Pre-Eclampsia Stories - HELEN AND KEN ADELSBURY'S STORY

Our daughter would have been 10 years old this year and being our first child, I often wonder just what kind of person she would have been, had she had her chance at life.

After suffering 3 early miscarriages, once I was over the first 3 months with this pregnancy I relaxed somewhat and felt wonderful. I had all the regular checkups and because of my past history they were with an eminent consultant obstetrician, so I felt very confident all was well.

My 30 week checkup revealed no worrying features, and the following week I finished up at work on maternity leave, with all the best wishes of my fellow work mates. That evening I felt nauseous and vomited a couple of times, but simply assumed I'd 'eaten something' which hadn't agreed with me. I intended to visit my GP the next day, but when I awoke feeling fine, I decided not to bother.

That night, still feeling fine, we attended our first prenatal class. On the drive home I began to feel a bit nauseous again and by the time we'd been home an hour, I felt a terrible pain in my upper abdomen which seemed to be extending into my left arm and I felt quite ill. We decided to drive to our local hospital and once there I began to vomit again.

The nursing staff took my blood pressure (which I later found out was extremely high - 200/100) and gave me an injection to try to bring it down. They then sent me by ambulance to the hospital near Perth where I was booked to have our baby. Once admitted there, we were told the extremely distressing news that our baby had died in utero and I would have to be delivered the next day. The following day labour was induced and after 19 hours our very tiny (820g) daughter was still born.

It is only since reading "Pre-eclampsia, The Facts" that I realise how very little I was aware of the signs and symptoms of Pre-eclampsia and how very little information was then published in most pregnancy guide books. My mother had had what was then known as 'toxaemia' from 4 months
gestation when carrying me (in 1954) and had been confined to bed from 5 months on, with a low salt diet. I was born 2 weeks prematurely when she was taken into hospital, but even she had no idea of just how much damage Pre-eclampsia can actually cause.