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Pre-eclampsia - Have you been affected?

(9 Posts)
10oclocknews Tue 21-Feb-17 22:40:22

I am a student midwife, and I am preparing a presentation highlighting the Social, psychological and financial impact on women and families of a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia.

I know there are many of you on this site that may have had pre-eclampsia, and I just wondered if any of you may be happy to share if this complication affected you adversely during or after your pregnancy? I will likely use some of the feedback in my presentation, but it would all remain anonymous, so please say if you would be unhappy for your experience to be shared.

There are many academic journals that suggest that pre-eclampsia has a negative psychological impact on some women, but I feel a truer picture can be gathered by talking to women.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

thankyou x

AlwaysOldBeforeMyTime Tue 21-Feb-17 22:44:20

Hi, I'd be happy to talk about my experience-i had PE with my 1st, no physical symptoms really but he suffered IUGR and was born at 30weeks due to foetal distress.

I struggled to bond with him for a long while, and it definitely affected my future family planning- I couldn't face another pregnancy for 5 years, and was terrified the entire time of another similar experience although thankfully DS2 was a normal pregnancy and birth.

Bluntness100 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:57:16

Yes I had it, giving birth did not alleviate it and it then developed into full blown eclampsia after my baby was delivered (c section), it was two days later I heamoraghed late at night then started fitting, I wasn't aware clearly that was happening, they sedated me, in amongst other things, and the chief consultant came to see me and told me the next day I had eclampsia.

I spent a month in hospital all in and my husband had to take my daughter home for that month and care for her, our first child, I had a number of other complications and also had to have regular trips to the hospital for a year after the birth for check ups. . At each visit they tried to convince me sterilisation was necessary due to risks to my health if I got pregnant again. In fact whenever any doctor, inc my GP, logged into my medical records i could see it said "serious pregnancy complications" in large text across the top.

I was 28 and declined but chose not to have another child, which was not an issue as I genuinely never wanted to do it again nor have another one. I don't know if I'd have felt differently if it was easier, but I genuinely don't think so. I've never regretted having one child and never thought past having one , even before I had her.

MrsChopper Tue 21-Feb-17 23:13:18

I had a sudden on set of pre-eclampsia. I was induced and ended up having an emergency section due to baby getting distressed. I have found this very traumatic and still experience flashbacks and post traumatic stress. I always wanted 2 children but not too sure now. Not to forget this was also a traumatic experience for my DP.
My consultant has been reassuring and I know any future pregnancies will be closely monitored but the thought makes me very anxious sad

seven201 Wed 22-Feb-17 04:50:13

I was fortunate in that my pre-eclampsia was mild and completely controlled by upping my blood pressure meds a lot (I had slightly high bp prior to pregnancy). I went in for monitoring twice a week for the last 3-4 ish weeks of my pregnancy. I had a breech baby too and one consultant wrongly told me that I would definitely end up with a section even if the baby did turn, as there was no way my Pre-eclampsia would remain controlled! That did worry me as I pictured an emergency situation could happen. Next appt a week later a different doctor told me that wasn't true etc. The 'bad' doctor also wrongly told me I couldn't have an ecv (where they try and turn the baby) due to my pre-eclampsia which rubbish. I did have one that didn't work but it might have worked if I'd had it after the appt with him as the baby would have been a little smaller.

I had to remain in hospital post c-section (baby remained breech so planned section at 39 weeks) for 5 days as it took that long for my bp to stabilise enough for me to go home and it be further monitored by midwife, as it still wasn't low enough. For some reason for the first 3 days after giving birth I was given a dose lower than what I was on prior to pregnancy so I felt extra rubbish for those days. I should have kicked up a bit of a fuss at that stupid decision but I am too compliant when it comes to medical professionals! I just say 'ok' to everything.

Obviously I was very lucky as mine was a mild case that was controlled so I wasn't left with any lasting worry etc. I had other complications during pregnancy (very late diagnosis of gestational diabetes and hydronphrosis (sp? Swelling of kidneys) from about 20 weeks and obviously the breech factor. The pre-eclampsia wouldn't put me off having another baby but I would make sure I was being checked for it often etc.

MmmMalbec Wed 22-Feb-17 06:52:15

I developed increasingly severe chest pain and vomiting at night just after turning 35 weeks pregnant. I phoned the hospital and kept being told it was a virus and to rest. It continued to worsen so I went to the doctors who told me it was severe reflux and heartburn and gave me some medication. He took my BP and said it was normal (I requested it months later and it wasn't normal). He also didn't take a urine sample. That night the pain became unbareable and I was vomiting blood so I went to hospital in the middle of the night. There they found an extremely high BP, protein in my urine and something wrong with my liver. The next day I had a scan and they confirmed IUGR. I was kept in for days with various consultants deciding on different approaches. Finally someone decided to induce me at 36+0. Took a few days for things to get going but when it did it went insanely quickly and DS was born after about an hour from first pain. I had a retained placenta and a PPH. I don't know if that was down to the PE, induction or speedy labour. DS was 5lb 5oz and absolutely fine. They'd predicted he was about 4lb.

My BP stabilised after labour and I was slowly weaned off labetelol. I had a lot of up and down days afterwards and I don't think I properly dealt with the shock of the whole situation. I was also exhausted after being awake for several days before I went to hospital with the pain, then awake constantly in hospital and then a dramatic middle of the night labour with a big blood loss.

I'm currently 13+3 with my second and have had several moments of wondering what the hell I've done. But I went for a birth debrief before TTC and have been assured I'll be consultant led and properly monitored this time. I've also been on aspirin since 7 weeks.

I really don't know why I had pre e, I don't have any risk factors other than it being my first pregnancy.

Hope that helps.

MmmMalbec Wed 22-Feb-17 06:56:01

Feel free to PM me with any more personal questions

Lunalovepud Wed 22-Feb-17 08:16:32

I developed PE at 36 weeks after a completely healthy, normal pregnancy. Was in and out of hospital from 38 weeks, peeing in buckets, getting daily blood tests and being monitored etc until DC was delivered by grade 2 CS at 40 weeks as my liver enzymes started to rise and there was no sign he was going to arrive any time soon.

Psychologically, I was absolutely terrified for the last month of my pregnancy and don't think I stopped sobbing for more than a couple of hours the whole time. One minute everything was fine then the next minute there was something wrong - I was petrified that the placenta would fail and baby would suffocate. I was literally begging doctors and consultants to cut him out as I genuinely thought I would lose him otherwise.

After he was born I struggled with anything associated with the birth or that reminded me of the birth for months - I couldn't even see the same kinds of sandwiches or food I had been eating in the hospital during the last few weeks without starting to cry. I developed PND and I am sure that it was triggered by the PE.

Physically, the operation was fine and I recovered really well but my milk never came in and I was unable to breastfeed, despite trying for 6 weeks, pumping and giving him the few drops I managed to produce in addition to his formula - I felt like a failure. Unable to carry my baby as I should, unable to give birth as I should or feed him as I should.

I am PG again now and I am really frightened about getting it again - I haven't been prescribed any aspirin or anything and I am trying to find that comforting (maybe the doctor / midwife doesn't think I am at a risk of getting it again?) but I am also worried that it has just been missed. I am seeing my GP next week to discuss.

My worst fear is that I will get it again and will have to go into hospital and be separated from my little boy for days or weeks. I am not sure I could cope psychologically with being away from him and the thought of him going to childcare full time (I currently work part time) while my DH works is horrible as I know he would hate it. The financial impact of increased childcare costs would also be an issue for us if it went on for any more than a few weeks.

I am also frightened every time I get a headache and regularly think that something has gone wrong and there is something wrong with the new baby.

I thought I could cope but I can't. I am definitely not having any more children.

10oclocknews Wed 22-Feb-17 11:51:17

Lunalovepud - Thankyou for your reply. Your response was very helpful and you have described the financial impacts as well as the psychological impacts perfectly.
Congratulations on your new pregnancy and good luck with it. Hopefully this one will be smoother sailing. The cause of pre-eclampsia is still unknown, there are many plausible theories but none have been proved to be the exact reason. Until this is done it can be hard to take preventative measures.
With regards to needing aspirin I would definitely chat to your midwife. She will likely have greater knowledge on the current advice around pre-eclampsia than your GP (unless your GP has a specialist interest in obstetrics). Your GP will obviously have good medical knowledge, but often the obstetric teams at your local trust would be equipped with better knowledge. If your midwife is unsure if you should be having aspirin she could speak to your consultant or a member of their team. Guidelines and policies vary from trust to trust, so some may offer aspirin whilst others may deem it unnecessary. x

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