I am lucky. My Annebelle Mae & Declan Kenneth were lucky. Pre eclampsia doesn't discriminate and it can become very serious very quickly. Here is our story and why we are walking to help those who were not as fortunate.
It wasn't until my second pregnancy that I was personally introduced to the severity of pre e. Luckily - I was diagnosed at 37 weeks after suffering from gestational hypertension for only a few weeks prior. They induced me immediately. Belle was born at 4lbs 11oz - and after only 1 week in NICU - we both came home nearly unscathed.
My husband and I debated whether or not we wanted to take the risk for a baby #3. In my heart -I knew that our family didn't feel complete - and while he agreed - he feared for my safety. After discussing our risks with my OBGYN and MFM doctors, we decided to try for our last baby. Not long after, baby #3 was on the way.
I was 28 weeks pregnant when my symptoms began and I was put on monitored rest. It was at this point that I was no longer able to drive into work and I was hospitalized for the first of what would be 10 more times before baby Declan arrived. This was also when I received the first round of steroid shots that were given to me to help ensure baby would develop his lungs in time for delivery. I received my second round of shots at approx. 30.5 weeks pregnant. By 32 weeks - I had developed pre eclampsia along with gestational thrombocytopenia.
On June 5th, I had a routine NST and doctor visit- it was there that my OBGYN discovered my sons decelerating heart rate and called for an ambulance. My BP was averaging 180s/115 + and my protein levels went from 400 to 4000 in less than 12hr span. My labs were no longer stable. My swelling started to increase in my face and I was officially suffering from pre eclampsia with severe features. During my emergency c section it was discovered that I also had placenta accreta and developed a blood disorder called DIC, which is a rare blood condition affecting the blood's ability to clot and stop bleeding. I hemorrhaged and lost nearly half of my blood during my c section and received numerous blood transfusions. Declan's decelerating heart rate saved our lives that day. We were so lucky.
My son, while needing the NICU for breathing and low birth weight, did amazingly well. After spending 6 days in the hospital and needing only one additional readmission for more magnesium treatments, I too, did amazingly well.
Nearly 7 months later and I still relive these events in my mind daily and am forever thankful to my doctors who took my symptoms as seriously as they did. I am thankful for my family who stood by me during a very difficult pregnancy and who encouraged me to trust my body and helped care for my 2 toddlers at home.
Pre eclampsia isn't a condition to mess with. It's not something you can control and it can take your and your baby's life in a blink of a eye. I am beyond blessed to be here today raising money for those who have and are suffering from pre eclampsia and HELLP conditions. Please join me in spreading awareness, raising money and donating blood.