Pre-Eclampsia Stories - Christine Bottos' Story

Kyle Bottos - 2 weeks
Kyle Bottos - 2 weeks

I spent the first 5 months of my pregnancy in and out of hospital due to Hyperemesis Gravidarum, an abnormal condition of pregnancy where I could not stop vomiting. At 20 weeks gestation instead of putting on weight, I had lost 12kgs. By the time I was 22 weeks I still required anti-nausea drugs 3 times every day. Despite still feeling nauseous every day the vomiting had stopped, allowing me to finally eat and more importantly keep food down.

An underlying kidney disease increased the risk of complications during my pregnancy, one of which was Pre-eclampsia. By around 26 weeks my blood pressure started to slowly creep up a little each visit. Some protein was evident in my urine so I started to have fortnightly visits with the obstetrician. At my 28-week appointment the Ob decided to order another ultrasound, he had concerns that the baby had stopped growing. The results stated that my baby was 1-2 weeks smaller than the dates would suggest, and that it was nothing to worry about!

By the following visit my blood pressure had become borderline and I was told to see my GP in the middle of the fortnight. At this stage I had a persistent headache, being a headachy and migraine person I didn't think anything of it. The one thing that did concern me was that during a 24 hour urine test that I completed over the weekend, it seemed as though none of the fluid I was drinking was coming back out of me. Little did I know that this was being caused by the pre-eclampsia. Thankfully I had made an appointment to see my GP on the Monday afternoon. It was then discovered that my blood pressure was 160 over 110, I was told to go straight to the hospital.

When I arrived at the hospital they planned to control my blood pressure via medication and complete bed rest for as long as possible. As a precaution they gave me steroid injections to prepare the babies lungs for an early delivery. In anticipation of potential complications they transferred me to a major hospital, which was better equipped to handle pre-term infants.

The following day was spent nervously completing tests and awaiting results. Later that same evening my whole body started to shake uncontrollably, and while attached to a foetal heart monitor I watched my unborn babies heart rate drop repeatedly to dangerously low levels. At this point the decision was made to perform an emergency caesarean. As we had discovered everything about pregnancy and evidently birth was completely out of our control, we just had to accept the situation and hope for the best. So while being prepped on the operating table I was not at all surprised at the discovery that the epidural had not worked! A general anaesthetic was organised and at 8.47pm that evening our tiny little boy Kyle Reid, weighing 2 pound 3 ounces (1040gms) was delivered.

Kyle Bottos 15 months
Kyle Bottos - 15 Months

It was explained that the Pre-eclampsia symptoms would get worse before they got better. This meant that I remained in the labour room until stablelized on the 4th day. I remember that my vision was very blurry and I experienced temporary hearing loss. I still had the shakes and was apparently quite puffy due to all that fluid my body was saving for a rainy day! I do remember asking my Mum if it was all a bad dream, had I ever been pregnant, and more importantly did I really have a baby? The nurses refused to take me to see him, and said that he was too sick to come up to me. It really felt like my worst nightmare, every time I was lucid enough to remember, my heart broke again, the only contact with my tiny baby was through a Polaroid photograph. On the 3rd day the nurses relented, they felt that keeping me from my child was becoming detrimental to my health so I was finally wheeled up to see him!

Upon further investigation of my placenta, massive calcification was discovered, we were told that our baby would have been lucky to survive another 2 weeks in utero. It makes me shudder to think what may have happened if we hadn't gone to the GP in between visits to the obstetrician. We really are lucky parents to have our beautiful son. Kyle remained in hospital for 8 weeks, experiencing ups and downs, he came home weighing a whopping 4 pound 5 ounces (2045gms). The ups and downs continued throughout the first year and I am glad to say he is now a healthy, happy 18 month old. My blood pressure remained a problem for about 4 months after the delivery, requiring medication to control it. My eyesight was also poor for a couple of months but thankfully like my blood pressure it all returned to normal after a short while.