Statistically speaking, Preeclampsia is nothing to worry about. According to “What To Expect When You’re Expecting,” preeclampsia is a rare disorder that usually arrives after your 20th week of pregnancy – if at all – and can be lethal to the mother and baby. However, only about 8 to 10 percent of women are diagnosed with preeclampsia while pregnant.
I was among the 8 percent. Honestly, I should play the lottery.
Preeclampsia causes high blood pressure in the mother which can lead to organ failure, seizures, a disfunctioning placenta, fetal distress and death. The scary thing is, while there are plenty of theories, no one is really quite sure yet what causes the fatal disorder. I was one of the lucky ones that developed it slowly and I didn’t need to take action until later in pregnancy, but there are some mothers that develop it early in the second trimester and end up having premature babies. Some mothers and babies don’t even make it out of the pregnancy alive.
When I became pregnant, I was working in hotel sales. I had just started a new job with a new shiny title and I was under a ton of stress to prove myself. I found out I was pregnant after the second week on the job and was filled with mixed emotions. I was so excited to start a family, but my husband and I were nowhere near ready.
I had my first ultrasound at 8 weeks because I wasn’t sure of my conception date. My period was all over the place (I was buying new underwear almost every other month, it was horrible) so I wanted to be sure of my due date. I was glad I requested that ultrasound because they found a tear in my placenta. It was small enough for them to just “keep an eye on it” but I was definitely concerned about my stress levels. Then I found out my progesterone levels were low, which they though may have been the reason for the issue with my placenta, so I had to supplement that hormone. Needless to say, my pregnancy was no cake walk, not even in the beginning.
I decided to tell my boss about my pregnancy shortly before I reached that magical 12th week because I was so afraid it was going to end. I didn’t know her, but put my trust in her because I didn’t have much of a choice. After I spilled the news to her, it wasn’t long before everyone else knew, too. I was being treated differently and felt hostility start to grow from my boss and peers. As their antipathy grew, so did my stress and anxiety.
This is where my preeclampsia symptoms started.