POST- Eclampsia????? - Mothering Forums
I'm Pregnant > POST- Eclampsia?????
amyjeans's Avatar amyjeans 06:43 PM 08-30-2005
Hello all, from Gossamer's thread about Pre-e, I saw this mentioned.
I believe I have suffered from it myself. I would like to start a discussion about this interesting phenomenon- and perhaps work together to avoid it.
From the posts I have read, it seems like a very real thing.
My story...
5 days after my dd2 was born at home, I was napping in bed, around 12n, then woke suddenly to the feeling that someone had hit me on the top of my head with a sledghammer- super-fast sudden onset of major pain. No headache though. It slowly faded, and I fell back asleep.
Then about 5 pm, I took baby downstairs to have dinner, I sat on the floor up against my couch, and suddenly felt extremely nauseous, dizzy and weak. Dh had to practically carry me to our bedroom, when I proceeded to have several panic attacks. Then the headaches began.
He took my bp- it was 135/89. Pulse was 110. I was totally freaked out, we called 911. The emt's checked my bp out- no concern but my pulse was crazy. they said, they can see nothing wrong, but I said I am going to the hospital because SOMETHING was WRONG.
So off we went, dh home with the babes, me with my sister in tow...
We get to the hospital. ER doc says CTScan and MRI to rule out blood on the brain. Most people who come in complaining of theworst headache ever usually have a clot on the brain.
I was givein a morphine drip- no good, I was high with a headache. Was given migraine meds-again no good.
Now since I just had a baby, the Res OB came in and decided to admit me to L&D for observation, mentioning the possiblilty of post-eclampsia.
So the treatment...24 hour magnesium drip, no food, no nursing, and a delightful catheter!
While having the drip, I am pumped full of every drug they can find to fight a headache. NOTHING worked.
Okay, so if you are not familiar wirh magnesium drips...it is a vaso-dialator(sp) meaning it opens the veins to get the blood flowing faster. Well, for some reason it almost killed me. I had an event that I can only say was the closest to death I ever want to get. My bp dropped 3 times. the lowest was 65/24. I think I passed out. It was so freaking scary.
Finally after 3 days of observation...one nurse comes in and asks if anyone gave me motrin with tylenol? Nope. So she does, within 30 min- the headache is gone!
Fast foward to now- I am still suffering from headaches 3-4 times a week and becoming a mo-ty junky.
I am at a loss- I am seeing a neurologist soon about the headaches.
So my point? Is this what you might have experienced with post-eclampsia? Is this what happens? How can I avoid the headaches with my next babe due in March?

Please share your thoughts mamas! thanks for reading!

much love

yvonnemlv's Avatar yvonnemlv 09:14 AM 01-23-2006
I would think the same thing that is recommended for pre-E would work for Post-E.. which is a lot of protein, water, and salt to taste... (the blueribbon diet is often recommended too...)

Mo-ty isn't so hot for the (kidneys or liver? or both? i forget which, preggo brain), so I would be concerned with having to take that so often.
Guinevere's Avatar Guinevere 04:35 AM 01-24-2006
Hi there!

I haven't had post-partum eclampsia, my experience with it was while pg, but I can still speak as to the symptoms and my own pp experiences. Also, you should really check out www.preeclampsia.org and their message boards, as there are quite a few women there who've experienced this and they might be very helpful for you to talk with!

In my case, I also had the "mother of all headaches" before I seized. My BP was also sky-high (116/210) and I was retaining a ton of fluids; I gained 30 lbs. in a little under 2 wks. ! I was actually in the hospital (on bed-rest, trying to keep the pg going longer, b/c I was only 31 wks.) when I had my eclamptic seizure. When I woke up, I was hooked up to everything imaginable, including supplemental oxygen, and I was also put on a mag sulf drip for the next 4 or so days.

The magnesium sulfate actually didn't bring down my BP that much, but it did relax my muscles such that I was too weak to even turn over by myself. It also gave me pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and depressed my breathing in general, so I had the constant feeling that I was suffocating. I was completely paranoid to fall asleep b/c I was convinced that I would stop breathing and never wake up! It also made me very hot and flushed. Nasty, awful stuff, but it also saved my life; a double-edged sword, that!

After I delivered my baby (the day after the seizure), I remained in the hospital for almost another week before they declared me "stable enough" to go home. Postpartum, my blood pressure continued to be alarmingly high, even on BP meds, so they added a diuretic, which finally seemed to have an impact and it went down to normal levels. Even so, I had to stay on BP meds for 6 mos. pp until I could go off them. My eyesight was very blurry for almost a month afterwards, to the point that I couldn't drive -- I later learned that my extremely high BP had actually done retinal damage and that was why I had such trouble seeing. And I began to have regular migraines, after never having had a migraine before in my life. They completely terrified me, b/c I associated them with my seizure and was convinced I'd have another one and would die!

All these symptoms dissipated gradually over a period of about 5-6 mos. I would NOT recommend following the Brewer Diet, since you're no longer experiencing pre-e or eclampsia; you're dealing with its aftermath. Some women I know have had permanent side effects from eclampsia, like migraines, neurological damage, kidney damage, or permanent high BP; most, though, like me, have persistent symptoms for a period of time that gradually fade away.

Hugs to you for going through such trauma, and I hope you find the information and support you're looking for! I had pre-e with my 1st pg, severe pre-e which ended in eclampsia in my 2nd pg, then went on to have 2 healthy, full-term births afterwards (and hoping to make it a 3rd in May! ) So it's definitely not something that will automatically recur, should you have more babies. However, it IS definitely something you should become more educated about before you conceive again!

Kind regards,
Guin
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