Pre eclampsia – know the signs
As I write, I’m sat upright in a hospital bed, not the comfiest, but good enough for what I hope will be a short stay. Though last time it was a 2 nighter.
Fed. Up. The only way to describe the way I’m feeling. No matter how many unhelpful
‘Don’t worry Soph, You’re in the best place’
I hear, comforting at first, but now just a phrase that makes me feel ten times worse. But I know your hearts are in the right place. And yes, you are correct in what you say. I am in the best place, but god I miss my bed. But mostly I miss my boys
This was a cheerful photo I was sent last night.
Iain, please smile! At least you had the king size to yourself last night.
I am very grateful for the help I’ve had, all the well wishes and what not, even down to the flexibility of doggy daycare. Caroline, you’ve been amazing. I thank you. My boy loves coming over and seeing his canine companions. I know this, because he sleeps from when he gets in all the way through to the next morning. (But of course he wakes for food, labs eh).
Yes, I am going to confess here, something that may upset some. But if you’re feeling the way I am, unable to leave the ward, unable to update my surname on some important docs, unable to walk my pooch around the block, unable to do. Anything. Then you might understand, just a little bit.
I long for the fresh air, even just to go outside and soak up the rain. These little things that many take for granted. I feel so sorry for those who are in here indefinitely. I know, I know, I sound so selfish. But do you know something? At this precise moment, all that’s on my mind is me and my baby.
Anyway, the confession. The absolute worst thing for me, is phone calls. I HATE phone calls. At the end of the day, if I had anything to report I would get in touch. By all means send me a message, the likelihood is, though, that I will see it, ignore it for a few hours and then get into a debate with my dear husband about replying, thus raising my blood pressure further.
I don’t want to be bothered. I have enough to be thinking about without my phone going off every ten minutes, answering the same old questions, over and over and over again. I’m sorry, I truly am. But it’s so tiring, especially when my body is going through so much already. Even trying to decide what I want for lunch, it absolutely exhausting.
I can hear some of you now,
‘You’re not the only one going through this, there are a lot of people worse off’
You’re totally right, but right now, they are NOT my problem. As I mentioned earlier, my priority is me and my baby. So take your unhelpful, spiteful comments and shove them where the sun don’t shine.
As you can probably tell, I’m not in the brightest of spirit. I like to think I’m usually fairly polite, but honest nonetheless. If you get offended, then that’s your guilty conscience isn’t it?
My anti depressants are flowing, keeping my head just above the water line. But even with those, sometimes the emotions get the better of me. I will fly off the handle at every little thing. So I implore you, proceed with caution. All I want is to be back at home, with my boys, get a good nights sleep (3 hours last night) and binge watch Jeremy Kyle and my childhood favourites on Disney life.
I knew there was a point to this post, I promise I’m getting to it now.
So pre eclampsia, according to the NHS is a condition affecting pregnant women, usually in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Mild pre eclampsia affects about 6% of pregnancies and more severe 1-2% the only cure is to deliver the baby, so up until this point a lady will be closely monitored until they get to a point where baby can be delivered safely, with minimal complications.
The first signs are a high blood pressure, every lady is different, a high blood pressure for 1 might be fairly normal to another. But if it gets to 150 on the top or 90 on the bottom, this is cause for concern. Mine currently fluctuates between 148/95 and 136/78 high for me, which is why they’re concerned. The other tell tale sign, protein in your pee without infection and a normal white blood cell count. To put into perspective, protein levels should be around 36 mine are 97.
Yeah, scary. These are the first signs. Usually you’ll be monitored closely, and each time you’ll be asked about other symptoms that you may, or may not be experiencing.
- Swelling of the feet constantly, (oedema)
- Severe head ache
- Vision problems (seeing spots, flashing lights etc)
- Pain just above the ribs
If you have ANY of the above, you need to see someone quickly. Ideally your community midwife or your pregnancy day unit. You and baby will be monitored 4 hourly and your blood pressure will be monitored every 15 minutes for at least an hour. Be prepared for an overnight stay, or more.
The exact cause has yet to be determined, it they reckon its to do with a problem in the placenta. Funny that, my umbilical chord doesn’t work properly. Had I not gone for my private 4D scan this would never have been discovered, well it probably would have been at some point, but it could’ve been too late.
Baby is fine though, she’s moving quite happily, and the sonographers get annoyed because baby keeps kicking the Doppler, and wriggling. It’s all good fun though.
I’m currently being watched, as everything is borderline. But treatment usually involves steroid injections in the buttock to develop baby’s lungs a little bit quicker ready for early delivery, and a course of medication to lower blood pressure. It they will only treat it when it is absolutely necessary. It would seem I am almost getting to that point. But we’re not far away from 35 weeks, a safe time to deliver.
Prepare to be in hospital for a week or so after delivery, both you and baby will be closely monitored, my baby will likely be in a neonatal unit for a while, just to make sure their breathing, feeding and other important bodily functions are working properly. I don’t mind, I just want baby here, safe and cared for. I feel so helpless at the moment. I am assured though, that baby is in the best place for the time being, and if there was any doubt, we’d be induced or sent for C section.
I don’t mind being here afterwards, because I’ll be given all I need to prepare to take baby home. I’ll be taught how to breast feed properly and hopefully get some well needed rest.
I really cannot fault these guys. I know I’ve pretty much complained this whole post, but they are amazing, from the consultants all the way to the cleaners. I know most of them by name, and we have an ongoing joke about charging me rent for a bed.
They have been amazing, explained everything, answered all my questions and looked after every other lady on the ward. Nothing is too difficult for them, which is something I love.
You want toast at 4am, they will get you toast at 4am, sick bowl? No problem, pain killers? No problem, fresh nighty, bar of soap, cup of tea, or a sneaky sandwich. They will sort it. And I will be forever grateful, for every member of this amazing team.