Preeclampsia we've all heard of it and for the most part I suspect it’s kind of like my attitude
As a mom who had "been there done that" after all this was my fifth pregnancy, I had even been the gamut of cares too, from full medicalised supervisised tested and metered deal to a completely free form home birth, and two cesareans on to go with that in between, I pretty much had this whole baby thing down heck I had even carried multiples full term I was golden right!?
I was wrong
I hadn’t accounted for preeclampsia; unfortunately I also hit into some of the major risk groups.
I’m over 35 carrying multiples and been "borderline" high blood pressure for some years
And though I didn’t know it at the time, the more pregnancies, the higher and the chance for pre eclampsia as well.
Signs of possible preeclampsia
Sudden Swelling in hands or feet
Sudden weight gain, more than 3 lbs in a day
Stomach or shoulder pain
Lower back pain
Or sensation your lungs are underwater, you may even hear a "gurgling" when you breathe
Seeing”floaties" or stars in your vision
Sudden nearly debilitating muscle weakness
Shortness of breath
Protein in the urine
Now this list is not fully inclusive and I am not a doctor, just someone who’s read an awful lot on it
I will be the first to admit that the symptoms are pretty vague, and most moderate into normal pregnancy complaints
however, my feeling of waking up and something was "not Right” was the best thing, I hadn’t slept properly for a couple of nights, had been extremely short of breath panting and wheezing (I was later to find out that was because my kidneys were shutting down and all the fluid was going to my lungs) Groups at higher risk for Pre Eclampsia
Borderline or overt hypertension
Previous preeclampsia in pregnancy
No prior pregnancy
Long break, more than 4 years between pregnancies
First pregnancy with current partner, or no current sexual partner (semen has shown some beneficial properties towards preventing preeclampsia)
I delivered two healthy babies via c section one day short of 36 weeks both had apgar scores well in the normal ranges, both above 5lbs and functioning just fine I didn’t have any trouble till 26 hours AFTER delivery
When I went into tachycardia, they had the paddles out and ready but fortunately that time my heart responded to the medications, and they didn’t need to use them
the subsequent 4 days spent in ICU were awful, I couldn’t see the babies , because the heart medicine they had me on to try and normalize my heart rhythms , and since they were caring for my babies in the neonatal icu ( this hospital didn’t have a regular baby ward, all babies were expected to room in with mom.)Finally o n the 5th day I was moved to a cardiac ward where they could bring the babies to see me, once a day, dependant on staffing. I didn’t get to see them every day, but it was better than having the ICU nurse sneak pictures to me so I could AT LEAST see them.
The whole experience was harrowing, I was fully ok with the fact that the babies might need to be in ICU and need to stay at the hospital,
I was not ready for it to be me that needed to be hospitalized
it completely threw me and my husband for a loop when on day 3 the hospital social worker wanted to discharge the babies, I’m a stay at home mom , so we had no alternate care plan set up for the kids, and my husband’s a contractor so there are no days off, for any reason..Talk about hormonal tears, I literally cried to her explaining, this was not supposed to happen, and I didn’t think my husband could handle it
I left the hospital on the 7th day , there was nothing more they could do , time and healing will "cure" me my BP at discharge was 180 over 110, my heart and kidneys are permanently damaged, I’m taking about 9 different medications not including the vitamins the doctor prescribed. Thanks to the help of the lactation consultants and the concern of my cardiologist, I am able to breastfeed both the babies are doing well. my heart function is nearly 35 percent, which I am told is quite good considering, I’m still weak and tired, nauseous with no appetite the only difference is now I can sleep on my stomach I’m told that within 3-6 months my heart should recover and heal,
But not to expect it to recover 100% functioning, and most likely I will be on heart medication the rest of my life.
I have a no sodium diet I have to adhere to STRICTLY as well as a whole other list of things I can’t eat due to other medications interacting, that’s extremely weird.
my discharge papers from the hospital ,
Perhaps the saddest undertone in all this personally its the most important, but medically speaking its just part and parcel of my story
my hospital discharge reads
Iron deficienceny Anemia,Hypertension,acute renal failure,resolved,acute preeclampsia, resolved,metabolic acidosis,resolved
and list the cesarean i had to give birth to the babies as simply a "procedure performed"nothing is mentioned about the babies, how sad
Wow! You have been threw a lot, You sound like a unbelievably strong woman! Congrats on your babys and thanks for sharing your journey with us. Hugs!
Yikes! I'm sorry... what a horrible experience. I had pre-e with my singleton, and had heard that more pregnancies meant less
chance of developing pre-e (or a likelihood of developing it later in the pregnancy). Is it really a higher chance? 'Cause if so... darn.
Very interesting and sorry to hear you have had such a difficult experience. Thank you for taking the time to post about it in so much detail.
While it seems unkind that your discharge papers did not mention the babies, I think that's pretty standard. It's a discharge document about YOU. Your babies have their own discharge documents that talk about them a lot!
I've dealt with PPCM patients (post partum, or even antepartum cardiomyopathy) in the past. You should be scheduled to see your cardiologist in a few weeks, and they will repeat your echo in a few months. No one knows 'why' this happens to some mommas, and not others. I've seen in it young mommas, older mommas, mommas with no weight gain, mommas with loads of weight gain .... you get the idea.
Take your meds, and make sure your doctor knows you are breastfeeding. Also, keep your LC on speed dial. Hang in there, and keep us posted.
Congratulations on the birth of your babies, and to you for making it through such a tough experience. I'll be sending healing thoughts your way. I really hope some angels fly in to help you through this.
Sending a huge energetic hug........
Huge congratulations on the births of your babies, I'm so sorry that you've been through such an ordeal and that you had that awful wait to see your little ones. Hat off to you for getting the breastfeeding going and big
|I will be the first to admit that the symptoms are pretty vague, and most moderate into normal pregnancy complaints
however, my feeling of waking up and something was "not Right” was the best thing, I hadn’t slept properly for a couple of nights, had been extremely short of breath panting and wheezing
Remember this through all your healing - you listened to your body and what was happening. I hope that despite the shock and pain you've been through, that gives you some comfort.
Wow, what a rough time you have had physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Thank you for reminding us about pre-e and, more generally, about how we can all be vulnerable to health issues during pregnancy. Thank you for reminding us to listen to ourselves, too.
I hope that you and your doctors can work together to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
I've found that when I am in the middle of a load of crap (figuratively speaking!) or when I am recovering from something, an attitude of gratitude really helps me to heal. When I look at your story, aside from the scary and awful parts, I also see some things that are good, even miraculous:
- I am thankful that you listened to your inner voice to get to the care that you and the babies needed.
- I am thankful that your babies survived.
- I am thankful that YOU survived and will be able to be present for the lives of your children, your family, and yourself.
Please understand that I am not making light of your experience or the somewhat fragile state that your body is in today; it just seems like you are stuck in the dumps and could use a gentle nudge to celebrate the good outcomes for you and your family.
Thank you so much for sharing all of this information. I've had a few friends with run-ins with pre-e, with outcomes running the full range from fantastic to horrendous. It's a good reminder to stay in tune to those symptoms.
Gentle hugs and congratulations on the birth of your twins. I'm grateful that the staff were willing to make sure you could salvage a nursing relationship--that must be such a blessing after all you've gone through. Sending you tons of healing vibes!
Oh mama! That sounds just awful! I am sending lots and lots of healing vibes your way! I got pre-e with my twins, but it wasn't a sudden onset and not nearly as dramatic as yours.
I hope you recover quickly! I am so glad that you are able to nurse your babies despite all you went through. You are amazing and so strong!
Congrats on the birth of your twins!