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Pre-eclampsia: Your story?

(20 Posts)
ModdedMummy Fri 09-Mar-12 23:48:30

Near the end of my first pregnancy, I entered a flurry of panic and confusion when my midwife told me I had PE. I didn't know what it was and how dangerous it was, and don't remember much after getting to the hospital other than being induced at 34w and being filled with drips and injections.

All I was told was that there was protein in my urine and that I would be induced. I spent the next 30 hours of waiting for an Emer. Ces. terrified and in the dark, and still to this day don't know why I wasn't given any more information during my stay.

I just wondered if any other ladies out there have any stories of their own, and if your doctors/midwives told you more about what was happening?


Marrow Fri 09-Mar-12 23:55:26

No I wasn't given any info at all. Only found out I had pre-eclampsia three years after giving birth!

I was two weeks overdue and due to be induced the following morning when midwife did home visit and my BP was up a bit. She sent me to the hospital and they started to induce me then. I thought I was just getting brilliant care! Midwife was in with me all the time. Would get another midwife in to stay with me when she went for her breaks.

It was only when I was referred to consultant about my blood pressure three years later that I discovered I had had PE. He went through all my old notes and it was there in black and white. All I was told was that my BP was up a bit and that it was best to start induction straight away!

TheSinglePringle Sat 10-Mar-12 00:03:37

My midwife was so useless she found protein and said because you are young it can't be anything. That night my hands and feet started swelling at a fast rate. You could see them swelling bit by bit.

I went to hospital and was told my blood pressure was very high and protein was high too. I was 36 week and they had me stay in the hospital for a week before they induced me. I wasn't told why I had to stay in or what pre eclampsia actually was.

I was in labor and was kept on the ward for 7 hours. I was then taken to the delivery suite where a 1st year trainee midwife was left alone with me. I was not monitored and neither was the baby. A senior member then came in and realised I needed checking and so did my son. My blood pressure was over 270 and there was no heart beat. I told them I needed to push and was ignored. I was rushed down for a emergency c-section and on the way I just pushed. My partner was told he wasnt allowed in. They realised the baby was coming so I gave birth with out my partner with a room full of nurses and doctors. My son was not breathing and luckily after the 3rd attempt of bringing him round it worked.

I still til this day do not know what Pre-Eclampsia is and why I was left in the care of one trainee when I was put down as high risk. If that senior member of staff had not of come in my son might not be here now

Marrow Sat 10-Mar-12 00:08:57

Pringle - what a terrifying experience for you. Hope your son is happy and thriving now smile

RoxyRobin Sat 10-Mar-12 00:09:04

I had eclampsia just after giving birth. I'd had a c-section and was alone in a private room - it was only by chance that a nurse came in and discovered me just as I started fitting and summoned help. I nearly bit my tongue off and couldn't speak for days to ask what had happened. DH was working abroad and wasn't there to get to the bottom of it. Thirty-five years ago the obstetricians and midwives told you fuck all - they thought it was none of your business. I only found out because my aunt was a GP and she told me.

Yes, ModdedMummy, I was terrified too. The thoughtless cruelty of it all! My aunt said the whole birth had been badly managed and that I ought to complain, but at the time I just wanted to forget about it and get on with enjoying my lovely son.

It was a dreadful experience, though.

TheSinglePringle Sat 10-Mar-12 00:13:48

Marrow Yes he is fine now. I just couldn't believe how I was left with no monitoring and why I wasn't told anything. I don't have a clue what it is now but if a friend who is pregnant tells me that they are swollen any where I panic for them and make them get checked out

Jules125 Sat 10-Mar-12 12:26:39

My DD1 died due to very severe, very rapid, early onset pre-eclampsia (26 weeks gestation). For a while I thought I might die too, I was so very sick with sky high blood pressure (reaching 240/120 even on 3 intravenous anti-hypertensive drugs), pulmonary oedema (heart failure), kidney failure, class I HELLP.

There was nothing to predict I would be at such high risk and not much anyone could have done for DD1 due to the very early and suddent onset. This is such a terrible, scary disease.

I am very lucky to still be here (in most parts of the world I'd be dead - probably also the case not long ago in the UK). My dd2 is now 14 months after a totally normal pregnancy. This disease is also very unpredictable. I am so happy to have DD2 - the second baby after losing the first is incredibly, unbelievably special - but always feel I "should" have 2 DDs now.

I was told as much as possible about what was happening but decisions had to be made very fast to save my life (and I wasn't even fully conscious all the time). In truely life threatening situations you can't be fully involved and just have to trust others to get on with it.

ModdedMummy Sat 10-Mar-12 13:42:56

Jules That's dreadful, I can't begin to imagine how scary that must have been. Thank god you pulled through and DD2 is thriving smile

I still don't know much about what happened to me. The midwife said my protein was very high but my blood pressure was normal so she sent me home. But she rang me the next morning to see how I was and I had headaches so bad that I couldn't walk, signifying very high BP, and she came over and checked my urine again then stayed with me while I called my mum and told her I had to go to hospital to be induced.
I had a talk with my mum this morning (she was there for the duration of the ordeal - poor woman didn't sleep for nearly five days) and she said that my health rapidly declined, and I was in labour for 8 hours before they realised I was still only 2cm dilated and kidney failure was threatening.
I remember looking at photos not long after leaving, and wondering who the puffball was in the bed, then realised it was me! I was swollen all over :/

My son was also prem and jaundiced (a teeny 4lb6!), so we stayed in SCBU for eight days following, and both needed close monitoring and DD needed a nasal tube for feeding. I'm just grateful it was only for eight days!

It's weird, thinking back, because at the time it was just a blur of confusion and then a baby, and seeing it for what it really was would have been more terrifying then necessary. But I do now know that I'm more likely to develop PE again and will be watched carefully.

I'm an information hoarder, so if anything happens during my next pregnancy, I'll know the signs and will be able to understand what's going on and why things are happening. I hated not knowing what was going on and feeling like I had no control over what people were doing to me, I felt extremely alienated!

valiumredhead Sat 10-Mar-12 14:03:47

Yes, I was very ill with PE and ds was born by section 8 weeks early. Although he is a strapping 10 year old now, it has taken me the last 10 years to get over it emotionally and we never wanted to risk having another baby. We are VERY lucky to both be here!

valiumredhead Sat 10-Mar-12 14:19:56

The medicine I was given to bring my BP down had the side effect of depression so I also had the most crashing PND for the first couple of years too <shudders at the memories>

tanfastic Sat 10-Mar-12 19:37:01

I had severe rapid onset PE when I was 10 days overdue with ds. I'd been suffering from high bp for a fortnight but because no protein the hospital just kept sending me home. They wouldn't induce angry. The day before I went into labour I was in the maternity assessment unit again having a trace, urine and bp monitored but the consultant said although my results weren't "textbook" as I was booked in for inducement in two days anyway they were happy for me to go home and let nature take it's course. Less than twelve hours later I started having really painful contractions at home and rang the hospital who just gave the usual advice about having a bath and paracetamol <shakes head>.

Luckily I never took their advice and dh drove me to hospital where I was diagnosed with PE immediately and rushed in for an EMCS under a general anaesthetic. I was apparently on the verge of fitting when I arrived. Ds was born not breathing and it took them 15 mins to get him breathing again whereupon he ended up in Scbu for four days. I never got to meet him for two days as I was too poorly to be moved. It was all terribly horrific.

Luckily three years on and my ds appears to be a normal healthy boy with no obvious special needs. We were told there could be some brain damage as a result of the lack of oxygen but everything seems ok at the minute.

We said we'd never risk another pregnancy but we've been ttc for six months now with no luck. Been told I'd be treated a lot differently in any subsequent pregnancy but I am really scared sad

ModdedMummy Sat 10-Mar-12 20:27:48

tanfastic If it makes you feel any better, I was told by a nurse that with every child you have with the same partner, the risk of PE happening again is greatly reduced. smile

Obviously with it happening to those of us here, we are automatically classed as 'high-risk' and would be monitored constantly and checked for any signs. I'd recommend getting urine strips and testing your urine as often as you like for protein. That way, if you're not due for a check-up for a while, you can keep yourself calm and if anything does show up, you can get in straight away and make sure everything is okay.

I've just come off my mini-pill and started TTC as of Monday. If/when I get my BFP, I'll be acquiring hundreds of strips and keeping myself calm and educated, so I know what to look for.

Gosh, we've all had it bad with a lack of education on the matter haven't we! hmm

bruffin Sat 10-Mar-12 20:41:31

i had pre-eclampsia when i was pregnant with DS. My bottom blood pressure was 105 and was taken in to hospital at 32 weeks. I also had very swollen feet and hands but not protein.

I then stayed in hospital and had bloods and scans taken weekly. ALso had several 24 hour urine tests and blood pressure and monitoring on a daily basis. I was basically told if my blood pressure went below 90 then I could go home, but it never did. The main aim was to get me to 38 weeks. I was told every day to look out for dizzyness, flashing lights, pain under my ribs and headaches.
At 38 weeks it was obvious ds was not ready to come out, but the next day my blood pressure rose to 125 and I started getting protein. They decided to induce me, which took 3 days and ended up emergency in theatre ready for cs if forceps failed, which thankfully they didn't.
DS now a lovely 6ft tall 16 year old.

DD arrived 2 years and 5 days later at 37 weeks. I had gone for a midwife appointment at 37 weeks, my bp was slightly raised, but i had a bad cold so they weren't that worried, but midwife said she didn't think I would see her next week. 2 days later went into spontanious labour and dd was born 4 hours later.

Duritzfan Sat 10-Mar-12 20:42:14

Dd1 was delivered at 34 weeks as I had PE and my placenta was failing - she looked like a little yellow monkey bless her - was all shrivelled, no body fat and very jaundiced - and covered in lanugo
Youd never guess now. grin shes 12

Boysrstupid Sat 10-Mar-12 21:03:19

DS1 born 38wks gradual onset PE. Things became hectic once I was induced and he was distressed. Resulted in EMCS. He was lifeless at birth but resucitated fairly quickly. He's 10yo now, diagnosed with ADHD they heavily questionned his birth prior to diagnosis. No info given on PE at all.

DS2 born 29wks rapid onset PE. He spent 13wks in NICU and came home on oxygen. He is 8yo now has minor bowel & lung complications but otherwise he came away from the experience rather better than expected. Level of antenatal care was substandard considering I had PE 1st time around. I kept discharging myself as didnt understand PE and had a 2yo at home. Consultant held my hand and said if I went home to my baby he would most likely find me cold in the morning. That was when I realised the severity of the condition.

Currently 24+1 with a DD. Antenatal care has so far been outstanding. (Different hospital) I have growth scans booked for 28, 32 & 36wks. I am being seen every 2wks for Bp & urine checks, so far so good. I am prescribed daily asprin to help ward off PE. I am bloody terrified I don't mind admitting.

JumpingJellyfish Mon 12-Mar-12 21:41:38

DS was delivered at 30wks (weighing 3lb bang on) due to severe sudden onset PE (HELLP syndrome). From diagnosis to delivery was approx. 1hr, and most of that time they were trying to get megnesium sulphate pumped into me to stop any seizures as I have very hyper-reflexive. I was mis-diagnosed for at least 2 weeks prior to DS's birth, and looking back friends commented on how swollen I was for a month before his delivery. The problem is, as I understand it, HELLP is comparatively rare and doesn't always follow the traditional high BP, then protein in urine etc. symptom set. I had severe epigastric/abdominal pain which it turned out was my liver failing. I didn't see DS for nearly three days as I was too poorly to be allowed to NICU. Thankfully DS did really well and came home 8 weeks later, and now aged nearly 7yrs has few "hangovers" from his prem birth (possibly some learning difficulties linked to his prematurity).
Like many others I didn't fit the traditional "high risk" model - too young, not overweight, no family history of PE.

I madly went on to have two more pregnancies following lots of consultations with specialists, on aspirin with both and very closely monitored throughout, and on BP meds from around 30 weeks. DD1 born at 36 weeks, after a week in hospital waiting to the point at which the PE became too "risky" for us both to continue. She spent 1 week in SCBU and is great now. My BP took four months to return to normal following her birth but no lasting legacy and didn't feel anywhere near as unwell as I did with DS. DD2 was born at 37 weeks again after a week in hospital, she was my only term baby and the only one I kept with me after delivery - no SCBU needed. Her birth and subsequent time together was a great healer compared to the experience of having to part in theatre and endure the rollercoaster of SCBU. However my BP really misbehaved following her delivery, and took ACE inhibitors as well as beta blockers to bring down, and I was re-admitted 12 days post-partum with v. high BP. Took another 4 months to normalise and eventually come off meds. Thankfully two years on I don't think I have any lasting effects myself- though I certainly wouldn't risk another pregnancy (and was pretty much ordered not to by my obstetrician!)- I am very lucky to have my three.

I have found the US Preeclampsia Foundation website very helpful- loads of good up-to-date info and great forum. The one thing I'd love to know is why I get PE - I've not managed a pregnancy without it! They did the clotting tests (for thromophilia) and nothing unusual. My general health is excellent. Maybe in 15 years they'll be able to test all women and identify those of us prone to this terrible disease. The one thing I have been told is that my GP should monitor my BP annually, and perhaps keep an eye on kidney function, as I've put my body through a lot, and there is evidence that having had PE places you at greater risk of cardiovascular disease in later life.

It never fails to sadden me that so many babies are lost to this terrible disease, and many women too (and I realise too how lucky we are in the developed world to have better survival rates).

Hugs to all you PE survivors and good luck to those of your pregnant again smile

JumpingJellyfish Mon 12-Mar-12 21:47:00

apologies for the multiple typos- should preview first!! blush

LtEveDallas Mon 12-Mar-12 22:14:00

I had PE too. Taken into hosp at 5 mths as midwife kept sending me due to high BP - but by the time I got there I would be fine again.

Went in one weekend but discharged myself after 24 hours. I didn't realise how dangerous it was. The fol Thursday midwife sent me again, hosp admitted me and said basically that they would admit me for the weekend, there would be nothing wrong and I'd be able to go home on Mon - with the implication that my midwife was overreacting.

On the sat morning I remember having a pain under my ribs, and getting up on all fours to try and 'shake' DD into a better position. That's the last thing I remember until I woke up in ICU (naked and covered in wires - I was most annoyed!). I had gone into a fit, fallen off the bed and scared my roomate half to death.

DH was in Iraq and I had no-one at home. If it had happened there I would have died and not been found for a number of days <<shudders>>

That was it for me. They wouldn't let me go home and my BP and protein levels steadily rose despite a potassium drip and daily boiled eggs (I hate boiled eggs now!). I had a blood test every day, did 24hr pee collections every week and 3 CTGs per day. My BP was checked every 12 hours.

Eventually at 35 weeks I was told I was being induced (quite bluntly - "have the baby tomorrow or be dead by the weekend"). DD was born naturally after 11 hrs but I had to have a PDA after the birth to bring my BP down. I passed out at one point and (this is v hazy) I think i had a vein or something burst - I have a strange mark on my face that wasn't there before and the blood vessels in my eyes went so that I had red 'whites' IYSWIM. Looked like a bloody vampire!

DD was tiny, but strong. There haven't been any issues with her. She seems suseptible to chest infections whenever she gets a cold, but is very healthy otherwise. Eyes, ears, all fine. She was tiny until age 3 then she caught up. She is now (7) one of the tallest in her class.

My care was excellent but not in UK. I didn't really have any clue what was wrong with me, but that was more the language barrier I think. DDs care was amazing, very up on kangaroo care and big on breastfeeding for her benefit. Plus had a very large stock of donated BM. I am grateful every day to the Klinikum Osnabruck.

One lasting effect is that DH would not consider another child after DD. We were told that the risk was less with a second, but he would not budge. He was terrified by the thought. For about 3 years I resented this (and it nearly split us up) but once DD was about 4 I realised I had accepted it, and it no longer hurt to think of it.

Thank God for my midwife (that I never saw again after I was admitted). If she hadn't sent me (yet again) I wouldn't be here now and neither would the best thing in my life. smile

PippiL Thu 15-Mar-12 20:55:15

I had what I think was 'mild' PE if there is such a thing. Wasn't told much about it by the hospital.

Was -10 days before due date, had massive headache and major feet swelling. I posted on baby centre at the time and when I mentioned it the lovely ladies informed me I needed to get checked out. Went to doc who did wee protein test and sent me straight to the hospital.

Dunno why doc hadn't picked up on it at my last check up a few days prior as I had high bp (mine is normally very very low) odema, and as DD was only 5lbs when born, guess they could have told that she was small.

Hospital left me alone hooked upto a machine that kept slipping off my bump. Eventually they induced me which was sooo grim, I was hallucinating and freaking out. Eventually gave me a section when dds heart rate dropped to 60.

I had such a bad experience that I insisted on a home birth with ds, all of which went smoothly and was a complete opposite experience!

Dawnywar Mon 03-Aug-15 11:00:06

My story is similar but also very different, I woke up on the Saturday morning the 7/12/13 It was very early cause I had a pain in my back and my chest, I was gutted at this cause I wanted to have a lie
in as I'm normally at work at 6am and it was my first day off in 9 days so wanted a little in, my plan for the day was to go Christmas shopping in the morning and then take my daughter 7 to a birthday party, when I woke up with the pains I went downstairs and sat in front of the fire, my son who was 8 got up as well which he often does when he hears me as he as learning difficulties, we sat talking about what he would like Father Christmas to bring him and I tried to ease the pain, next thing I knew I could only see what I can only describe as looking at a kaleidoscope, I then remember what I thought was fainting as I remember falling slowly onto the floor, I also remember telling my son to tell his dad, I was lucky his dad was there as most of the time he wouldn't have been, I am told that i had not fainted but I was having a fit, which my son witnessed.

I then came round and two ambulance men where there telling me I had to go to hospital, I argued with them saying I wasn't as I was going Christmas shopping but they insisted, I remember hearing my daughter crying at the top of the stairs and then walking to the ambulance but I don't remember being in the ambulance or arriving at the hospital. I then came round again in A and E and having about 4 doctors with me who told me that they had done a blood test and that I was pregnant, this was the first I knew of it as I had no signs of pregnancy, no bump, still having periods, as you can imagine it was a very big shock. They then took me for a scan and said I was 28 weeks pregnant. I was then taken to intensive care on the maternity unit, I was hooked up to loads of machines and monitored for a while, a couple of hours later they said that they couldn't get my blood pressure down and that they would have to do an emergency c section or me and my baby would be dead within a couple of hours, a nurse also told my mum that if I didn't have the baby now I wouldn't be there in the morning, which was hard for my mum to hear. They took me for the section and Isabelle was born weighing 2pound 12 ounces. She was taken straight to neo natal and I was taken back to intensive care as i was still seriously ill. I stayed there for another 3 days, being monitored every hour, I still had not seen my baby, I was then moved to a normal maternity ward but in a private room, this was hard as I could still hear the other babies on the ward crying and I could not see my baby as I was not well enough. 2 days later when she was 5 days old I managed to go down to the neonatal to see her in a wheel chair.

She was such a tiny little thing but looked ok, the nurses there told me she was closer to 35 weeks as her skin was good and she was breathing on her own. She was a fighter and they had to give her a dummy as she was so loud she was waking the other babies up. I was kept in for a further 3 days when I was let home, I was very happy at this as I had 2 other kids at home that needed me, I was very torn between the hospital and home especially as it was nearly Christmas, I divided my time the best I could and managed to give the kids the best Christmas I could, we went to the hospital every day and the kids came with us. About a week later Isabelle came out of an incubator for 1 day and then had to go back in as she developed a problem with her bowels, they put her on antibiotics and fluids but stopped feeding her, but after 1 day she made so much fuss they had to start feeding her again in small amounts. After another week she got better was taken out of the incubator again and into a normal cot, she started feeding by bottle and was discharged at 4 weeks old, she only weighed 3 pound 12 ounces at that point. When we first went out shopping after she had been home a few days people would ask me if she was real or a doll.

She is now almost 20 months and weighs 17 pound is still very small wearing 6 to 9 months clothing, but she is walking and talking mostly in her own little language, but she is a little monkey and into everything with a great little personality, so cheeky but In a cute way.

I know that's a long story but I wanted to share it

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