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Can we talk about Pre-E?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I cannot seem to get the search thing to work well for me. So, I thought I would go ahead and ask.

First off, I wanted to know if I was reading into this too much, or if it is a concern.

I did mention this on a different thread, but it was just as an update. Now, I need some practical advice/experiences.

I went to the ER for the possible pPROM and the terrible migraine I had. I thought the migraine could be an indication of a starting infection. But, after I left home, the migraine subsided. I got there, and the nurse took my BP twice, which got my attention. Looked on the paper, and it said that my BP was 153/96. I asked them if this was right, not clerical error. They asked if this was high for me. Uhhhh, I already told them that I was 20+wks, and of course my BP isn't that high, EVER. I am a thin woman, so HBP has NEVER been an issue outside of my 1st PG.

My pre-preg baseline is probably 95/55 or lower, this PG at 12 wks was 110/65, as it was at 16wks. Only 4 days before at the MW appt, it was my pg normal. They cleared me for the migraine, and said that sometimes migraines can cause HBP. I thought it was the other way around. This isn't my first migraine this PG, and I NEVER had them pre-pg. I have also had some blurriness in the lower left eye, several times when driving and at home, but briefly. But, I thought it was the allergies. I had a week that both of my calves were in SUCH PAIN, I could barely walk. I take a baby aspirin a day, per MW suggestion. I thought the migraine could be caffeine withdrawal, so I never thought much of it, although caffeine never helped. I tried all my bag of tricks that never took them away.

In OB, they checked my reflexes, which I thought was odd, until later. They were a little more than my normal, but she didn't say anything. No swelling, so everyone said I didn't look pre-E and I didn't think you could have it this early. No infection. Neg on amnio fluid.

Now, I did have pre-e first PG, but it was mild and at the very end. I had PP Pre-e after #5 and #6 which I just took it easy. #7 I put myself on bedrest, because it was AWFUL!! It was said that was caused by the severe PPH. I don't feel that I am "advanced maternal age" as I am only 34yo. However, my GM had HBP since before the change, I think. My other GM and aunts have had strokes, at very young ages. I have had a blood clot at 15yo.

So, now that I have spelled everything out...

I called the MW because they said she wanted to see me this week. But, everything checked out fine at the hosp, although my BP after laying down in OB, was still 136/86, which is still kind of high for me, and I didn't have any headache the whole 5 hrs between driving and being there. So, the nurse said she would probably be willing to do a phone consult and the MW would call me, which she didn't. If she gets my BP readings from the ER, she may call me afterall.

They didn't really seem concerned about the BP readings, blaming it on the migraine. But, isn't "migraines" a symptom of Pre-e? I did lose a twin with this PG, and the last PG also had a lost twin and twin symptoms in the beginning and after birth. So, I wonder if this PG counts as a singleton or twin. The baby looks and is acting good. They did a pee test there that they didn't say anything about.

So, do you think that I should be concerned? Or, just let it be unless I start swelling or getting more frequent migraines. I do NOT have a history of migraines.

Anyone here deal with this? Of what I have researched, protein really doesn't help or cure Pre-e, although I did get protein powder, because I do eat protein, but wanted to increase it with more ease than cooking steaks. It is also said that bedrest doesn't slow the progression, but it is always prescribed. When I would get up, my head would POUND. Awful!!

This PG also has the same feelings of just not quite well like my first. Like after I have been trying to get things done, on my feet, in the car, etc. I just feel like I HAVE to sit down. I get out of breath, and just overall feeling like crap. I have also had several hours of heart palpitations a couple times the last month. Although, I know that many of these things can just be PG things.

Any personal stories or links to stories here? Like I said, I can never get the search to work right for me. I REALLY would like to know that these things are normal, I don't need to press my MW/OB. I don't want to be bumped to high risk. I can't go on bedrest or end up in the hospital. So, my hope is that I am just reading too much into this stuff. Are there ladies here that have had these "symptoms", and it was NEVER pre-e?? I just wonder if losing the baby, and then the feelings of impending premature birth at that time, then the possible pPROM, is just making me freaked out and imagining things. Except for my 1st, my PGs are VERY easy. It is the PP time that can be an issue. Kymberli

UPDATE: I went ahead and bought a BP machine today. After having a very busy day, and laying down because of the heat today, I took my BP. (My DH has HBP too, so we REALLY needed the machine, but I have to buy him a better cuff since his muscles are too big LOL.)

It is about the same as at the drs; 112/65, and 102/71. So, those are good readings. I usually have a very low BP, and I have read that it should go down for the 2nd trimester, but this is the baseline that they use at the OBs office. Now, I didn't have a headache, or any issues, so that is good. I haven't had the partial blurry eye thing lately at all. I have had an hour of mild heart palpitations on certain days, but I have hypoglycemia, and haven't had much of an appetite with the heat. I usually shake from low sugar, the palpitations are an unusual symptom of it for me, but I have had really bad short lived ones before (not PG), and it was a low sugar issue. I am sure that is what is causing that. MW doesn't seem concerned, and it is a plausible explanation. BPs being good and all, that is very good news. I am going to keep an eye on it for a while, especially while the headaches have been an issue, and let them know if it gets to be a concern. I am just glad to not make anyone freak out on me for nothing. And, I do think that part of it is stress, and I am working on getting that taken care of.
post #2 of 41
post #3 of 41
Mama, it sounds a little complicated.

I do have high blood pressure too, but I manage it throughout with herbs, and I have no other symptoms associated with it. I use liquid tinctures several times a day, and some food supplements.
*hawthorn
*passion flower
*skullcap
*motherwort
*chamomile
*oats
plus, Magnesium & Calcium Lactate. I also do a LOT of exercise. I do cardio every day by walking, stairmaster, or the elliptical trainer...plus weight training three times a week. On my off days I do yoga & belly dancing.

I also do a protein drink I make myself:
*pasteurized liquid egg whites
*cinnamon
*Konsyl psyllium
*hibiscus powder (for BP)
*a liquid base of either milk, diet 7up, water, or whatever

Even with all of my efforts by the end I'm in the 140's/80's. That's about as high as I am comfortable with, and as I said, it is in the absense of other symptoms. I do get migraines, but they have been a staple of my life since childhood and are not associated with pregnancy.

So....what do you do to lower your blood pressure besides the baby aspirin? Your numbers sound serious, particularly given the fact that your pre-pregnancy numbers are so incredibly low. Is that right? 95/55? That is really low. To go from that to diastolic numbers of 96 & 86 would scare me, particularly with prior pre-e diagnosis. Are you checking your blood pressure throughout the day?
post #4 of 41
How's your iron?

I get bloody EXHAUSTED when my iron is low (like, I walk up the stairs and need to sit down), I get heart palpitations, I get headaches. I've never had a migraine, so it's possible that low iron in other people may manifest as migraines in those who are prone to them. Though my dr looks at me funny when I say I'm tired and headachey, can we test my iron levels. Might not be a common symptom.

I don't know what affect that has on BP but it could be that the stress of thinking everything was going wrong and going to the hospital could be enough to spike up your BP. And if you get migraines (like any severe pain) I've heard that it can cause your BP to rise due to the stress on your body.

Hopefully you can get some good answers! I have no experience with pre-e or high bp (I'm always 120/60 while preg, without fail).
post #5 of 41
Last week you were convinced that your waters had broken, this week your BP has jumped by forty points. Please go and see a doctor and accept that either you're overthinking, or this is not, in fact, a low risk pregnancy. None of this sounds within the realms of normal.

Did you know that obesity is not the only cause of high blood pressure? Further, not all obese people HAVE high blood pressure?
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
Last week you were convinced that your waters had broken, this week your BP has jumped by forty points. Please go and see a doctor and accept that either you're overthinking, or this is not, in fact, a low risk pregnancy. None of this sounds within the realms of normal.

Did you know that obesity is not the only cause of high blood pressure? Further, not all obese people HAVE high blood pressure?

I agree with Helen on this one. One of the things that makes UC work is knowing when to say when. It sounds like UC may not be the safest thing for you and your baby this time. I understand how disappointing that can be, but don't let disappointment cloud your judgment

I'll also further agree with Helen about HBP and weight. I come from a family of thin people and we have a pretty high rate of both HBP and genetically high cholesterol. Thin =/= healthy, necessarily
post #7 of 41
Call your health care provider today!
Go see your doctor or midwife and have them reassure you through a clinical evaluation.

It's not advisable to get reassurance from a web forum with your symptoms.
post #8 of 41
Pain in general can cause high bp. A severe migraine can definately cause your bp to rise a lot. Can you check it yourself when you dont have one? Or go somewhere non stressful?

Honestly, swelling is *usually* the first symptom of pre-e. Migraines dont generally start in until the pre-e is getting worse-ie, you already HAVE pre-e and your condition is deteriorating. I did have headaches with my mild case of pre-e before it turned into it, but they werent migraines and they werent severe. Oddly with my HELLP baby, I had no headaches.

Honestly, if I were you, I'd keep an eye on the bp, but with no other symptoms, I doubt its pre-e. If you start having other symptoms-especially swelling-then I'd get more worried and really take it easy.

Oh and I tried the protein thing and it didnt work for me either time. On the same hand, I ate my normal diet with my others and never got pre-e. (I changed my diet with the 2 I did get it with after I started showing symptoms-mainly swelling) I do know some people who swear by it though, so I really dont know what to make of that. I guess it wouldnt hurt to try if you do end up being more at risk.
post #9 of 41
While it is true that a migraine can absolutely spike your blood pressure (it's happened to me), I really think you need some more monitoring.

Firstly, are you sure it was a migraine? Did you have sensitivity to light and sound? Nausea and vomiting? Dizziness? Was it a headache so bad you were rendered pretty much useless? I mean, I would put migraines at a 8-10 on the pain scale. They are really, really bad, and it's the collection of symptoms that makes it a migraine, not just the head pain. It may not even be a migraine you experienced but a pre-e headache.

Yes, usually headaches happen when the pre-e is advanced and you generally have other symptoms, but really, there is no guaranteed way that pre-e manifests, and it's nothing to mess around with. A few tests are important here, imo. See a practitioner.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
Last week you were convinced that your waters had broken, this week your BP has jumped by forty points. Please go and see a doctor and accept that either you're overthinking, or this is not, in fact, a low risk pregnancy. None of this sounds within the realms of normal.

Did you know that obesity is not the only cause of high blood pressure? Further, not all obese people HAVE high blood pressure?
Absolutely. Please see your midwife/OB as soon as possible and discuss all of the symptoms you mentioned in your post.

Pre Eclampsia is NOTHING to mess around with.
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
TY so much ladies.
This may be long if I try to respond to everyone. Not unusual for me.

Yes, I do realize that weight and BP isn't always correlated. I guess there is too much of ppl telling my overweight DH that if he lost a few, he wouldn't be on HBP meds. Sorry. I didn't mean to offend or perpetuate stereotypes. My husband has been overweight a long time (and I REALLY LOVE HIM), and this is the second time he has had BP issues, the first time was for only a year. My GM with the HBP issues was never overweight. That is the only way I would think I was at risk, is because of genetics. That is what I was trying to say.

I do think that my iron is fine, because at WIC, it was MUCH better than it had been the year before. Both our 20 mo old baby and me really had a great levels.

No light sensitivity, just feeling like my head was ready to explode, especially when I got up. And, I had to just lay down, nothing else I could do. Sound DEF worsened it. I can function during the headaches, which I have also had during the PG, but I always figured a reason for that; typing on computer too long, normal PG issue, kids not cooperating that day, etc.

Well, the quick answer that I needed was; no swelling, no Pre-E. And, it is extremely rare besides, especially this early, and with #8. I probably shouldn't have googled "high blood pressure in pregnancy".

I really think that I have lost my focus. I am really anti-dr, and can usually handle things at home. I have YEARS where most of my many family members never needed to go. I am pro-natural; birth and otherwise. I don't really trust drs, which is part of it, but that was only OBs until after dealing with the medicos this last 15 mos. After 14+ years of healthy adults and children, I was then immersed into the medical community with our last baby that had a heart defect and many hospital illnesses (no home remedy for needing O2 or heart surgery). The last 6 mos, I have a 12yo DD with pain issues that still is undiagnosed even though there are some physical manifestations; and no, it isn't stress and she isn't making it up. This PG started off wrong with the lost twin, and our fiasco with PPH last time led me to do trad prenatal care, when I normally UP/UC.

I was just wanting reassurance that I am fine, and all is well, especially if my pros wig out. I remember the dr wigging out the first time so badly. And, without swelling, I am thinking surely that is true. Plus, I hired pros to worry for me, so I really shouldn't be. If they don't see it there, then there is no worry. 4 days before these readings, my BP was fine, as far as I know. I didn't think I was stressed when going, just going to be safe, so I don't know that stress caused them, but it is very possible.

And, I really think that going to the ER was unwarranted now. I wouldn't have known about the HBP if I hadn't gone, then I wouldn't be worrying. My leak, if that is what it was, has sealed, and I feel fine. The MW did call back, on my DH's phone, even though I left my number. Ugh.

Maybe I have been taking up too much space here. I really don't think that because I have concerns (that I didn't even KNOW at first was even possible at this early PG), that makes me not a candidate for UC. I didn't just go off running to the MW because I thought I had a leak. I didn't think it was possible. I know now that it is the only plausible explanation (sweet smell and quantity being the biggest convincer for me). The headaches/migraines I have had, I NEVER chalked up to pre-e because I didn't think it was possible until the 3rd trimester. The ER dr told me that it is possible, and if I hadn't gone, I still wouldn't know that or be worried about it. I have UC'ed already 3 times. I guess a true UCernaturally minded person wouldn't have so many worries, but what we've dealt with this year, I think it is a side effect. It is only the major stuff that I have asked about, something that may make a UC impossible, and I want to be sure that it is a safe option. There has been question about that for me, but it was only PPH history.

I do know that I need to get refocused. I am sure that the high leak has sealed and I can take some baths now. I need to relax and ENJOY this PG as I have with all the others, when I didn't have tests and medicos making me a nervous wreck. I think hiring pros has probably interfered with my confidence and intuition. My intuition is that everything is fine. I only went in to be safe. Now, look where it has taken me? Doubting myself. A good lesson for those that are thinking about going from UP to trad care. And, I can see how some may think I have gone all hypochondriac, but I really don't believe in my heart that is the case. I guess that is better than having a truly high risk PG or losing this other baby.

Well, thank you ladies. I don't think that I can/need totally abandon my hopes for a UC this time. I was scared the first UC/HB and it went just fine, I thought I would be immune to that after so many times. But, I also thought that having this many PG, there wouldn't be any new info, or any that I would need to know. Kymberli
post #12 of 41
I don't mean to sound critical but PLEASE, PLEASE do NOT rely on swelling as a symptom of Pre-E! I had Pre E with DS#2 and I NEVER had any swelling at all. I actually felt fine until I got a blinding headache and blurred vision and then my BP 140/100.

You may very well NOT have Pre E and it does seem early for it BUT it can hit at any point and the symptoms can be varied. You don't have to have ALL of the symptoms to be in danger. I hope the rest of your PG goes well!!!!
post #13 of 41
OP, it concerns me when you say "I was just wanting reassurance that I am fine, and all is well, especially if my pros wig out"

No one can do that here. Even if we were medical professionals NO ONE can give you real reassurance without running the tests. Please, please go see a doctor or midwife.
post #14 of 41
I am not a UCer but this thread title caught my eye.

I had severe preeclampsia in my first (and last) pregnancy. I did not swell until after delivery. I might have had a bit of a headache, but I get those so often I don't even notice. I felt fine. I felt fine as the obstetricians and midwives decided there was no time to induce me and I needed an emergency C-section. I felt fine although my daughter was showing signs distress, my blood pressure was high, my blood test results sucked and my 24 hour urine collection was full of protein.

You cannot rely on "feeling fine" with preeclampsia. There is a reason HCPs are vigilant about it.
post #15 of 41
I'm a little confused - are you seeing a midwife or OB, or not?

Also, I'm still wondering if you are monitoring your blood pressure yourself? Even if you are seeing a care provider I still think it would be a good idea to check your own blood pressure every day. It's a good indicator of what's really going on and you can take it at varying points in the day without stress...then you can understand more about what might be going on with your body.

Quote:
I guess a true UCernaturally minded person wouldn't have so many worries
Please don't think this if you can help it. There is no "true" UCer and the most important thing is that each woman takes the very best care of herself & her baby. Sometimes that means seeing somebody who has more knowledge of something than you do, or seeing someone you trust who can advise you.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talula Fairie View Post
OP, it concerns me when you say "I was just wanting reassurance that I am fine, and all is well, especially if my pros wig out"

No one can do that here. Even if we were medical professionals NO ONE can give you real reassurance without running the tests. Please, please go see a doctor or midwife.
This needs to be repeated - honestly OP, you have too many warning signs to ignore them. You said that your BP was up at the ER but that your headache had subsided by then. The fact that you had such a huge rise in BP over just a few days is what is worrysome - please go and see a Dr or midwife. Your and your baby's lives may depend on it. I have read too many stories here of moms who have lost babies to pre-e, even moms who were being treated by medical professionals.

Pre-e is unpredictable and deadly.
post #17 of 41
Yes, I would echo the PPs who discussed how serious this could possibly be. Here are a few threads to demonstrate:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=221654

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1060728

Quote:
I was just wanting reassurance that I am fine, and all is well, especially if my pros wig out. I remember the dr wigging out the first time so badly. And, without swelling, I am thinking surely that is true. Plus, I hired pros to worry for me, so I really shouldn't be. If they don't see it there, then there is no worry. 4 days before these readings, my BP was fine, as far as I know. I didn't think I was stressed when going, just going to be safe, so I don't know that stress caused them, but it is very possible.
We really can't give anyone reassurance like that. Even when we hire professionals, each mother is ultimately responsible for her own care. IME, it's one thing to be anti-doctor, but as with everything, seeking outside assistance has a place and time.
post #18 of 41
I'm also not a UCer, but the title caught my attention too. I spent my first pregnancy fighting headaches and ignoring it, not telling my MW, convincing myself it was just stress, heat, whatever else. I could always function and I always had an excuse. I was wrong, I had pre-eclampsia. I didn't start swelling until right before my emergency c-section. Five days before my dd was born, my bloodpressure had risen some, but not enough to signal pre-e. It wasn't till the morning I woke up thinking I was going to die that my bp was really high.

Pre-eclampsia is nothing to mess around with. It can kill you. Ignoring the symptoms will not make it go away. Please go see your HCP.
post #19 of 41
I second the lack of swelling. My pre-E experience did not include swelling, and I was in "moderate" stage Pre-E/HELLPS.

I had the headaches like you mentioned. Those were my que that something was wrong. My bp went as high as 185/120, and my non-pgcy rate was never as low as yours.

I would seriously consider seeking a back up provider, even if you choose to continue your UC.

Personally, I don't think that even pre-E necessarily rules out UC. Pre-E, if kept under control, makes no difference in the way you birth. So, if you can keep it under control until you go into labor, there should be no reason you could not UC.

That being said. Your b/p numbers are high enough to worry about seizure or strokes. I know you really want a UP, but it may not be worth the trade off in the end.
Quote:
I guess a true UCernaturally minded person wouldn't have so many worries
Just so you know, my advice is coming from someone that has had SEVEN HBs, six of them basically UC (no MW or "assistance"). It took everything I had in me to actually go to the hospital for number eight. But, like pp mentioned, a huge part of UC is to know when to call when.

And FTR, Pre-E CAN manifest at any point in pgcy, and as early as the BFP. (I have already had pre-e symptoms this time, as early as 5 wks.) And if you have a previous history, you have a higher risk (as high was 80%) of developing it again.
post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
I do have a MW/OB. I tried calling her, but it seems the clinic is really busy. Not sure what that is all about. So, YES, I do have back up care. I guess I really went in the 1st appt kind of kicking and screaming, but did it because of my PPH history, and my DH's request. But, his beliefs about birth are done in fear, moreso than for my safety. I know he is concerned about my safety, but that isn't his foremost motivation. And, I have always felt that the woman's choice in birth should be all about HER choice first, providing she has her baby and herself as top priority. And, he should trust her on this. Maybe part of my reluctance has to do with my pride, that I shouldn't NEED any help, and I accept it for the PPH thing because sometimes the remedies don't always work for me. This is probably more philosophical than the topic needs, but that is a dynamic for me, and probably most ppl in general. There is too much at stake for my own pride though, and I get that.

At first, I took offense, and was , because it sounded like some might think I was being a hyperchondriac or a troll or something. And, again, I didn't want anyone to think that I thought HBP was anyone's fault for being fluffy, (or not) or anything. I am already emotional, and felt jumped on for just stating my body size, if it helped any.

I also really thought that many ladies would say, "yeah, I had headaches, some BP fluctuations, but it was all fine."

I never had protein in my urine for the first "pre-e", and I wondered if this trainee USAF dr was just too inexperienced to really diagnose it right. He needed to learn how to do a csection (which I find out min before my csection), and so decided to learn on me. That's why I call it mild, and sometimes doubt the Dx, and I think I had maybe a little PIH, but not pre-E. See why I don't trust docs, especially OBs? It is also a privacy thing, that I would rather have a woman, hence the CNM, outside of a true 911 situation.

And, I know it can be quite serious, that is why I asked here to have a discussion on it. I may go ahead and buy a monitor for home, but I thought that would just make me worry, and CAUSE HBP. OTOH, it may make me feel better when BPs are fine. Both times I took my BP at WM (the 2nd time the day after the ER), it was my pg normal. But, the older lady said the machine was 20pts too low for her, and she has HBP. Imagine how confused I was after that!! She thought 110/65 was high though, and that is suppose to be normal. And, yes, 95/55 is normal for me not PG, but it was many years since I had it checked before this PG. I figured that I am getting older, more PGs, (more children lol) so maybe my "new normal" was 110/65. Especially since being at the MW/OB office probably makes it go up.

I will call (again) and get in to be seen. I got a nap today, and I think that helped a bit. I guess if the ladies here will freak out, then I better get in, so I can report good news. I guess the thing about not wanting the MW/OB to freak out, is that I am very laid back about PG things (usually, this is not my normal PG demeanor), and if I am asking for more appts or concerned, I know they WILL take it seriously, because I have had so many children, and I have a good repoir with them. But, if I am being nutty, I didn't want to start some kind of chain of events that, in the end, was unnecassary or causes more problems than it helps. KWIM? Anyone understand that part of my dilemma?

I don't think that UC is the end all. Shoot, I have thought about signing up for an epi or csection (and even thought about a tubal when I am QF), but that is all hormones. I do think that it is the ideal, and if there is some way I can make that happen, despite a few bumps in the road, I would like to do that. My bump, is IF I get to UC, it will be next to the hosp in a hotel, which I have never done before. I have to be closer to the hospital than I am, because my PPH history, 40 min is too long when it came down to it.

And, I sooo don't want to go down the pre-e road again. KWIM? The first time was NOT a scary situation in reality, or truly symptomatic, the induction was probably premature, if not unnecassary. They never did a 24 urine. Had two caths out of the deal and NO protein. I did fine on hosp bedrest. Only one NST, which was fine. More should have been done. The baby was too young to come out, and not ready, nor in any real danger at the time, I don't believe.

I won't exactly go down that road, if ultimately, I end up with it again. As I am more educated about it now, but that was just recently, because I never researched it after that time, as I read that isn't suppose to happen after the first birth, or can be prevented by eating enough protein (which isn't really true, I guess, for true pre-e). I have learned a lot, and that is always a good thing.

And, that you ladies are very kind here, and I appreciate all your help and suggestions. Checking BPs at home seems so medical to me, which I never thought was a UC thing. You have to remember too, is that I am used to doing UP. There are so many shades, YK? I figured if I ate enough protein, then I would never get it again. And, shifting my thinking of asking for outside help is hard. TY ladies for your stories as well. Kymberli
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