Picking up from last week, our three moms continue the conversation about preeclampsia. If you missed it, get caught up here.
How did they treat your preeclampsia?
Me: I was admitted to the hospital and taken to the postpartum care section. I was started on an iv drip of magnesium sulfate to help bring my blood pressure down and prevent a stroke or seizure. The magnesium made me feel horrible so I was really out of it. My blood was taken a lot, my urine was monitored, and my blood pressure was constantly taken. Once I was off the magnesium I was given blood pressure medicine to get my blood pressure under control. After 3 days I was discharged and sent home to follow up with my doctor. I am still on blood pressure medicine until this day.
Hayley: Once I was found out I was being admitted and induced they gave me a steroid shot to help the babies lungs develop. I had an ultrasound, EKG, and blood taken. I was given magnesium sulfate and morphine. Because things kept getting worse and escalating so fast I gave birth with an emergency c section. I was very hot from the magnesium and was really out of it. I was in the hospital for another 7 days while they tried to get my blood pressure under control. Once I was discharged I had to take blood pressure medicine and monitor it multiple times a day. By my 6 week check up my blood pressure was back to normal and I was able to wean off my blood pressure medicine.
Amanda: I was quickly moved into a room and was given magnesium sulfate. A few hours later they started to induce me. I felt pretty normal until my labor progressed. I got pain medicine and an epidural during my delivery. It took a few days for them to find the right medicine mixture to get my blood pressure to go down. I was really stressed because my baby was in the NICU and wasn’t allowed in my room. Depending on my blood pressure numbers, I wasn’t allowed to see him so that added a ton of stress and anxiety. I was discharged after 7 days after being admitted and weaned off my blood pressure medicine two weeks later.
Did having preeclampsia ruin your birthing experience?
Me: I had already given birth and was discharged but going back only a few days later was really hard. I was so ready to bond with my baby and work on breastfeeding. He got down to 5 pounds so he needed to be eating a lot and consistently. Even though I was able to see him while I was in the hospital it didn’t help my supply much. Also, I was so out of it while I was there that I couldn’t care for him too much. I was stuck mindlessly pumping so I didn’t get that true breastfeeding bonding time I hoped for.
Hayley: I would say no. Obviously this was not ideal by any means, but my husband and I try to look at the silver linings. The NICU nurses were so great and helpful. We feel like we got a crash course on taking care of a baby for those 24 days he was in there. Even though I was super sick all I could do was focus on him and make sure he was okay.
Amanda: Yes. Having preeclampsia forced me to give birth early and that is what caused all these issues for him. He was in the NICU for low blood sugar and then had feeding issues. If he was born later I am not sure he would have had those same issues.
Did your experience with preeclampsia scare you from having more children?
Me: Right after giving birth it did scare me. It took a few months of healing,recovering, and conversations with my OB to ease my mind. I knew I was going to be a risk again but not all women will get it again in future pregnancies. Years later, during my second pregnancy I was monitored very closely by my same OB doctor, stayed on my blood pressure medicine, and did extra testing at the end of my pregnancy. I was induced at 38 weeks so I could be closely monitored during delivery and I did not develop and preeclampsia the second time around.
Hayley: No it doesn’t scare me. We want to have more kids. I know I am high risk and these are conversations I will have with my doctor or quite possibly a high risk OBGYN.
Amanda: Yes. Forcing my son to come early and seeing how it affected him was the hardest part and something I am concerned about in the future.
Do you have any advice for other moms?
Me: Trust your gut instinct if you think something is wrong, even if it seems small or insignificant. You have to stay on top of your health and your baby needs you healthy.
Hayley: Don’t just think those issues you are having are just third trimester aches and pains. Call your doctor even if you don’t think it’s a big deal.
Amanda: Take preeclampsia seriously because it’s a silent killer. Understand you will be taken care of and I appreciate them doing that for me.
This is just another great example of how strong and resilient women. Talking with these two women was a cathartic experience for the three of us and we hope our story helps other women out there too. If you are pregnant I urge you to go to all of your prenatal appointments and pay attention to your body, and listen to your doctor’s advice to get checked out.