Pre-Eclampsia Stories - Samantha Roberts~Cobb's Story

Since I am now the Newsletter Editor and have been with AAPEC for nearly two years I thought that since I keep promising to write in and tell my story that now would be a good time to do it! So this is how I came to join AAPEC.

In July of 1995 I took myself off to the doctor's during my lunch break as I had caught this Flu and it was really knocking me about. Well, I came out of the doctor's not with the Flu but a positive pregnancy result instead! All my life you hear from mothers is how pregnancy is the most natural thing in the world, how you glow and how healthy you feel when you are pregnant. Well I looked as sick as a half-dead person and spent most of my time with my head down the toilet! Things were progressively getting better and by the sixth month I actually started to fell reasonably well. The weather was extremely hot and I was apparently caring a lot of fluid according to the people that I worked with who kept on harping at me about the size of my legs! On the morning of Sunday 17 December I awoke to find that I could barely open my eyes and then my brother informed that I looked like a toadfish blown up! I didn't feel sick but decided to go to the Doctor's anyway and my mother took me down. The Doctor me that I had high blood pressure and all these pluses in my urine and that I needed to go straight to hospital. By this stage my mother had gone all weepy but I was still feeling fine and reassured her that things would be fine! Three days later I was transferred to a different hospital for 'observation'. When we got there they took me straight up to delivery ward and then I started to panic. Max was born three hours later (on Wednesday night 20 December at 11.43 pm) at 29 weeks weighing in at 1110 grams.

I awoke on the Saturday morning and got to see Max for the first time. Max is now a thriving six-year-old and you would never know that he was born so early. During my whole stay in hospital no gave me any information about Pre-Eclampsia or informed me about how sick I had been.

In August 1999 we once again found ourselves pregnant and this time I took myself off to an obstetrician post haste where I was reassured that it was unlikely that I would get PE again and that everything would be fine. Boy on boy was I relieved. This summer must have been the hottest on record and I carried an enormous amount of fluid but was constantly reassured by my doctor that I was fine. At 29 weeks I took myself off to hospital because my feet were really painful with the amount of fluid. I was once again reassured that always fine and went home the next day. At 36 weeks I was sent off for blood tests because my blood pressure had risen and I had protein in my urine. I was then booked in for delivery two weeks later. Three days before my appointment I started to bleed and have contractions. Very excited we went off to hospital to have our baby. I don't remember anything about the delivery but our son was stillborn and weighed only 1740 grams at 38 weeks. An autopsy revealed that I had severe inter-uterine growth restriction for a long period caused by Pre-Eclampsia. I later found out that I had been diagnosed with mild Pre-Eclampsia at 29 weeks when I took myself off to hospital but had not been told about it.

At this stage I was so angry and frustrated with PE that I didn't know where to turn or who to talk to. None of my friends has heard about it and to our knowledge no one in our family had suffered from it. I spoke with a counselor but was equally frustrated as this lady had not heard of PE or knew anything about it either. Surfing on the Internet I found AAPEC's website and was instantly relieved to be able to contact people who had also suffered PE and Anne (Hally~Paddock) sent me the book. Finally being able to read and have someone listen to my story and know what I was talking about was just wonderful.

In May 2001 I gave birth to a very healthy baby boy at 38 weeks. I once again got mild Pre-Eclampsia but not until 36 weeks and my this stage the baby was plenty big enough to be born. Harrison weighed in at 3170 grams and to me was just the biggest baby that I had ever seen (although he was the smallest baby in the room!).