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Pre-eclampsia in 3 (or more!) pregnancies, same partner?

(12 Posts)
MrsJohnDeere Tue 16-Oct-12 14:17:14

Has anyone experienced this, and how was it handled by your hospital/mw.

I had Pre-eclampsia in both previous pregnancies. With ds1 it developed at about 34 weeks, got much worse at 37, and I was I induced at 38 weeks.

With ds2 I had it from about 20 weeks, had the community mw visit most days to check my BP, had to check my urine every day, had lots of appointments with the consultant and extra scans and lots of day monitoring at the hospital.

Now 12 weeks pg of with dc3 and am much older (40, possibly 41 by the time the baby comes) and already showing a few signs (high BP, headaches), so am wondering what to expect. I have my booking in appointment tomorrow and am wondering what, if anything, I should be asking the hospital?

MrsJohnDeere Tue 16-Oct-12 19:37:51

Bumping, no pun intended smile

HappyTurquoise Tue 16-Oct-12 20:30:25

MrsJ, am thinking of you! Have written and rewritten this, and have opted for an open account of my experiences. I hope it helps, and please keep in touch and let us here at Mumsnet know how you are doing through your pregnancy.

Never miss a midwife appointment. Pack a bag ready for hospital this week, get it done and ready. Have a plan of how to get to the hospital in an emergency. You might not need it, but it really helps to plan for the worst and expect the best. So chin up!

I have 2 children.

With dc1 I was sent to hospital at 37 weeks and had a week of saving up my pee for protein testing, being induced on and off (nasty and painful, it didn't work) then they finally 'went for it' with the inducing, and it still didn't work. My waters broke, I threw up and then nothing but a lot of pain. Sent off to walk around the hospital. It felt all wrong, contractions going nowhere, ended up with pethidine hours later, then epidural hours after that and then an emergency general aesthetic and c section as baby showed signs of cord around neck!

Was told pre-eclampsia never strikes in the same place (with the same couple). They LIED.

With dc2, at 31 weeks, midwife found I had pre eclampsia and sent me to pick up my husband from work and go straight into hospital. he was in a meeting and I had to wait an hour!

At the hospital, they gave me a steroid injection so that baby's lungs would stand a chance of being developed enough for her to survive. Then they waited as long as they could before operating, to give the steroids a chance to work.

While on maternity ward, in the end room for Mothers Without Babies I met at least 7 other mothers who had pre-eclampsia for the second time!

After about 20 hours (I think) after the steroid injection, a nurse noticed I was fitting (so full blown eclampsia.) I'm not sure if they gave me something to stop the fitting, but it stopped and was told that having the baby was the best 'cure' for eclampsia. They (all the hospital staff) were amazing. Thankfully that time I wasn't completely under and so was conscious throughout the c-section, and DH was by my side, taking photos and the anaesthetist was with us and it was all a bit of a laugh - probably the effects of the drugs, but I remember being very happy. Baby was born 9 weeks early... It was touch and go for the first day or two, she needed help breathing, had so many tubes coming out of her, she needed so much...was in an enclosed incubator for 20 days... SCBU for 7 weeks. She is a lovely, beautiful, super-bright and talented 12 year old now.

This is not you! You are not in this situation, so please do not fret, but I just wanted to be frank with you, and open.

While in the SCBU I read about pre eclampsia, as there were some books and leaflets there. It is quite common for women to get it a second (or a third) time with the same partner, and each time earlier than before if they do get it.

We have not tried for a third child. From what I read, after my last pregnancy, I was more likely than not to have eclampsia again, and the pregnancy would likely not go to term, or at least the baby could have had serious disabilities (even to the extent to cause death in the first few months or years of life). I didn't think I would be able to deal with the emotional trauma of this as well as bring up my 2 children. We felt we had to put them first and so made the decision permanent.

I can't really remember when I first showed signs of pre-eclampsia in my pregnancies.

lotsofcheese Tue 16-Oct-12 21:00:32

Hello there. I had early, severe PE in my 1st pregnancy; DS was delivered at 29 weeks as I was developing HELLP syndrome (a condition related to severe PE). It was touch & go for both of us - DS had severe Intra-uterine growth restriction ie had stopped growing due to placental insufficiency. He spent 95 days in scbu & required home oxygen - so I was terrified of it happening again.

Before becoming pregnant again, I insisted on an appointment with a consultant obstetrician to discuss risk factors & potential recurrence in subsequent pregnancies. I was also given a management plan for this & advised to take 75mg from BFP.

There are NICE guidelines called "Hypertension in Pregnancy" They are a bit wordy, but worth a read as to what care you should be offered.

Here's my care plan, for what it's worth:

- consultant-led care in tertiary centre with NICU on-site.
- 75mg aspirin from BFP (NICE guidelines say 12 weeks)
- urea & electrolyte & liver function tests, starting 10 weeks
- consultant at 16 weeks
- uterine artery Doppler at 22 weeks
- regular growth scans starting 24 weeks

Please feel free to PM me if there's anything I can help with

MrsJohnDeere Tue 16-Oct-12 22:00:53

Thank you both for being so candid. It is really useful and helpful to know what others have experienced.

I am really scared now! A lot of food for thought.

This pregnancy was a huge accident (Pre-eclampsia being one of the many factors putting me off having 3 children) ad I still have an overwhelming feeling of 'what on earth have I let myself in for'!

I'll let you know how I get on at the hospital tomorrow. I'm certainly prepared to change hospitals if I don't have confidence in how this one will manage my pregnancy (had dc 1 and 2 in a different, further away hospital).

lotsofcheese Wed 17-Oct-12 10:00:51

Good luck with your booking appointment. Let us know how you get on: hopefully aspirin & consultant-led care in a high-risk clinic.

Giddypants Wed 17-Oct-12 10:24:00

With DS I had un diagnosed PE he was born at 37 weeks by crash c section due to my placenta giving up and detaching. It was thought to be failing from about 25 weeks.
I am 16 weeks pg now and have had uterine Doppler scans which show notches on both my arteries, this was identified at a 12 week private scan, anyway this puts me at high risk of developing PE again.
I have been referred to a consultant, appointment next week where I am hoping they will put me on aspirin, I'm also having a high calcium diet as this has show to reduce the risk ofPE by up to 50% also having lots of vitamin c and reduced salt diet.
I think we are on the same anti-natal thread?
I'm trying to keep calm and not think about the possibilities just yet and hope that they will take better care of me this time!

HappyTurquoise Wed 17-Oct-12 11:40:26

If reducing salt in diet can also have risks. I know I need salt otherwise I can feel very run down.

FannyFifer Wed 17-Oct-12 11:44:57

Best of luck to you.

I had PET on both pregnancies, last time my kidneys shut down and i had a few hairy moments, all ended well though.

Would love another child but too scared, DP getting vasectomy next month. sad

MrsJohnDeere Wed 17-Oct-12 13:29:14

Had my booking in appointment today.

Red flags went up as soon as I mentioned having had Pre-eclampsia twice before.

I'm going to have consultant led care. My first appointment is in two weeks time. The mw said that I should expect to come in at least twice a week for BP and urine checks and to sit on the monitors, more often if there's a problem <sigh>
I'll be prescribed aspirin, for sure, and Vitamin D (not sure why I'm having that one).

I mentioned high calcium and low salt diets but the mw said she didn't know anything about that. I'll ask the consultant.

They said a big no to any foreign travel until after the birth. Was disappointed with that. I had hope we might be able to go somewhere sunny just after Christmas. Also no long car journeys.

Thank you for all the advice and anecdotes - really helpful. thanks

HappyTurquoise Wed 17-Oct-12 14:39:17

Well, it is a good idea to not be staying too far away from your hospital (or a hospital you've checked out and know has a SCBU).

I hope the aspirin will help, I didn't have that (think they were doing trials/studies with it back when I had my babies).

MrsJohnDeere Wed 17-Oct-12 14:57:26

No, I didn't have aspirin last time either (5 years ago).

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