Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Whats going on

I've been a bit slack with regular posting lately but I have had a lot on my mind and wasn't sure whether to post about it here or not but in the interests of keeping calm and getting things off my chest, I decided its probably in my best interests to put it all down on paper so to speak.

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.

From wikipedia:
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.[1] While blood pressure elevation is the most visible sign of the disease, it involves generalized damage to the maternal endotheliumkidneys, 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?

9 comments:

  1. Oh huni, I'm so sorry to read this. I'm sure everything is going to be fine. Trust your instincts in staying calm and relaxed (easier said than done I know) and trust those looking after you. Keep your chin up, your worry only enforces what a beautiful Mum you're going to be xx

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  2. Thinking of you, R.

    Your doctors will do the right thing for you but I know it must be hard for you right now.

    Lots of love. It will all turn out perfectly, I am sure you will be holding a healthy due date baby at the right time.

    SSG xxx

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  3. Oh no :-(
    I had what could only be described as a text book pregnancy till about 34 weeks. At each Dr visit they noticed that my BP kept rising.
    At 36ish weeks I had a hospital visit and OB appointment. My BP had skyrocketed and they made me stay in for 'day stay' to be monitored. Lucky for me, my BP went down to an acceptable level.
    A week later at my GP it was right up again, I was sent to hospital, induced and delivered Abi.
    They said the best way to be rid of pre-eclampsia is to give birth... Bit that didn't work for me and my BP kept doing crazy things and especially at night. I was in hospital for 6 nights (gah!) I was put on all sorts of meds. I had some people in the know do some research for me and the meds they give you before or after birth wont effect the baby in any way what so ever.

    I never had one symptom of PE. Only the high BP.

    It's pretty scary though. I was beside myself upset one day in hospital and was going to discharge myself till an awesome midwife basicly read me the riot act and explained more about it to me (who knew!) wow! I had no idea how life threatened it can be.

    It's horrible. I don't really look forward to my next pregnancy, because I think I'm going to get it earlier (like you have) but as long as it can be monitored all should be fine.

    Now, you just need to remember that it is nothing you have done. It is actually very common. Do what the Dr's say, go on the meds if you have to. And quite possibly prepare yourself that you may deliver the baby early (by being induced once you get to a certian date)

    For the time being, cheer up, enjoy your pregnancy and get preparing for the birth of your little boy!

    Sending big hugs and kisses your way (I know how you feel)

    xoxo

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  4. Thank you Reezy, SSG & Sammie for the kind words and support - it helps. Its such a scary condition but I am reassured by the fact that I have some great healthcare professionals overseeing everything and my mum as a paramedic is also able to monitor my BP closely. Trying not to focus on the PE side at this stage and just get plenty of rest until the Doc decides medication etc is in order. My husband & sis have been really great with making sure I take it easy so we are doing everything possible at this point to limit the BP as best we can.

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  5. I don't know much about pregnancy at this stage of my life but my Mum had this when she was pregnant with my little sister, everything was fine in the end with only a few more scheduled visits to the doctor and a weeks stay in the hospital before the birth. The doctor actually found that driving raised her blood pressure compared to the times when she was driven to the docs. Take it easy and relax. Xx

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  6. I can only imagine how you are feeling at the moment - every pregnant woman worries at the sign of any niggle or problem at the best of times. At least you know about the PE and are being watched carefully. Hope things go smoothly from here on. xx

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  7. No pregnancy experience from me but I know that my mum had pre eclampsia when she was pregnant with me (26 years ago). She was on bed rest for the last month and I was delivered 2 weeks early but the doctors were really good at managing it and ultimately everything worked out. I know it's a really scary condition but doctors and nurses are all so good at managing it now that I'm positive they'll monitor you and manage so you can carry your little one as close to full term as you can. Hopefully a day in bed will do a world of good for your BP and everything settles down naturally. I have my fingers crossed for you.

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  8. Thank you MrsG, Polly & Miss-B - its amazing how much better I feel today about it all after posting here and reading your thoughtful comments. X

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  9. Thinking of you. It's always hard to deal with any complications when you're pregnant as it's not just you that it effects.

    I always had low blood pressure. When pregnant, it went up above normal, not extremely high, but I had all the signs and symptoms of pre-enclampsia. I delivered full-term both times.

    TDM xx

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