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Possible early pre E? And what's the earliest a baby is realistically viable?

(9 Posts)
ThisIsActuallyHappening Wed 05-Apr-17 15:37:52

Sorry to ask such a horrible question sad I just want to be prepared.

First and very long awaited pregnancy, which isn't going smoothly at all! They have already said baby will be delivered preterm via c-section due to my existing health condition, but if all goes to plan, not until around 35-36 weeks. But now at 19 weeks and they're already talking about my high risk of pre eclampsia! My BP has rocketed over the last 10 days and I spent an evening in hospital for hourly obs. I was releassed when it dropped a bit eventually and am due to be reviewed again at 20 weeks by the consultant. Meanwhile I am being closely monitored.

Midwife said that if it develops into proper pre eclampsia then the remedy is delivery, "but obviously that isn't an option at 19 weeks". So I'm just wondering ... From when DO they consider it an option? I was a bit afraid to ask! blush

Also, how will I know if things have progressed to a point where I need to call the hospital/midwife? Can anyone describe what you experienced with pre eclampsia? My BP was just picked up at an appointment, I didn't actually feel ill but now I'm watching and analysing everything!! I woke up so dizzy this morning I felt drunk and was wobbling all over the place. I also had this weird tight feeling under by ribcage that was making me feel sick ... Is this relevant? Both have now eased through sitting on my arse all day (!) but I'm finding everything is such hard work and despite being physically quite fit and active ordinarily, I'm out of breath just walking up the stairs in the house at the moment! (Is that because of high BP?)

Sorry for the ramble blush and thanks in advance for any replies or advice x

Alicekeach Wed 05-Apr-17 15:43:45

I had PE. With hindsight, my symptoms were shortness of breath, pain under my rib cage and swollen ankles. Unfortunately these are also symptoms of a normal pregnancy! My PE was picked up at a routine appointment (high BP and protein in urine). I was admitted to hospital immediately (for monitoring and to "rest" - ha ha). They put me on various drugs but my BP continued to rise and I ended up having a c section at 29 weeks.

Given my experience, I'm surprised they've sent you home. Have they not suggested you have regular BP checks? Even after I was discharged from hospital, I had to see my GP regularly to make sure my blood pressure was under control.

Alicekeach Wed 05-Apr-17 15:45:32

Oh and there were babies in the hospital's neonatal unit born at 24 weeks.

sebashocked Wed 05-Apr-17 15:47:12

No personal experience but made friends with another mum in NICU who had early PE. Her DD was delivered at 24 weeks and despite a very long, and at times traumatic stay, (most extremely premature babies are let home around their due date) she is now a perfectly healthy 3 year old. 24 weeks really is the minimum.

ThisIsActuallyHappening Wed 05-Apr-17 16:10:32

Thanks both for your replies. 24 weeks is what I was wondering.

Alice - yes, that was sort of my thinking too - how much of this is just "normal pregnancy" symptoms?! I have nothing to compare to.

They releassed me because I didn't have protein in my urine and my bloods came back clear for liver/kidney function tests. So I don't actually have PE, but they seem to be anticipating/expecting it? I am monitored weekly as it is and they've told me to call immediately if anything changes. But what exactly I'm unsure!

It's frustrating because there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to help it either ... Just a case of wait and see what happens?

B1rdinthebush Wed 05-Apr-17 19:27:26

24 weeks is generally considered the point of viability but we knew a 23 weeker on our unit who is now a thriving 18 month old!

I had my twins at 30 weeks (spontaneous labour rather than PE) but lost my mucus plug and started contracting at 27 weeks. I was so anxious so I sort of have an idea of how worried you will be feeling. It sounds like you are being well cared for and being monitored correctly.

My advice is to contact your maternity assessment unit if you don't feel right - they would always rather see you and send you home than you need to be seen and not go. I was admitted at 27 weeks and 29 weeks and both times I just knew something was wrong - your body will do the same I'm sure.

Good luck and look after yourself. Xx

InTheRedTent Wed 05-Apr-17 23:08:39

In the UK they will resuss at 23+0 if parents wish it, 24 weeks they will resuss as standard. Honestly I think your team are panicking you far, far too early. EVERYONE's blood pressure rises at around 20 weeks not only is there a hormone surge but you're making masses of extra blood - by 24 weeks you've gained 2.5 pints! Have they introduced medication? I was on maximum doses of 3 different medications before they delivered, blood pressure can be controlled to an extent with a pro-active team. It won't nessisarily hold off pre-e, but it can slow down the point at which high bp becomes pre-e.

Symptoms to look out for; visual disturbances, dizzyness, headaches that painkillers don't help, swollen hands and feet/ankles. If you get a pain under your ribs on your right side (may be slightly alleviated by lying on that side) - and we're talking pain not an ache, this is sobbing in pain type of sensation not regular 'awww their foot is in my ribs' type discomfort - go to hospital immediately, this can be a sign of HELLP syndrome which is a very severe and fast moving variant of pre-e, but thankfully pretty rare.

If there are pre-e concerns push for a urine dip weekly with a midwife - this is a cheap, quick and painless test but shows if you're spilling protein and at what level. In addition monthly blood tests (these may be stepped up to weekly or daily if pre-e symptoms start to show) also show exactly what your body is doing.

I was in hospital for 5 days with pre-e before HELLP struck, I was crying in pain and hallucinating purple goo dribbling down the walls. BP was 210/168 when they delivered. DD was 28+0 and 875g, in hospital 101 days. Second time around 'just' high bp, didnt actually become pre-e, but so high no nutrients to the baby so delivered at 29+1 and 985g, 77 days in hospital.

Hope some of that helps, try not to worry, most high bp never becomes a problem and can be managed with low dose labetalol.

ThisIsActuallyHappening Sat 08-Apr-17 23:20:38

Thanks both, I really appreciate your input and advice. Hearing about your symptoms is also really helpful, thanks Red.

I have since been into hospital again with the same and am now on medication to lower BP, along with having weekly appointments to check BP, urine and blood. My existing health condition puts me at high risk of Pre E apparently so I guess they're being extra cautious.

Feeling a lot better about it all now, thanks again for your reassurance x

Chuckading Sat 27-May-17 12:58:07

I have a friend whose baby was born at 23wks, he had a long hard stay in hospital but he's now a happy and healthy 6 year old.
I had PE and my son was born at 31wks, he was only in an incubator for a couple of days and was home at 35wks.

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