My Only Risk Factor Was First-Time Pregnancy

August 03, 2023 By Serena Corti

My Only Risk Factor Was First-Time Pregnancy

In 2021 I was pregnant with my first child. It seemed a very nice pregnancy: I got pregnant immediately and I felt healthy and did not suffer any issue until the day preeclampsia found me. Everything was going OK and after the 20 weeks scan we knew the sex of the baby (male) and that he was completely fine. We were just starting choosing the name and other stuff (24 weeks) when I felt a strong pain in my upper abdominal.

It was Saturday night and I was home with my husband: we thought something that I've eaten was giving me such pain. To be on the safe said I called the hospital and they told me to take a pain reliever so I did. After about one hour it was still the same and the pain was too strong so I called again and they suggested to measure my blood pressure: it was 160/110 and I started to get blurry vision so we immediately went to ER.

Once there they took blood test and gave me BP meds, then they asked me to go to a different hospital and so my husband drove me there. Once we arrived every doctor was very worried and complained about the previous hospital management. They checked the baby and asked me to get ready for c-section: I was shocked and couldn't understand what was going on. I was transferred close to delivery room with mag and monitored until the BP was back to a almost normal range. Then the doctors decided to wait for the c-section and keep me and the baby checked in the next few days. I was feeling tremendously bad and couldn't even stand up from my body for the next few days.

After reaching 25 weeks the baby was not receiving nutrients anymore and so it was time to take him out. I remember the feeling I had, that I didn't want to do so, I wanted to do more for my son but it was not under my control. On April 16th 2021 my tiny Guido was born, weighting only 530g (1.2lb). He was sent to NICU and I got the chance to see him alive only 1 time. He was the most beautiful small baby I've ever seen and I felt that life was somehow punishing me.

The night after I was still in the hospital and I got a call from NICU: they said Guido was not doing well, that I must go. When I've arrived there Guido was not breathing anymore and my hearth broke up in thousand of pieces; I would have given my life to save him. I left the hospital the next day under BP meds and with empty arms and belly. It was the most painful experience of my life. It took time to process everything and I've done a lot of research to understand why that happened to me but still there is no answer: my only risk factor was being pregnant for the first time. 40 days after delivery my BP got back to normal and so apparently did my life. For the others Guido never really existed but I felt him inside of me and he was born and alive, even if only for 1 day. Preeclampsia took away from me the love of my life and I'll never be the same person again. I wish I knew more about this disease from the beginning and also that the first hospital explained to me better what was happening.