Pre-Eclampsia Stories

Margaret Cozzolino

I was 35 years old and was expecting my first child. I had reached 31 weeks before giving birth to Sarah who weighed 1331 grams on the 28th September 1993 who was due on the 3rd December 1993 (9 weeks premature) by emergency caesarean. I had worked up until the morning of the 24th September before being admitted to the hospital with high blood pressure, protein in the urine and excessive swelling. I feel that I had this condition at least 2 weeks prior to seeing my doctor, but did not go as I felt that the swelling was due to my 12 hour days at work.

I am a personnel consultant. This position requires many hours of concentrated effort, interviewing clients, applicants and visiting clients. I was constantly on the go. Sure, I was tired by the end of the day, then I would rest at night and turn in by 9pm.

Most people did not even know that I was pregnant, I was fit and well, did not have any nausea. I was able to travel by air (slight swelling of feet after flights) and increase of headaches (double vision). I used to get these headaches prior to pregnancy anyway.

Prior to pregnancy I weighed 50kg and by 31 weeks I had progressed to 68kg. That is a lot of weight gain, it was obviously all fluid as I have been out of hospital for just a few days now and have come down to 58kg, and seem to be going down from there (I hope).

The first three days in hospital, I was being tested heavily. The doc- tor had found a heart murmur, (never knew about that before), the kidneys had stopped functioning, blood pressure through the roof, protein increasing fast and swelling going up. Day three had placed me in the labour ward where I remained for approx 2 days to be induced. This did not work, therefore, an emergency caesarean was performed. I did not see my daughter for two days as I had been wired up and could not be moved. Apparently I had a severe case of Pre-eclampsia.

It took me a few days to recover as I had been heavily drugged to control the blood pressure but now feel fine. My daughter may be transferred to another hospital in 1-2 weeks time as she is doing well but may not come home for at least 6-8 weeks time. As far as PE in the family, there is nothing. My mother had three children, the first two under twenty years old and the third at about 26 years old. No complaints form her. As far as we can see there has not been a problem with the grandmothers either. My father had always been a sufferer of high blood pressure so much so that about 10 years ago he had a by-pass with 5 grafts which was very major.