Preeclampsia Three Times

October 30, 2023 By Delaney Collins

Preeclampsia Three Times

In 2017, I became pregnant with my first child. I attended all my routine pre-natal visits and never had any concerns. I had no risk factors for pre-e besides it being my first pregnancy. At my 36 week appointment, my blood pressure was high. My doctor had me do a 24 hr urine collection. I turned in my test a few days later. The next day I went to work expecting a normal day. I got a call from my doctor telling me I needed to get to the hospital to be induced. I was 37 weeks. I was placed on magnesium and endured a two day labor. Luckily, my daughter came into the world without any major complications and weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces. I know now that I was extremely close to developing HELLP syndrome.

In 2019, my husband and I decided it was time to add another baby. Due to my history of pre-e, I was at risk again. I was started on baby aspirin and had weekly non-stress tests and ultrasounds after 32 weeks. Baby measured small throughout the entire pregnancy. At my 37 week appointment, my bp went up and I had elevated protein in my urine. Due to my history, my doctor sent me to the hospital to be induced to avoid needing to be on magnesium again. My labor was shorter this time, less than 24 hrs and I didn’t need to be on magnesium. My second daughter was born weighing 5 pounds and 7 ounces.

In 2022, we decided to welcome a third child. Due to my history of having pre-e twice, I was high risk again. I ended up testing positive for COVID at 10 weeks. This was my second time testing positive for COVID. I had minor symptoms and felt like my symptoms were explained by pregnancy (nausea, fatigue, vomiting). At 31 weeks, my bp went up to 140/90. I was again diagnosed with mild pre-e and was scheduled to be induced at 37 weeks. Exactly at 34 weeks, I suddenly developed a headache and nausea. I recall the idea of eating anything sounded absolutely disgusting. At this time, I went in twice a week for routine monitoring due to being high risk. I had an appointment scheduled for later that afternoon. I knew something was wrong that day and if I didn’t have an appointment scheduled, I would have made my way into the hospital. Sure enough, the nurse took my bp and immediately went to get the doctor. The doctor told me she was admitting me to labor and delivery. It was February 27 and I was not prepared for a February baby. I was supposed to be induced March 20 and was expecting a baby to be born the first day of spring. Once I was admitted, I even asked the doctor if we could wait till the next morning to start the induction process, stating that I needed a March baby. My request was denied due to being too high risk of having seizures. The NICU doctor came and talked to us about what to expect. My third daughter was born the following day on February 28 weighing 4 pounds and spent 11 days in the NICU. My bp stayed at 140/90 for 2 weeks following delivery. The first pregnancies, my bp went back to normal a few days after delivery.

People continue to ask me when baby #4 is coming. Every time someone asks me this question, I’m always reminded that I will probably have the same outcome again. Knowing that my bp took 2 weeks to go down, there’s a good chance that I could have more severe symptoms of pre-e. I don’t know why I had pre-e with all 3 of my pregnancies. I don’t know why my third pregnancy resulted in having pre-e earlier. I do know that having pre-e for a fourth time is most likely possible and that is not something I want to risk.