If you’re a regular reader of Everyday Randomness you probably already know I’m a huge advocate for Preeclampsia awareness.
Ellie and I almost lost our lives due to severe Preeclampsia, a disorder of pregnancy I knew very little about until I found myself in the hospital at 34 weeks 2 days pregnant fighting for both of our lives. Ellie wasn’t growing, and my blood pressure was dangerously high, so I welcomed my tiny baby into this world at 35 weeks on the dot.
I was much better prepared to recognize the signs and symptoms of Preeclampsia during my second pregnancy, and I’m very thankful Aubrey and I made it to my scheduled VBAC with a much milder case of superimposed Preeclampsia that developed during labor.
Throughout the month I will be sharing information about Preeclampsia, my from my own battle with Preeclampsia, and how you can help in the battle to find a cure for this horrendous disorder.
Many women aren’t as lucky as I was. The truth is Preeclampsia is still a major killer of women during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks postpartum. Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are responsible for 76,000 maternal and over 500,000 infant deaths each year, yet we still know very little about this horrible disorder that wreaks havoc on so many lives.
Know The Symptoms:
If you are pregnant please learn the symptoms of Preeclampsia, a disorder that can turn deadly extremely fast. My own pregnancy went from perfectly healthy to severe Preclampsia in less than 48 hours. The truth is many women who suffer from Preeclampsia never experience any symptoms prior to finding themselves admitted to the hospital, while others will experience many of these symptoms throughout pregnancy.
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)– Most doctors become concerned with blood pressure readings higher than 140/90.
- Proteinuria– Protein in the urine
- Swelling (Edema)
- Headache– Any headache that doesn’t subside with a pain reliever such as Tylenol
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Abdominal (stomach area) and/or Shoulder Pain
- Lower back pain
- Sudden Weight Gain
- Changes in Vision– seeing spots, fuzzy vision, or loss of vision
- Hyperreflexia– heightened reflexes
- Shortness of breath, anxiety
The Preeclampsia Foundation has put together a video that every pregnant woman should watch.
If you or someone you know is pregnant and experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please contact your medical professional or visit the ER immediately. Don’t wait around! Preeclampsia can come on “lighting fast” and lead to seizures, strokes, or death very quickly!
I encourage you to visit the Preeclampsia Foundation to find out more about Preeclampsia and consider donating to the Promise Walk, the Preeclampsia Foundation’s fundraiser that takes place throughout the month of May in 43 cities across the nation as well as virtually.
Are you a Preeclampsia survivor, or have you lost a loved one to Preeclampsia? Feel free to share your own story in the comments below.