May 12, 2023 By Marina Ryder
My pregnancy was going relatively well and I had my second son on a Saturday afternoon via c-section.
The following 3 days at the clinic I started to feel back pain and began to swell which intensified day by day. Everyone told me it was because of the surgery I just had, and I was discharged to go home.
The following day (4 days postpartum), I woke up at home in so much pain that I could not even stand up. I thought maybe something went wrong during the spinal but I was very wrong about what was happening to me. I started feeling very unwell very shortly after and around midday we took my blood pressure at home. It was elevated at 160/90 with a pulse of just 43. After a lot of back and forth with several doctors, I ended up in A&E - by the evening my blood pressure reached 190/10 mmHg and I had the most excruciating headache I ever experienced. When the blood and urine tests came back we found out I had both liver and kidney damage. The values for my liver enzymes and kidney function were 3-4 times higher than normal. I was given medication for the BP and I was put on magnesium immediately.
That night I was transferred to ICU at a terrible state and stayed there for 3 days. That was the worst experience of my life. Countless tests, pain and discomfort, several medications, and the fear of the unknown all while I just had my baby boy... I came to the realisation that was not going to be a short stay at the hospital.
When the doctors thought I was more stable, I was transferred to the Maternity unit at the same hospital. 4 days later, I woke up and I could not see. I was in shock and so confused as to what has suddenly happened to me while I was supposed to be recovering and getting better. After the MRI scan, I was diagnosed with PRES (posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome) as a result of preeclampsia. I was again put on magnesium and waited for my eyesight to come back which it thankfully did 4 days later.
At the ICU, I was given the medication to stop my milk production and I never got the chance to breastfeed my baby boy. I spent 2 weeks at the hospital away from both my babies and I was sent home with more medication and tests for monitoring. 6 months later and my body just started to fully recover, however the mental strain it left is something more challenging. I wish there was more awareness about postpartum preeclampsia and the risks associated with it as I was also not aware of it until it happened to me.
My pregnancy was anything but normal. We found out we were pregnant with our first child in January 2020 and before we’d even really ha...ReadMore