Postpartum preeclampsia

So, the baby's born, what comes next? Discuss your postpartum and parenting concerns here.
Patricejo
Registered User

Re: Postpartum preeclampsia

Postby Patricejo » Tue Dec 13, 2016 07:18 pm

denise.delaney wrote:Hi all I would like to tell my story about my third baby... I'd had preeclampsia with my first two girls but it started in pregnancy, it was at the stage where I had to be induced due to it.. All went ok and bp came back to normal by the 6 week mark but now 14 weeks ago I had my third baby, a little boy.Id had no problems this time with blood pressure until two nights before my due date..my whole body swelled up so much my parents and husband got very worried..I had an appointment the next morning so I held on til then to see a doctor...at the appointment I was wheeled up to l+d due to the blood pressure... Was induced straight away and put on medication to lower bp.. Baby was born by ventouse due to heart rate dropping... This was all scary to me but little did I know that I was about to have the scariest event happen just ten days laterfrom the day 3 postpartum I started to get these headaches..they were excruciating I was in agony.. I called the labour ward as i had only been discharged that day but they said because I was discharged I had to go to the er now our hospital is an hour and half away do I decided to sit it out and go to my own doc the next day..next morning my public health nurse arrived before I could get down to my doctor she took my bp and it read 220/121 she rang my doc who said he was to busy to come up to me and to have me come into his surgery.. So I mustered all the energy I could get to make it down..in the meantime I had taken my scheduled bp medication and so by the time I got down to the doctors it had come down to 145/96..still high but he didn't seem worried they thought I was having a spinal leek due to the epidural... To try and make this story short I was left another week like this having headaches trying to drink 3 litres of water a day to combat the supposed spinal leek I visited my gp 3 times in that week and he never sent me in.. I was so sick but didn't realise just how much til on the Wednesday morning I sent my oldest girl to school and I had my other little girl sick at home after contracting the chicken pox and my son was in his bouncer I was upstairs hoovering when I started to feel very off I turned of the Hoover and tried to walk I couldn't my eyesight was getting fuzzy I ended up having to come down the stairs on my bum I got to the kitchen and tried to drink a bottle of water but I could not get the bottle into my mouth It went to my cheek and chin...my coordination was totally off I got my phone it took me a few tries to get my password and when I did my husbands name was the first on the list as his name is Adam thankfully!! I called and he knew by my voice something was wrong he rang my aunt who most have flew up because she was there in no time at all.. She look at me I was crying I couldn't get out what I wanted to say.. In my mind I knew what I wanted to say but couldn't get it out into a coherent sentence.. Afterwards she said to me my face had started to drop on left side.. She rang the ambulance who took me to a hospital I had to be stopped on the motorway to be worked on by a doctor who met us half way I was rushed to resuscitation I was immediately put on magnesium sul iv and brought to icu I spent a day there with a nurse by my side all the time she took my bp every ten minutes... Second day my readings were looking ok and this fancy professor who was over my medical side came around with his protégés and ordered the mag sul be stopped and I sent home my nurse who had worked in a maternity hospital tried to argue with him that it was not protocol to take me off and his answer was how would any of us learn if we followed protocol all the time.. He left and I was taken off the mag sul the maternity hospital team came round later that evening and they blew a gasket over what had happened the immediately said that I had to be moved by ambulance to their hospital that night... I was transferred to their hospital and on arrival I had a massive panic attack which then elevated my bp to 230/150 I was a walking stroke.. 11 doctors surrounded me in s room and all I could think was o am never coming home to see my kids I am going to die in this room.. Emergency eclampsia kit was taken out and put back on mag sul for a further 24 hours it is a horrible feeling my whole body was roasting from it... I was battered inside my body and my head since then I'm home after spending a week in hospital I have got ptsd and severe anxiety and also am on a bucket load of tablets for my bp and anxiety.., I feel so lost and scared that it will all happen again to me as I can't get my bp under control...im a healthy 29 year old I don't smoke I rarely drank I exercise I eat well most of the time ... now at 14 weeks postpartum I have a very long road ahead of me to get better..Other women I have talked too said that they think it was the change of sex of the baby that that's why it happened to them.. Mm maybe! For now I'm taking each day as it comes :roll:

Lew9109
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Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:09 am

Re: Postpartum preeclampsia

Postby Lew9109 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 02:16 pm

Hi Denise,

I would first like to say I am understanding to what you are going through as I had a very similar experience as you. And, thank you for sharing your story with the forum. Sometimes it's hard to even talk or write about our experiences because you feel like you are re-living it all over again and that in and out itself can trigger anxiety! So welcome and again thank you for sharing!

In 2009, I had pre-eclampsia/HELLP, my blood pressures were 220/110 and I was hospitalized for a month after delivery for my blood pressures, symptoms of pre-e & HELLP and two rounds of magnesium. I developed tremendous anxiety and fear and lost faith that my body could handle anything more. I became very fearful of every headache, or general ache thinking it was bringing me back to the initial acuteness of my case. Although, the anxiety is expected with a traumatic postpartum experience, it makes it hard to push through the days.

My mom had taken two months off of work to help get me back on my feet. My body physically went through so much that I was very weak and medicated which made me experience every side effect from the BP meds I was on. So, the key for me to manage the anxiety and PTSD, was a strong support system. I was selective in who I would share my story with initially because I didn't want to keep talking about it as it would induce and trigger more stress and anxiety for me.

Here are some things that helped me work through the emotional healing of being a pre-e survivor:
1. Journaling
2. Leaning on my support system ( which consisted of my husband, mom, and father) and my caregivers
3. Meditation CD's to calm my mind before I went to bed at night. From the trauma I went through, I kept having this recurring nightmare of being hospitalized and not surviving. So before bed I would quiet my mind with meditation CD's and breathing exercises.
4. Yoga
5. Acupuncture & Omega 3's
6. Massage
7. Reaching out to other pre-e survivors on the forum. Knowing I was not alone and there were women like me going through the same thing, It brought me ease that I was not the only one going through this.
8. Acknowledging & accepting my road to recovery was going to take time. Healing was not going to happen overnight. I had to accept that I was alive and going to get better. I needed to relieve myself of the frustration and disappointment I was feeling. Accepting and acknowledging that it was going to take time, relieved me of the pressure.
9. I put positive affirmations on my mirror. So everyone morning that I woke, I would look to these affirmations to re-find the strength emotionally and physically I once had before going through Pre-e.
10. I also went and saw a therapist. Sometimes it's key to choosing someone outside of your support system to talk with since there are no emotions attached. When I was ready to talk about what I went through, it worked well for me to see a therapist and talk about what I was experiencing.

My physical healing: I had suffered from two critical events in the hospital. I was on magnesium twice and IV BP meds for most of my hospital stay until I was beginning to transition to the plan of discharge to which I was then switched to pill forms of my medications. Being in the hospital for a month, I spent most of the time in bed so my body was extremely weak. I was able to walk from my hospital room ~20 feet and back and that was it. My body was so depleted. My physical healing took 9 months to feel like myself again.

These are the things that helped me most to regain my strength:
1. My mom and husband would take me for walks everyday and each day we would set a new goal for the following day. So if I got up and walked two houses up from ours, the next day I would try 4. This was good to regain my strength but also just to feel the sun on my face helped brighten my mood.
2. I tracked my BP at home. I had a home BP cuff and I would log my readings. I did this for two reasons. One being that I was so anxious & fearful that I was going to have another critical event, seeing the BP numbers in a non critical range gave me comfort. Also, I had twice weekly MD appointments so my BP log gave my providers good reference as to where my numbers were and gave them the guidance as to how much to decrease my BP meds by.
3. I sought out the care of a cardiologist. He was more specialized to handle my BP regimen. And, ran additional tests to make sure my vascular system was stable. Having a specialist in my care such as a cardiologist was the best decision we made because he held very good control over my situation.
4. My cardiologist had me follow a low sodium diet. He said that it was good to manage my BP numbers but also because of having the increase chance of BP issues later on in life, he felt it was good to adopt that healthy diet change then. And, it made a big difference.
5. I following a very clean meal plan. Eliminating processed foods and kept my food choices whole and clean. That helped with my healing.
6. I bought a heart monitor and my cardiologist would guide me as to how much physical exercise to do on my treadmill daily. We would gradually build up my walking routine which built my endurance. Walking helped improve my sleep and confidence that my body was getting better little by little.

Please know that you if you have any questions or concerns to reach out to any of us. We are here to support you through your healing! There were days that my mind wanted to do so much but my body was lagging behind and then I would experience days where I was physically feeling stronger and my mind was not. Set small goals for yourself that are achievable. Lean on loved ones to help you through this time and also your providers to help with resources outside of the home that can help!

Your body will heal! And like I said, we are all here to support you along that road!

Sending healing energy your way!

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caryn
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Re: Postpartum preeclampsia

Postby caryn » Thu Jun 16, 2016 03:57 pm

Oh my, you had such a rough landing! I hope that your recovery is plodding along and you're feeling a bit better every day.

I'm frustrated for you that even though your doctors knew you had this particular biological tendency, you weren't watched more closely in this pregnancy. With a history of preeclampsia in two prior pregnancies you're at pretty high risk to develop it again in any subsequent pregnancy. :(

As your body mops up the chemicals that the placenta was making - the ones that damaged your blood vessels and raised your pressures - your blood pressure will trend down. If it stays high enough for you to need meds, that's not likely because of your lifestyle choices. It's because your genetic tendency to develop chronic hypertension has been "unmasked" by the pregnancy. So don't blame yourself for not exercising or eating right during what sounds like a completely brutal postpartum recovery.

I'm glad you're seeing someone who is treating PTSD and anxiety. They are *incredibly* common after these deliveries. And I'm glad you've found us!
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy

leprdmom
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:34 am

Re: Postpartum preeclampsia

Postby leprdmom » Tue Jun 14, 2016 08:38 pm

Hi Denise....
I am so sorry that you are experiencing all these problems when you should be enjoying your new baby and your family.

I have had MANY experiences with preelampsia.... 5x myself and my daughter had it twice with the loss of our beloved Lucy the 1st time. When I had it, there wasn't too much of a big deal made about preelampsia...they called it "toxemia" back then (1991). I was on Magnesium sulfate all 5 times and I agree with you, the way that drug made you feel was awful. Id say I was probably naïve back then...I didn't worry too much with each pregnancy, I was counting on my MD's to advocate for me, after all it was their job!
It sounds like you had multiple MD's on your case that may not have been consulting with each other or may not have been up to date on the latest research, signs/symptoms/treatments for preeclampsia. Some MD's don't even acknowledge that preeclampsia can occur in the postpartum period! We almost have to be our own advocates in some cases. You are so very lucky that you were able to get to the hospital when you did.... You didn't mention whether you had had a confirmed stroke or were having any residual effects ?

I can totally understand the anxiety you are experiencing....though normal, it can be difficult to push on day to day. After my daughter lost her first child at 30 weeks, she was TERRIBLY anxious with her second pregnancy....and she continues to acknowledge her anxiety even though she had a healthy baby boy (now almost 4 months). I would definitely recommend consulting with a counselor/psychologist who specializes in birth related PTSD ...you said you are on meds but some therapy may help. Unfortunately, some pre-e patients continue to have hypertension issues despite a healthy lifestyle, so that may be something you will have to deal with...are you seeing a cardiologist?


Besides having been a mom and grandma with experience, I am also a postpartum nurse and a childbirth educator and teach my patients on this topic all the time; probably even more NOW than I used to. Noone should have to go through what you did (and my daughter did) and I now make it a mission of mine to make sure people are educated on it. I didn't seek out the Preeclampsia Foundation when I had it...because I had 6 healthy kids...when my daughter suffered the loss, I had to act, and here I am.

My advice to you is to BREATHE....maintain that healthy lifestyle....take your meds (even though you don't WANT to) and go to your MD appts....seek some further counseling and love up on those babies of yours... they will be the ones that help you get through day after day. :)

Please keep in touch and give us updates....
Best regards,
Deb Izzo (mom to a 25, 23, 22, 16, 5 and 5yr olds) and grandma to Carson and angel Lucy

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denise.delaney
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:00 pm

Postpartum preeclampsia

Postby denise.delaney » Thu Jun 09, 2016 00:04 am

Hi all I would like to tell my story about my third baby... I'd had preeclampsia with my first two girls but it started in pregnancy, it was at the stage where I had to be induced due to it.. All went ok and bp came back to normal by the 6 week mark but now 14 weeks ago I had my third baby, a little boy.Id had no problems this time with blood pressure until two nights before my due date..my whole body swelled up so much my parents and husband got very worried..I had an appointment the next morning so I held on til then to see a doctor...at the appointment I was wheeled up to l+d due to the blood pressure... Was induced straight away and put on medication to lower bp.. Baby was born by ventouse due to heart rate dropping... This was all scary to me but little did I know that I was about to have the scariest event happen just ten days laterfrom the day 3 postpartum I started to get these headaches..they were excruciating I was in agony.. I called the labour ward as i had only been discharged that day but they said because I was discharged I had to go to the er now our hospital is an hour and half away do I decided to sit it out and go to my own doc the next day..next morning my public health nurse arrived before I could get down to my doctor she took my bp and it read 220/121 she rang my doc who said he was to busy to come up to me and to have me come into his surgery.. So I mustered all the energy I could get to make it down..in the meantime I had taken my scheduled bp medication and so by the time I got down to the doctors it had come down to 145/96..still high but he didn't seem worried they thought I was having a spinal leek due to the epidural... To try and make this story short I was left another week like this having headaches trying to drink 3 litres of water a day to combat the supposed spinal leek I visited my gp 3 times in that week and he never sent me in.. I was so sick but didn't realise just how much til on the Wednesday morning I sent my oldest girl to school and I had my other little girl sick at home after contracting the chicken pox and my son was in his bouncer I was upstairs hoovering when I started to feel very off I turned of the Hoover and tried to walk I couldn't my eyesight was getting fuzzy I ended up having to come down the stairs on my bum I got to the kitchen and tried to drink a bottle of water but I could not get the bottle into my mouth It went to my cheek and chin...my coordination was totally off I got my phone it took me a few tries to get my password and when I did my husbands name was the first on the list as his name is Adam thankfully!! I called and he knew by my voice something was wrong he rang my aunt who most have flew up because she was there in no time at all.. She look at me I was crying I couldn't get out what I wanted to say.. In my mind I knew what I wanted to say but couldn't get it out into a coherent sentence.. Afterwards she said to me my face had started to drop on left side.. She rang the ambulance who took me to a hospital I had to be stopped on the motorway to be worked on by a doctor who met us half way I was rushed to resuscitation I was immediately put on magnesium sul iv and brought to icu I spent a day there with a nurse by my side all the time she took my bp every ten minutes... Second day my readings were looking ok and this fancy professor who was over my medical side came around with his protégés and ordered the mag sul be stopped and I sent home my nurse who had worked in a maternity hospital tried to argue with him that it was not protocol to take me off and his answer was how would any of us learn if we followed protocol all the time.. He left and I was taken off the mag sul the maternity hospital team came round later that evening and they blew a gasket over what had happened the immediately said that I had to be moved by ambulance to their hospital that night... I was transferred to their hospital and on arrival I had a massive panic attack which then elevated my bp to 230/150 I was a walking stroke.. 11 doctors surrounded me in s room and all I could think was o am never coming home to see my kids I am going to die in this room.. Emergency eclampsia kit was taken out and put back on mag sul for a further 24 hours it is a horrible feeling my whole body was roasting from it... I was battered inside my body and my head since then I'm home after spending a week in hospital I have got ptsd and severe anxiety and also am on a bucket load of tablets for my bp and anxiety.., I feel so lost and scared that it will all happen again to me as I can't get my bp under control...im a healthy 29 year old I don't smoke I rarely drank I exercise I eat well most of the time ... now at 14 weeks postpartum I have a very long road ahead of me to get better..Other women I have talked too said that they think it was the change of sex of the baby that that's why it happened to them.. Mm maybe! For now I'm taking each day as it comes :roll:


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