Aileen’s Story, Severe Preeclampsia. Forever Changed

March 21, 2024 By Aileen Addington

Aileen’s Story, Severe Preeclampsia. Forever Changed

I took care of my body, eating healthy, exercising regularly however that did not stop me from having severe preeclampsia. Why me? I ask myself this question often. The only risk factor I had was this being my first pregnancy. At 32 weeks I was monitored very closely and put on blood pressure medication for Hypertension. I seen my OB every other day, as my pressures continued to climb. I was admitted for an overnight stay to be monitored and then released the following day. It was only a few days later at 35 weeks I was admitted for a total of three weeks.

I became very swollen, had headaches that wouldn’t go away along with chest pain and protein in my urine. I had the blood pressure cuff on 24/7 for roughly six days, as the numbers went up it caused an increase in anxiety. Anytime I see or hear a blood pressure machine it brings me back to these traumatic moments of seeing numbers of 180/120. I was started on magnesium sulfate which was extremely draining, this was awful. Blood work checks were done every couple of hours as my blood platelets were dropping along with concerns with my liver enzymes. Due to the amount of blood work I had done this made my arms red, sore, swollen and collapsed my veins.

Preeclampsia is something that I never heard of before pregnancy, why isn’t this life
threatening condition talked about?

To fast forward, I was induced which was very painful. I felt as though my body was failing me. Due to time and stress on my body I ended up having an emergency c-section. I had a beautiful 6 pound baby boy who was born exactly one month early. He spent 24 hours in the NICU, as he was resuscitated twice and required CPAP. Due to my heath I wasn’t able to hold my baby for roughly 26 hours or get out of bed for roughly five/six days. On day four of postpartum I had a spike in my blood pressure which resulted in quick emergency intervention along multiple transfusions.

After three weeks of being in the hospital we were all able to come home and start our new chapter. At two months postpartum I was able to safely come off of the blood pressure medication. At seven months postpartum my liver function is still damaged but doctors are hopeful the levels will continue to get better. If I’ve learned anything throughout the experience it is that our bodies are truly resilient. I’m sharing my story because I think spreading awareness of preeclampsia and the lasting impacts it has on the body physically, mentally and emotionally is important. Months later and I still feel guilt for not having those first moments of skin to skin with my baby along with other special moments. It’s hard not to think about everything I missed out on.
I am extremely grateful for the care we received. If you ever have any concerns that you may have preeclampsia symptoms, get checked out.