So to warn you before getting started, this is another pregnancy related post (I know, I really have to get more interesting I hear you say) but not about shopping or wishlists. Its about the medical side of pregnancy and more specifically, a complication.
To give you some background, I am now 25 weeks pregnant - to me that time has flown and its hard to believe we are past the 6 month mark but if you ask S, he says it feels like I have been 20 odd weeks pregnant forever (he is prone to the dramatics though). Part of my regular GP and obstetrician checkups involve having my blood pressure checked and prior to pregnancy I have always recorded VERY low readings - as in worryingly low to the doctors - so I assumed this may be a risk in pregnancy or at the very least my blood pressure would rise to normal levels.
Imagine my surprise when at around 11 weeks, the obstetrician checks and gets a reading of 170 over 90... I probably would have fallen over if I wasn't lying down already. He waited half an hour and took it again recording 140 over 90. Since then, I have recorded regular readings of 150 over 90 with a few 130 or 140s over 70 or 90 but generally nothing lower.
Up until now, my OB hasn't been terribly concerned given I am still fairly early in (plus his bedside manner seems to be one of calm quiet confidence and I really cant see him getting in a flap about anything) but as the weeks creep by, he is definitely monitoring me more closely for pre eclampsia. Prior to pregnancy and even in my early stages, pre eclampsia is not a condition I had ever heard of and I have to say thats probably not a bad thing because it seems to be a pretty scary condition. When my OB mentioned PE, I of course googled the term immediately to find out all I could - in hindsight, it probably wasn't the best idea as it landed me in tears and too scared to voice the fears or even discuss the possibilities with anyone.
Pre-eclampsia or preeclampsia is a medical condition in which hypertension arises in pregnancy (pregnancy-induced hypertension) in association with significant amounts of protein in the urine.
Pre-eclampsia refers to a set of symptoms rather than any causative factor, and there are many different causes for the condition. It appears likely that there are substances from the placenta that can cause endothelial dysfunction in the maternal blood vessels of susceptible women. While blood pressure elevation is the most visible sign of the disease, it involves generalized damage to the maternal endothelium, kidneys, and liver, with the release of vasoconstrictive factors being secondary to the original damage.
Pre-eclampsia may develop from 20 weeks gestation (it is considered early onset before 32 weeks, which is associated with increased morbidity). Its progress differs among patients; most cases are diagnosed pre-term. Pre-eclampsia may also occur up to six weeks post-partum. Apart from Caesarean section or induction of labor (and therefore delivery of the placenta), there is no known cure. It is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications; it may affect both the mother and the unborn child
After my little breakdown, I put it to the back of my mind as I figured the doctors were on to it and stressing about it wouldn't do me any favours and would potentially have an affect on my blood pressure.
A week ago I suffered from blurred/bright impaired vision along with traveling pins & needles in my right side which of course gave me a fright and landed me at the OBs office followed by the GPs for a check up. They can't pinpoint at the moment if I am suffering from aural migraines which are sometimes accompanied by nausea or if it is entirely BP related. Its pretty scary when the vision impairment, pins and needles, nausea starts though and all I can do is rest through it - it happened again last night and led me to spending today in bed so hopefully that has had the desired effect and I will be back on top of things tomorrow.
I don't like to complain as bub and I are both doing great overall but the OB has confirmed I am definitely hypertensive and there is now talk of managing my BP with medication. I'm of course open to anything that will help me deliver bub as close to his due date as possible and am trying not to let it all get to me at the risk of affecting my BP further.
Has anyone had any experiences of pre-eclampsia they can share?