Pre-Eclampsia Stories

Nikki Watson

My first pregnancy was proceeding "normally" until I went to my obstetrician appointment when I was 29 weeks pregnant. All tests prior to this appointment had been fine. My doctor checked my weight gain and then used the small ultrasound machine in his office to check on my baby. He left the room to check my urine sample and calmly cam back to the room and advised me that he would be delivering my baby in the next day or so. It didn't sink in until he told me I had to go straight to hospital (5 minutes drive) and couldn't even go home to pack a bag. The small ultrasound machine had shown little amniotic fluid, I had rapid weight gain and 4 pluses for protein in my urine. It was decided that after further testing at the hospital they would hold off for 48 hours to give the steroid injections time to work.

My little girl Megan was born by C-Section at 10am Sunday morning weighing 900gms. She was crying and had fantastic APGAR scores of 8 and 9. Megan spent 6 weeks in hospital and came home the night before Mother's Day (5 weeks before her due date). She only weighed 1600 grams but I was determined that she was strong enough to come home and she has never looked back. She is now almost 5 years old, is approx 110 cm tall and weighs 15 kilos.

Two years later we decided to try to have another baby. I was very closely monitored (fortnightly appointments from 16 weeks, weekly appointments from 24 weeks). My blood pressure started to misbehave at 32 weeks and we decided I should have the steroid injections again (just in case). I was hospitalised one week later and five days later pre-eclampsia kicked in. My morning urine sample was 1 plus and by lunchtime it was 4 pluses. I also became very swollen very quickly and did begin to feel unwell. An emergency "elective" c-section was booked and 2 hours later our family became complete with another little girl, Amy who weighed in at 1775 grams with APGAR score of 7 and 9. Amy spent approx 3 weeks in hospital and came home early in December. Amy is now 2 years old, is 82cm tall and weighs approx 13 kilos.

Both girls reached most of their milestones around corrected age (due date age) and a few a little earlier. After consulting our obstetrician and specialist, we have decided not to have any more children. I have no medical issues as a result of pre-eclampsia and my blood pressure returned to normal quickly once both girls were delivered. I was very lucky to have a wonderful obstetrician and specialist, a very supportive husband and family, and two little girls who overcame their early start in life with such vigour and strength that as I continue to watch them grow, I am in awe of their capabilities and determination.