My daughter turned 3 this week and when I looked back through my old photos they brought back some of my most treasured memories but also some of my most fearful.
I have written about my experience with pre-eclampia in the past which you can read in more detail here if you like. It started off when I was 36 weeks pregnant, at a routine check up my blood pressure was high and I was sent to hospital for monitoring. Before having my daughter at 40+5 I would in and out of hospital a few more times each time with crazy high blood pressure, I was on medication to try to control it but at 40+4 it was so high that I could have a seizure at any moment and even possibly go into a coma. It was terrifying and I was emergency induced and put on several drips.
My troubles didn’t stop after the birth as my blood pressure was still very high so I was kept in for 5 days and after 1 day at home I was sent back in, I was finally discharged with a huge bag of drugs, I was on about 3 or 4 different tablets and also a daily blood thinner injection due to being high risk for blood clot, something that I had to endure for 6 weeks. I was also on my blood pressure tablets for 6 weeks. The day that I finally finished all my medication felt like a huge cause for celebration, no more did I have to set alarms to take tablets through the night. My arms and legs were both black, blue and yellow from bruises at all different ages. My arms were bruised from having my blood pressure taken so much with those machines, the tops of my arms looked like they were covered in huge hickeys. My legs were badly bruised from 6 weeks of daily blood thinning injections.
Now 3 years on you think it would all be a distant memory but the truth is that it still haunts me, people always ask ‘when are you going to have another?’ and the thought of going through that again knowing that I would be at a higher risk of getting it again fills me with fear, some people end up a lot worse off than me they lose their child’s life and sometimes even their own? I know that if I lived in a 3rd world country me and my daughter wouldn’t be alive today and I am so grateful for modern medicine and I know that I would be well looked after and put on medication from early on in pregnancy to try to minimize any risks. The truth is that there is no cure for pre-eclampsia the only cure is to deliver your baby and sometimes its too early for the baby to survive.
It has taken a big mental toll on me as I do still feel traumatized by everything that happened but also left lasting effects on my health. When I had my blood pressure taken when I was first pregnant my diastolic number was 70 which was perfect (it should be between 60-80 to be considered healthy), now my number is 90 which is high. It’s not high enough to need any medication but something to keep an eye on. I don’t know if anxiety plays a part in that reading as every time they put that arm band on me it brings back the old memories of feeling normal but then getting shipped off to the hospital as that happened to me so many times when I was pregnant. I had no symptoms I felt completely normal, no dizziness or blurred vision yet they would take my blood pressure and it would be in the high 90s which was dangerously high. When I was being induced the highest reading was 125 which was very very dangerous I was so close to a c-section. I was put on a magnesium sulphate drip to lower it otherwise I would had probably had a seizure, some women wake up with brain damage and some don’t make it at all. I know that it’s rare and it didn’t happen to me but I keep thinking that it could have been so much worse and what if I’m not as lucky next time. So right now when people ask when are we going to have another child my heart thinks yes but my head thinks but what about my health?.
Have you suffered with pre-eclampsia? Have you gone on to have more children? I would love to know your experiences. – Jodie x