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Preeclampsia experiences please?

(59 Posts)
YanknCock Thu 13-Aug-09 11:38:53

I know the symptoms, but would like to hear from people who've experienced this. Am 38+2, and I know they're watching me carefully to see if I develop preeclampsia.

Since about 35 weeks, whenever my BP is taken with a manual cuff (and I am checking it is the correct cuff size), my BP is high-ish, 140/100. I've got loads of swelling in my feet and hands (for last 6 weeks), but face doesn't seem to be any bigger. Today I have a mild left-sided headache, and am debating about whether I need to call someone.

For the last two weeks I've had to go to the day unit for BP monitoring twice a week. There's been protein in my urine (2+), but when they take my BP with the automated cuff, it is never high (worst has been 129/82 as of yesterday, and most readings were under 120/80 over last two weeks). Saw the consultant yesterday, BP high on manual cuff (144/100), sent to day unit where it was fine, and told to come back in a week to get checked again.

I guess I'm wondering....if I don't have preeclampsia now, how likely am I to get it? If you had it, did you go through a period like me where they watched you, and then it suddenly came on at the end?

SpeckledHen Thu 13-Aug-09 11:56:07

I had v high blood pressure and swollen ankles and was sent to the hosp for monitoring from about 36 weeks as an out patient and then I got protein in my urine at 39 weeks and they induced me. I understand it is the 3 together that mean you have pre eclampsia. I had no headache though. I think if you have a headache you really need to call someone asap but I don't want to worry you. I say - phone the mw.

quirkychick Thu 13-Aug-09 11:59:43

Hi YanknCock.

I had severe pre-eclampsia in my last pg and am being watched in this one, though I am only 17wks now. I had oedema from about 34/35 wks I think, I also started being sick at the end too. However, one mw just said "poor you" when I told her also I didn't have particularly high bp or protein at that point.

I went for my 39wk check and saw a more senior mw who looked properly at my oedema, took bp which was through the roof, and tested my urine which had high protein (not sure how much). She phoned the delivery suite straight away and told me to pack my hospital bag in case and go to the triage dept at the delivery suite. Basically, they couldn't stabilise me or induce me quick enough so I had a c-section the next day. I obviously had it for quite a while but didn't have all the symptoms. Also, be aware you are at higher risk from dvt if you have pre-eclampsia.

At least they are monitoring you closely and you are near the end of pg so that means that there is less risk to you or your baby. Good luck.

quirkychick Thu 13-Aug-09 12:01:02

Also, useful forum and support here

suiledonn Thu 13-Aug-09 12:06:13

I had high blood pressure on my second pregnancy. I was diagnosed with PET (Preeclamptic toxemia) Worst BP was 160/100. I was hospitalised several times and put on medication. The medication controlled the blood pressure and I wasn't induced but I really felt quiet unwell for the last few weeks of the pregnancy.
My BP didn't come down after dd2 was born and was on the medication for 8 weeks afterwards.
I was reviewed for induction several times but wasn't favourable for induction and went into labour naturally a few days after EDD.
I had occasional traces of protein in urine and some swelling but as the medication controlled the BP they felt it was safe not to induce.

tink08 Thu 13-Aug-09 12:11:44

Hi i had severe preeclampsia in my last pregnancy , i had raised but not too high bp from about 16 weeks and it gradually increased with severe odema from about 35/36 weeks ( could'nt get any shoes on ! ) and had headaches all the time , i was checked daily and on medication to lower blood pressure from 37 weeks and then admitted at 38 weeks for emergency c section as blood pressure was sky high and protein +5 .
I am 26 weeks with this pregnancy and had a day in maternity unit at 16 weeks due to v.high bp ! but its ok at the minute although i am being watched smile
if you have a headache call your mw or labour ward as it can be a sign of a sharp increase in bp .
Try not to worry tho as that can raise your bp anyway ! wink
let us know how you get on x

YanknCock Thu 13-Aug-09 18:57:20

Hi everyone....I did phone the day unit about the headache, and they had me come in for BP monitoring. BP was fine as usual, but they are always so nice about not making me feel like I've wasted their time! They want me to come in Monday as well, and they took more blood today since its been about 10 days since the last lot. Protein was 2+ as usual.

They want me to phone tomorrow if I still have the headache, and obviously if I develop anything else like the visual disturbances.

mummytopebs Thu 13-Aug-09 21:08:08

I had pre-eclampsia from 34 weeks with dd she was delivered at 36 weeks by emer section. I never had a headache even when bp was 170/130 when i had the section. I had odema, high bp and 4 protein in urine when i was admitted. I was under the impression if you had 2 of the symptoms and occasional high bp you were admitted. When my bp was at its highest 170/130 i had upper abdomen pain and was ill. The 2 weeks before this bp varied from 85 to 103 on the bottom and as soon as it went above 90 they kept me in. I am 16 weeks now so am being kept a close eye on

cheerfulvicky Fri 14-Aug-09 08:41:05


Not to worry you, but I had pre-eclampsia right at the end of my first pregnancy, and I had no headaches or visual disturbances at all. Not at any point.

The MW said there was a trace of protein in my wee at my normal check up, but wasn't worried. I was swollen in the hands, feet and face but she was quite blase and told me to come back in 2 weeks! When I would be a bit overdue. Next time I saw another midwife was at home after a bank holiday monday, the previous day I had been out at a jousting medieval event thing and felt a bit strange - like I wasn't quite there. Had to keep sitting or lying down but put it down to late pregnancy tiredness. But I really didn't feel 'right', iykwim.

Next day midwife checked my protein and was off the scale, bp was high-ish. She sent me straight to hospital and said it was unlikely I was coming home without the baby. I spent a few days hanging round as they were too busy to induce me.

Looking back now I can see that my face was VAST, but I couldn't see it then. I was too used to it. My baby was very (unexpectedly) small and they thought the PE might have had something to do with that. Stupid mw who told me to come back in 2 weeks also scoffed at me when I mentioned my bump didn't seem to be growing much towards the end, so your intuition is your best friend in situations like this. Glad you called in and they didn't make you feel like a pillock. It's better to be safe than sorry! I hope all stays well with you

lazylion Fri 14-Aug-09 09:00:29

I was very similar to cheerfulvicky. My symptoms were swelling that I didn't really notice, although loking at photos now I was huge. And that 'far away' feeling. I had severe pre-ec and baby was born by emergency c-section.
My midwives were useless, the baby was 4lb at 37 weeks but no-one had noticed. So I had clealy had problems for a long time before they were picked up.
It does sound like you are being looked after YanknCock but do monitor yourself closely. I'm pregnant with 3rd baby and I'm off to hospital in a minute because I have a terrible headache and a sudden huge double chin, may just be cake induced but I always check now.

JumpingJellyfish Fri 14-Aug-09 10:07:23

Pre-eclampsia manifests itself in so many different ways it makes it very hard to diagnose

YanknCock have they done any blood tests on you for platelet level or liver function? Have they offered a 24-hr urine collection to precisely measure the amount of protein? Any possibility of a urinary tract infection that may explain your urine dip results?

It does sound a little ominous, as your blood pressure does appear "labile" (up and down, erring often on the high side with your diastolic BP over 90), but it's good that you are being closely monitored. Definitely if you are at all concerned, even if you just feel "weird", do go back to the hospital/midwives.

I have had PE twice, very severely in my first pregnancy- symptoms did not appear in the "usual" order, and my BP was the last thing to really shoot up, but I developed HELLP syndrome (a form of PE) and became very poorly in a matter of a couple of days, resulting in the emergency delivery of DS at 30 weeks. My main symptom was epigastric pain, and looking back I was pretty swollen too- though not dramatically so, and had a vague "foggy" feeling. The pain got so bad though it started to make me vomit, ended up with DH rushing me to A&E at 4am- was misdiagnosed as a UTI and possible gall stones, admitted for 2 days- no gallstones found- sent home with strong painkillers and antibiotics, pain got much worse so came back 2 days later- DS born within 2 hours of diagnosis. By that point my BP was rising very fast, I was hyperreflexive (about to have a seizure) and my liver was barely functioning. I ended up in high dependency for 48hrs, and on BP meds for 4 months.

Second time round I was watched closely and when my BP started to creep relative to a baseline I was admitted (thankfully at 35wks) and BP meds started, DD was delivered at 36wks, and I didn't get too ill at all, though took nearly 3 months for BP to stablise. Second time I only had a trace of protein but started to have visual disturbances so they didn't want to risk repeating history.

I guess what I'm saying is that do be very vigilant, PE is so complex and it's always better to err on the side of caution.
The US Preeclampsia Foundation have lots of very useful info and a very active forum too (see:

Good luck and I really hope you have a calm and healthy remainder of your pregnancy

monsterchops Fri 14-Aug-09 12:21:07

I was diagnosed with PET in my last pregnancy. I just had the protein in my pee and swelling until around 35 wks then my BP crept up. At 36 wks i was admitted to hospital as BP had gone through the roof (190/120) and i was kept in til i had my daughter at 37+6 by induction after a sweep and waters breaking on their own. Like someone else said it is a strange illness with symptoms presenting themselves in all manor of ways some being so minor that we don't take notice.

This time round i am under a consultant and was informed the other week the aim is to get me to 38 wks. If i can get that far i will be induced anyway as they arent willing to take the risk of the PET developing so suddenly again and putting me at risk aswell as the baby.

The fact that your BP seems a bit up and down, i would suggest that you ask for it to be taken using a manuel cuff at all times. It varied hugely depending on whether the cuff is the correct size etc. And its not worth taking the risk by not using the right size.

I would ask to do a 24 hr urine collection aswell as this gives a good indication of the level of protein and any ketones that may be present too. I did one and although a small sample showed plus 4 when i did the collection it equated to plus 8 in the lab.

I really hope that things calm down for the remander of your pregnancy and that the delivery goes well. xxx

MaDuggar Fri 14-Aug-09 13:09:19

At my 20 week scan, i was told I had bilateral uterine notching which meant there was a restriction in the blood flow to the placenta and therefore i was high risk of PE. I had awful swelling throughout, sometimes not being able to walk or bend my fingers. My BP and protein were fine though, til i hit 35 weeks. I also had abnormal liver test results too, high levels of urates (these were only tested because of my high-risk of PE)Then my BP shot through the roof very suddenly and i had ++ protein. I was admitted to hospital with a BP of 140/100, and was induced the next day. My DS was fine though, and came home after spending a week in SCBU.

It seems as if they are taking good care of you, just be very aware of all the PE signs, do not hesitate to contact soemone if you are worried & I hope you have a fab birth experience

MaDuggar Fri 14-Aug-09 13:11:06

Forgot to mention that they did try & control my BP with labetemol, but BP continued to rise (rose to 170/109) and thats when they decided to induce.

YanknCock Wed 19-Aug-09 11:02:04

Just wanted to leave a quick update--

They now want me to do a 24 hour urine collection just as a precaution, but don't seem terribly worried about preeclampsia as my BP continues to be fine (though am still getting protein in urine). Am 39+1 today. All blood results are said to be 'okay' and not indicative of preeclampsia.

Really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences...

thirtysomething Wed 19-Aug-09 11:13:02

I had it at 35 weeks+ with baby no. 1 - high blood pressure (170/140) rising to 220/160 when I delivered IIRC. Protein didn't show up till the day I was admitted (35 weeks + 5 days) then grdually rose till I was induced at 36 weeks. Had swollen ankles, hands, even swollen around spine as they almost couldn't get an epidural in. Never had headache at all. One warning sign - if your wee is the colour of coca cola get to the hospital - that's what the MW told me second time around. My protein level and blood pressure continued to rise for a day or two after delivery. Annoyingly I had to pee into a pot for a week after I had DS! Other than the swelling though I din't have any notieable signs and didn't feel unwell at all....Good luck!

StrikeUpTheBand Wed 19-Aug-09 11:26:09

I have had severe early-onset preeclampsia with HELLP syndrome in 2 pregnancies (1st pregnancy it went undiagnosed and ended in stillbirth at 24 weeks after 2 weeks of feeling very unwell sad) and am 22 weeks pregnant again. I have to say that both cases had a lot of similarities but the second time I had no swelling whatsoever. Moreover, I have never had flashing lights and visual disturbances either. SO don't assume that you need all the symptoms. I also have a friend whose normal BP is about 90/60 so when she had a BP of 120/80 they weren't concerned (for me that would have been about normal last pregnancy). This is wrong - it's not the blood pressure that is the indictor - it's if either reading goes up by 20 or more.

My advice would be (given what you've told me) that you need to be very vigilant and go in if you feel at all unwell or have any new developments. It looks like they are monitoring you regularly? My second pregnancy I was as you describe for about 10 days - admitted in and out of hospital with raised BP and 2+ of protein - they'd bring it down, then I'd go home and it would go up again only higher each time. Eventually it got so severe that they did an emergency C section at 31+3. They have told me to expect similar this time - they will keep admitting me until it becomes obvious that the baby needs to come out.

JumpingJellyfish Wed 19-Aug-09 12:09:59

Strikeuptheband just wanted to wish you tonnes of good luck with this pregnancy- are you on low dose aspirin and/or heparin? Are they doing lots of growth scans/uterine artery scants etc? I'm sure they will keep a close eye on everything- fingers crossed you get past your last LOs gestation and have a not-too-eventful pregnancy. I'm 24wks pregnant now too, and having BP/urine etc. monitored every 2 weeks, then from 28wks monitoring will increase. I'm lucky that with my second we made it to 36wks before an emcs, so really hoping to get to that point again.

YanknCock glad they are doing a 24-hr urine collection, especially as you're still getting some shown on the dipsticks. Really hope PE doesn't develop "properly" and it's great that you are at such a good gestation. I'm sure they will warn you though that sometimes PE doesn't manifest until after delivery, often 48hrs but occasionally even a week later, so make sure you're well monitored after your LO is born. Good luck! xx

SmallScrewCap Wed 19-Aug-09 12:25:55

Hello Yank, I am due on the 25th, come and have a seat on the time-out bench with me!

I have been monitored for pre-eclampsia for the last week (and have been yakking on about it all over this board so won't bore everyone again!) but my symptoms appear to have calmed so we are now looking at either a virus of the liver (my bloods went silly last week but last lot done on Sunday were fine) or an allergic reaction to some antibiotics 10 days ago.

I am just taking things one day (or even half day!) at a time and trying to ensure that nothing stresses me out. For me that means no visitors & very few phone calls! It is a little bit boring, there are only so many times a person can get excited about sitting and watching a DVD.

Good luck!

dizzytrout Wed 19-Aug-09 14:22:56

I started a thread not long ago as I was worried I may have a few of the symtoms and I'm glad I asked for advice. I went to see the midwife and although my blood pressure is up and down and haven't yet (touch wood) had a lot of protein in my wee, she was concerned and am now going for regular check ups. I'm only 31 weeks, but already have a face like a blown up balloon and sausage fingers, swollen feet along with very bad head and nausea more days than not. It has really helped me to put things into perspective when you can come on and read about other peoples experiences, I'm hoping it won't come to much. I hope it doesn't develop any more for you, thinking of you x

Rascal1979 Wed 19-Aug-09 23:28:35

I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome at 30+6 and DD had to be delivered in a matter of hours. She was IUGR and weighed a titchy 2lb 1oz (983g)

I had none of the usual 'usual' sypmtoms of headache, swelling or visual disturbances. Like others on here my main symptom was feeling 'not quite right' kind of like I was starting with a cold, then started with severe upper epigastric pain and vomiting.

Only for posting on here I wouldn't have thought that much of my symptoms and dread to think what would have happened.

JumpingJellyfish Thu 20-Aug-09 10:42:01

Rascal- every time I read your little DD & your story it makes me well up- thank god indeed for MN. You had exactly the same symptoms as me, v bad "heartburn", vomiting, dark urine. Like you within hours of diagnosis my DS was delivered at 30+4wks. I think it's good in a way that our stories do come up on threads like this, as they really are not the classic PE symptoms and like you had HELLP not been spotted in time I dread to think what would have happened to DS and me.

How's your DD now? Unbelievably my DS starts school next week, is a tall and lively 4 yo! Madly I went on to have another LO and am pregnant again, but under very close monitoring/management by a wonderful obs consultant.

fairimum Thu 20-Aug-09 11:42:44

I have had pre-eclampisa twice, 1st time started came on rapidly at 25 weeks and ended up being induced at 26 weeks as my organs had started to fail - the headache usually comes on quickly and is unbearable, also any visual disturbances need to be reported to the delivery suite if high BP. our daughter saidly died just after birth as due to the pre-eclampsia the placenta wasnt working properly and she was very tiny. If they are particually worryed about pre-eclampsia they will do scans to look at the blood flow to the placenta. they want to see good flow to the baby and no 'backflow' so to speak. With my second pregancy i was seen my my consultant every week and she scanned me every other week from 10 weeks - I was taking medication to pre-empt the onset of preeclampsia and given steriods like the first time to maure the babys lungs at about 25 weeks - This time we managed to hold on until 35 weeks (much further than anyone ever expected) and our 2nd DD was fine.

We were told that once you hi 36 weeks they are not so worried about the pre-eclampisa as they can induce/section without too much concern for the baby - but needs to be remembered it can come on very quickly (mine was overnight the first time bp the day before was 80/120 and the next day 160/220!

With pre-eclampisa they need to watch you closely after the birth as it is common for BP to rocket at about 3 days after birth - i had this the second time and the headache was horrendous, i couldnt see at all or function in anyway - I dont mean to scare anyone as I did have it pretty severly - if they are already watching you for signs and you go in for monitoring if get headaches/verbal disturbances/unusual severe pain under ribs etc then will be fine, they will def keep you in if they are concerned!
good luck x

fairimum Thu 20-Aug-09 11:43:59

argh typed my BPs the wrong way round - sorry - but were stupidly high and i ended up in ITU

steviesotherhalf Thu 20-Aug-09 11:54:27

I had severe pre-eclampsia with my dd. Had all the swelling symptoms you describe. It's very important you get yourself checked urgently. My dd was born at 34 weeks by emergency c-section. Apparently my blood pressure was so high it was a wonder I never had a seizure. They had to give me an emergency drug under my tongue to bring my blood pressure down instantly. A very scary and daunting time for me. It was with my first dc too.

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