May is Preeclampsia Month
I was one of the lucky ones and was able to get pregnant as soon as we started trying. My pregnancy was going along perfect. I had the normal morning sickness during the first trimester and pretty much at the start of the second trimester it was over. Things went along great. I was gaining weight just like I was supposed to. All of a sudden, just before 32 weeks, I was at a routine OB appointment and I was put on bed rest because of high blood pressure. I had no symptoms, but my blood pressure was high and I had gained a little extra weight. I had to go back to the OB after the weekend and was immediately sent to the hospital for a week and then sent home on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I was to lie on my left side and only get up to go to the bathroom. I was able to hold on until week 38 when I was induced and after laboring and then pushing for 3 hours with little to no results, even though the nurse said I was pushing perfectly. My blood pressure continued to be a problem and then my son's heart rate started dropping. My OB decided that I needed a c-section and my son was born almost 11 hours after my water broke. I continued to have high blood pressure and increased swelling so I was lucky enough to get magnesium sulfate to help with the extra fluid and my blood pressure. I was supposed to be on it for 24 hours, but I had to be taken off early because I was having too many side effects and wasn't able to get enough oxygen in my system. The day of my discharge, the covering OB wasn't sure that she wanted to discharge me due to my continuing high blood pressure. After coming into my room and seeing me sobbing, she decided that I would be better off at home and made me promise to call if I had any symptoms of preeclampsia or if my blood pressure continued to be high even with out any symptoms and I needed to see my OB in the morning. All went well and I continued on my blood pressure medication with no issues.
3 months after giving birth, I found out I was pregnant again. We were ecstatic. We started trying right away,never thinking we would have a baby that quick. 11 weeks into the pregnancy, we found out we were having twins. OMG, I had a 5 month old and I found out I was going to have twins with my due date being 1 week before my older son turned 1. I continued on my blood pressure medication and my pregnancy went along great until week 23, when at a routine ultrasound appointment, I found out my cervix was too short. I was placed on bed rest again and had to figure out how to take care of myself while having a baby who was only 7 1/2 months when I went on bed rest. I had a couple of scares, but I think most of that was due to me being nervous. I made it to week 35 when at a routine OB visit, I was told that I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. My OB told me that she wouldn't be surprised if I went into labor over the weekend. I was a little nervous that I wouldn't know what it was like to go into labor on my own, but I figured, my body would tell me what to do. Unfortunately, while at a routine non-stress test that afternoon, my blood pressure was 188/111 even though I was on blood pressure medication. Along with that, I had protein in my urine and my labs were off. They decided it would be best for me to deliver the babies that night. I was hoping for a VBAC if Baby B (Thomas) was vertex. On Wednesday he was vertex, but just to make sure they did an ultrasound. Only 2 days later, my Thomas, how was always moving had turned breech again and I was off for another c-section. Thankfully, this time I did not need the magnesium sulfate. I had 2 little babies who were born 5 weeks early and an older son who was 10 1/2 months. My twins did great. They were able to suck, swallow, and breathe, their heart rate stayed stable, and they were able to maintain their body temperature. Thankfully they were able to come home with me when I was discharged 5 days after giving birth.
I received my preeclampsia foundation news letter today and found out, or should I say confirmed that women who had preeclampsia were more at risk for heart disease up to 15 year after giving birth. I have always been concerned with my risk for heart disease since my only uncle died or heart disease when he was only 42, just 4 years older than I am now. I really need to get my act together and start getting in shape. Not only do I have a family history of heart disease, but now I have the added risk of 2 pregnancies with preeclampsia.