Pre-Eclampsia Stories - Zoe & Troy Lee

I met my sweetheart in March 2003. We had just moved into our house, when I discovered we were pregnant (August 2003). We were so over the moon. I had a very scary start to my first pregnancy.

I was rushed to hospital with terrible pains on my right side. They thought it was an ectopic pregnancy. After a few weeks of weekly scans, we saw Jayden’s heart beat on the screen. After that the pregnancy was a dream. I worked up to 38 weeks, and after 3 days in labour Jayden was born on 7th April 2004 - 2 days before his due date. He was a healthy 3.3kgs and 55cms long. We had a few breastfeeding issues as Jayden was born tongue tied, but he was just perfect.

Just after Jayden’s first birthday, we were so excited to find out we were pregnant with bub # 2. The first 12 weeks went without a hitch. Then at 14weeks (June 2005) I had some spotting. I took it easy for a few days; I knew something was wrong. I had an ultrasound done, and heard the worst news ever "I’m sorry but your baby has died". I had a D&C the next day.

At my 6 week post op. check up, I hadn't had an obvious period, so my doctor did a pregnancy test. It was positive!!! She did bloods, to check that the HCG was rising, and everything was looking good. I had a good pregnancy, lots of morning sickness, but I was just so anxious to get past the first 20 weeks. I’m not sure why I thought 20 weeks was ok, but that’s where I thought I’d be safe.

Just after the new year (Jan 2006), I started to feel funny. I had spots in my eyes, and just felt not right. My blood pressure was up. My doctor suggested I finish work, hoping my blood pressure would go down. The first week I was off work, I was getting worse, and my blood pressure was rising. I was admitted to hospital and put on medication. After a few days my blood pressure was ok, and I was able to go home. After this I had to have 3 'day stay' visits at the hospital each week. I'd go in for the day, where they would do bloods, check my wee and monitor my blood pressure, and do ultrasounds to watch our beautiful baby.

I got to 31 weeks 6 days, when things went bad. My blood pressure was up to 170/105 and I had 4+protien in my wee. They again admitted me to "play with" my medication. I was given some fast acting medication, but it wasn't working. My blood pressure was at 150/100 and my protein was back down to 2+. Troy left hospital at around 8.30pm, and I tried to get some sleep - very hard when you’re in a 6 bed room full of high risk pregnant women. I dozed off, but woke around 10.30pm with this terrible pain above my ribs. I knew it wasn't heartburn, and didn't think it was labour pains. It took me an hour to buzz the nurse, who gave me Mylanta and told me she’d be back soon. After an hour the doctor was called as this pain was getting worse and my blood pressure was on the rise again. The doctor came, did some tests and told me it looked like I had pre-eclampsia, and "we might have to deliver your baby in the morning".

At 5am on Valentine’s Day, I phoned Troy and told him to get to the hospital right now. The doctor was coming back to see me at 7am. He got to the hospital around 6.45am, just as the theatre nurse came to get me. OMG we were having our baby today. I had had bloods done at 6am, but no doctor had come to speak with me. We got down to the delivery ward, and I was put on all sorts of monitors and had all sorts of tubes put in me. The doctor came and spoke with us, saying I was having our baby today.

She didn't go into things further, just told me I would be having regular blood tests until they took me to theatre. At around 8.30am, things went crazy. Many doctors and nurses came rushing into the room, and I felt like people were at me from every side. A paediatrician came and spoke to Troy. Next thing I know we are in theatre and I’m having our baby. Isaac was born at 9.52am weighing 1.7kgs. He was taken straight into the NICU.

A few hours after delivery, the doctors come to speak with me and Troy. I was in ICU. They explained to me that I had severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. I remember them being there a while, explaining how serious it was, and that I wasn't yet out of the woods. HELLP syndrome normally gets worse in the first 48 hours after delivery.

Isaac spent the first 6 weeks of his life in hospital, with no major issues. He was out of ICU by day 2. He lost a fair amount of weight, got down to under 1.5kgs, and took a while to get back to his birth weight. He had Jaundice - as do most prems. - and was found to have a double hernia that was operated on one day before he come home from hospital.

He is now 8months old, has 2 teeth, and has just started saying “dada”. We aren't sure if we will have any more children. Troy is quite nervous of going through having another premature baby, and now knowing the risks of PE and HELLP, it is a little scary. We have 2 beautiful healthy babies.