Pre-eclampsia is something that generally occurs when the placenta is not functioning/working correctly. It can make you and your baby unwell if you do not receive the treatment you need. The condition causes the flow of blood via the placenta to be reduced.
This means that your baby may not get enough oxygen, and nutrients, which can cause growth restrictions. Pre-eclampsia usually happens in the second half of pregnancy, or shortly after birth. You’re likely to develop it around 27 weeks of pregnancy, although it could happen earlier than this.
Symptoms of pre-eclampsia include
- Swelling (fluid on feet, hands, face)
- Protein in urine
High Blood Pressure
- Severe Pain Between Ribs
My experience with pre-eclampsia
I was 34 weeks pregnant, and one night I had an achy dull pain from my shoulder blades. Thinking it was nothing, I went on with my night resting, thinking maybe I had overdone it.
The night went on and the pain became slightly unbearable. I suddenly felt a horrendous feeling between my ribs as if I had been winded (kicked in the back and front of my stomach area). I started to panic and anxiety set in, as my partner was fast asleep in bed next to me.
As I walked around the flat trying to calm myself down, but the more I thought about breathing, the more it hurt. Filled with worries that I was going into early labor, so I decided it was time to wake my partner. I had been suffering for nearly 2 hours (I was too anxious to tell anyone) and he told me to keep calm, and phone ‘111’ they were very reassuring but to be on the safe side they sent me an ambulance.
I Arrived at the hospital, and I was placed in the labour ward, the midwives and nurses asked me tons of questions, put me straight onto monitors, and examined me.
It turned out I had very high blood pressure, protein in my urine-three plusses to be exact which was not looking good. I had blood taken and was given codeine to ease the pain, I was diagnosed with preeclampsia, I was sent home with an induction date, and instructions for bed rest and a prescription of Labetalol, as it helps keep the blood pressure down.
What happened next?
I went in for my planned induction, with everything ready for the little one to arrive. When I got there they checked my blood pressure and said that it was too low and the pre-eclampsia was no longer an issue. They sent me home assuring me that I no longer needed the tablets, and could wait for labor to naturally occur.
Well, a few days later the same crippling feeling started again but this time it woke me up. I was sent straight to the hospital, they checked if there was something wrong with my heart so they plugged me into an ECG monitor.
They found nothing to be wrong with my heart but the pre-eclampsia was definitely back (with a vengeance!) The midwife said they had to induce me there and then and I would have to have my baby ASAP. The induction process all in all took a whole day.
My gorgeous daughter was born (very quickly, while I stood holding my partner and mum) at 12.58am weighing a tiny 5lb-12oz taking the midwives 3 minutes in total to resuscitate her, I was so incredibly terrified for her life.
After the labor, my blood pressure went back to normal, and so did everything else. Never ignore your body and what it is trying to tell you. Because it can risk yours and your babies life. Olivia is now a happy, healthy thriving 3-year-old. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like if our experience turned out different. We were lucky to have been helped so quickly. I am so thankful for everything the hospital has done for us.
Up next: What is pregnancy-related-SPD?