At 37 weeks pregnant, Mike and I went to the ER thinking I had bronchitis. Of course I also had what I assumed were normal pregnancy complaints for someone 37 weeks pregnant, swollen feet, abdominal pain and discomfort, heart burn, nausea ect. Since I was so far along the ER sent me to Labor and Delivery for evaluation. While Mike and I were updated as the results were coming in, no one explained what all the results meant in combination. All they informed us was our son had to be delivered that day. Due to my platelet levels being too low, I delivered AJ via c-section under general anesthesia. The following day as I received the mag drip and blood transfusion, family was able to enjoy AJ but I was confined to a bed and with limited interaction for fear of worsening an already fragile recovery. It was not until we moved from recovery into the maternity ward that I learned I was diagnosed with severe pre-E and HELLP.
After reading on my own, I realized I was so wrong. What we thought were minor problems were really life threatening, which was quite shocking to say the least! As many of us do, I went through the self blame, as a well educated women how did I let this happen, what could I have done to prevent this, how can I take care of another life when I couldn't take care of myself, what should I expect going forward, and the list goes on. To add insult to injury, as if I wasn't hard enough on myself, others felt the need to exert their opinions and pass judgement. While the physical scars healed quickly as compared to others, the mental anguish lingered.
As time past, the pain, anger, sadness, humility subsided, while the acknowledgement of the strength and courage we had in such a difficult time emerged. My "why me?" turned into scientific inquiry, why does this happen, where is there opportunity for advancement, how can we influence change and with this I found opportunity. There was opportunity to meet others in our position, opportunity to learn, opportunity to educate others and opportunity to make a difference.
15 months have passed and we don't take one day for granted. I now find it frustrating to hear how pregnant women's complaints are often dismissed by doctors and education is not as readily available as it should be. Together, we walk to raise awareness and make a difference so future mothers and their families will be better educated and equipped to take action when symptoms arise. While prevention may not be an option providing an educational foundation is crucial.
Thank you for visiting my 2017 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia fundraising page.
I am grateful for your donations and for your help in spreading the word about preeclampsia. My goal is to help our community raise funds and awareness and save the lives of moms, babies and their families!
Please make a donation to support our efforts to fund education and research into this life-threatening disorder of pregnancy.