Preeclampsia – It Happened To Me: Part Two

preeclampsia pre-eclampsia pregnancy signs symptoms

It was around the 26th week of pregnancy where I really was feeling horrible.

My morning sickness was gone, but my food aversions were relentless. So were my new co-workers who didn’t want anything to do with me. I was getting headaches, seeing spots, and had horrible dizziness. I thought maybe I was dehydrated. My husband said it was probably from the stress I was under at work.

preeclampsia pre-eclampsia signs symptoms

We found our first home and moved in around the same time these symptoms were flaring, and I continued to play it safe and take it easy. After the move, I had to switch doctors and she wanted to see me bi-weekly since she didn’t have the opportunity to follow my pregnancy from the beginning. I continued going to my doctors appointments and never missed one. I was over the moon that I was having a girl and couldn’t wait to hear her little heart beating every time!

My Lunch According to my Food Aversions

It was the dead of summer and I started to swell a ton. My doctor decided it was from the heat, because my urine samples showed no sign of protein (a sure fire sign of preeclampsia). The swelling was mostly in my hands and face in the beginning, and then it was my feet. The spots that I couldn’t blink away continued, especially when I took warm showers. My mother, being a nurse, suggested I start checking my blood pressure and bought me a cuff from Amazon. My blood pressure was going up and down constantly, but it wasn’t alarmingly high.

I stopped working around the 33rd week of pregnancy because I thought the stress was making me sick. I was unimaginably tired, which I was told was from my iron levels. But they were only slightly under the normal range. I needed to relax and my husband agreed it was for the best.

I was in my 34th week of pregnancy when I went to my bi-weekly doctor appointment. My urine was still free from protein, but they took my blood pressure and it was up to 145/90. This is high for a pregnant woman. It is also alarming when you usually have a blood pressure of 110/60. The nurse mentioned it to my doctor and I brought it up again to explain that I was concerned about it. She had me go to the hospital down the street to run a non-stress test (when they monitor the movement and heartbeat of the baby while you lay on a hospital bed) and another blood pressure test. By the time I got there, my blood pressure had dropped down to 130/78 and I was told that I could go home.

I monitored and charted my blood pressure for the entire weekend, and it went to alarmingly high levels. I called the doctor who told me to go back to the hospital Monday morning for more tests. The same tests had the same results. Everything looked “fine” and my swelling and fatigue were “just pregnancy symptoms”. One nurse actually had the nerve to tell me NOT to monitor my blood pressure from home because I would worry myself to much.

I continued to monitor my blood pressure. =D

Omron BP742N 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Another doctor visit came and went with even higher blood pressure this time. My doctor was finally starting to become really concerned and sent me back to the hospital for more tests. This time, the hospital still found nothing wrong, but sent me home with a plastic jug to pee in for 24 hours. This was probably just to humor me, because I was pretty adamant that something was wrong.

I sent it back to the lab the following day and sure enough, there was protein in my urine. Lots of it!

Why wasn’t it being picked up at the doctor’s office when I produced a urine sample every couple of weeks? It was, but it was just “trace” amounts which, apparently, is common. Since the sample wasn’t large in volume, they weren’t actually getting the most accurate results.

Third Trimester in the Summer Heat

My doctor said that since I was already in my 36th week of pregnancy, they would like for me to wait until the 37th week to induce me. I was scheduled for induction and quickly finished my nesting, which had then kicked into high gear. My baby shower was held the week before, so my husband was working overtime assembling various toys and furniture and I was working overtime washing baby clothes and telling him what to assemble where.

After 3.5 days of Cervidil, balloon catheters and Pitocin, baby Z was born. She was small, but strong. She developed jaundice from an early delivery and I was exhausted, but overall we were healthy. We were lucky.

I am not telling this story to scare, but to inform. I strongly believe that if a woman has an instinct that something is wrong, she is probably right. We need to advocate for ourselves and for our babies and play it safe.

Have you been diagnosed with preeclampsia or do you know someone who has had it? Share in the comments below!

ps. If you missed Part One of my preeclampsia story, you can find it here.

9 Comment

  1. Dear Wife went through similar experience when she was pregnent. It was stressful for her. Dear Son is four now. That time feels dreamy now. Have a wonderful day.

    1. MommaMusing says: Reply

      Thank you – it was definitely stressful. So glad your wife and son are okay!

  2. MommaMusing says: Reply

    Thanks for your comment! I’m sorry you had to go through that. Here’s to our next pregnancies going better, should we choose to conceive again! Lol 🙂

  3. I didn’t have preeclampsia, but I did have swelling with my first pregnancy! My feet swelled so much my shoes didn’t fit! It’s nice you were able to have a little time to “prepare” for your induction (although as new parents you could argue, we are never quite prepared!) Glad your story had a happy ending and I agree, you have to trust your momma instincts!

    1. MommaMusing says: Reply

      Thanks, Sarah!

  4. Wow, I’m so sorry your doctors and nurses didn’t take your bp more serious. Preeclampsia is nothing to mess around with! I’m so happy you and baby ended up safe and healthy. Mine never developed into preeclampsia, but I had gestational hypertension from 30 weeks on and had to be on bp meds a month after delivery because it wouldn’t go down. I was induced at 36.5 weeks, and LO also had jaundice. Gestational hypertension and preeclampsia are scary. We are so lucky nothing too serious happened!

    1. MommaMusing says: Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story! I’m glad you and baby are ok as well. Hopefully it won’t happen next time around if there’s another pregnancy xo

  5. Currently going through this… ive felt off for about a week now and after experiencing more than normal swelling in my feet and face I went to the local pharmacy for a BP check which came back 143/95. This was backed up by a nurse at the clinic next to the pharmacy getting 140/93. My midwife asked me to come in and all bp readings came back normal and there was only a trace amount of protein in my urine (this was last night). They asked me to come back in today and everything came back clean bill of health butI still have a headache and my eye spots have been crappy all day with on/off low level pain in my lower right hand side (kidney level). Midwife/doc sent me home and told me to rest and we’ll check again in 5 days. The midwife also told me no more bp checks. If I feel gross and dont wanna spend ages at the hospital im just going to see my doc for a bp reading. I want this shit closely monitored. I didnt realise a 24 hr urine test was a thing – wonder why this isnt standard?

    1. Girl, check your blood pressure for 24 hours and if it continues to spike on an upward trend, ask for a 24 hour urine test. It should absolutely be a standard policy. I knew something was off – follow your intuition and don’t let them make you feel silly. Good luck, everything will be okay xo

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