is normal, back to the day unit after and BP was good, no protein and CTG was great and met criteria until little man got the hiccups lol! But they then got my blood results and my urates were a little raised on what they were. They had been 0.33 but had gone up to 0.4 (is normal range between 0.3 and 0.7?), they were worried i may be admitted again. But after speaking to the dr they decided not to as everything else was great. They will review me again on Tuesday as usual.

So they are keeping a very good eye on me, or i think they are anyway! Little hectic at the min as we have nothing for the little man and could possibly only have 3 weeks ish left (am 30+5 today) so we are a little in panic mode lol, although not too much as trying to keep BP down lol!

Fingers crossed we can hold on tight!!

Sorry for the essay

Holly
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Liz Pidgley
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Fri 20 May 2011, 10:54 am

Hi Holly,

I can imagine the confusion going on right now - the old is everything ok / not ok, balance is being tested!

From what you have said, it does sound like all the right things are happening and generally it remains a good picture. Had PE not sneaked up before chances are that we would just be enjoying the moment and let all this float past. This is why I say PE is a thief - it steals all the 'innocence' from pregnancy and more if it can.

The best news, apart from you & baby being well, is that the doppler remains good. I shouldnt worry about the urate, this increases with gestation any way and as you say are still within normal peramiters.

I hope this helps - keep us posted!

Best Wishes
Liz

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Amysmum
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Tue 14 Jun 2011, 6:59 pm

ok wow,

sorry i havent updated in such a long time. I am now 34+2. There have been a few ups and downs in the last few weeks, a couple of +'s protein, BP going up, possible UTI etc etc.

But we have had a wonderful appointment today. The doc is happy with little mans growth (although hes under the bottom centile he is still growing ) and with the bigger picture. She fully expects us to get to 36 weeks and will let me carry on after that if all is ok. She also mentioned a VBAC again and said that when we get to 36 weeks if I go into labour she is happy for me to try and have a natural birth, she cannot see any reason why it would not be straight forward. She also said she fully expects me to be straight upto the post natal ward with my little man!!!!!!! I am over the moon, but still a little anxious and guarded as I think i am too terrified to let myself chill out!!

So heres to another 2,3,4 weeks!!!!

Holly
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PostSubject: Re: New here   Wed 15 Jun 2011, 2:16 pm

Hello Holly,
Sorry I've not seen this thread before and just read your story. Really pleased to see how far you've got in this pregnancy! Good luck with the delivery, I had a vbac and it went very smoothly...better than I could have hoped. Fingers crossed for you!
Lizzie
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