Pre-Eclampsia Stories

Yvette Pyke's Story

I guess this would be one of the hardest things I have ever had to write about, as I never thought I would be someone who had a stillborn baby.

I became pregnant with the assistance of Clomid in July 2005. All my scans and check ups were all excellent with the baby gestation size and my health all in good order. It was a really smooth pregnancy and I thought that I was going to be a Mum soon.

I have had thrombocytopenia for over 10 years but this was easily treated with steroids, my family also has a history of lupus (my mum and brother). During my pregnancy I was treated as high risk and didn't believe anything would go wrong after reaching 28 weeks. How wrong was I?

I had cleared it with doctors to attend a wedding in New Zealand at 28 weeks gestation, as my husband was the best man, we live in Newman , WA . I had a check up with a midwife in Newman before I left WA with perfect blood pressure and no protein. After we arrived in NZ my ankles had begun to swell for the first time and I put it down to flying and just pregnancy.

I took it very easy as I had begun to feel unwell and I guess you could say my moods began to change and I became very negative towards everything. We were only in NZ for a week, the last few mornings I was there I would wake around 3am with a tight chest and felt like I had just run a marathon and couldn't get back to sleep. When we flew out of Christchurch around 6am I threw up intensely and felt extremely unwell. I proceeded to fly.

We flew back to Tasmania to see family on the way home with a 3-day stop over. I rang a hospital and was told to come straight down after taking my blood pressure 145/95 at my parent's house. My ankles had also doubled in size and I could feel fluid up to my knees. I was admitted and told it was hypertension; I was put on methyldopa to help lower my blood pressure. I recall waking up in hospital at 3am and telling the nurse I had the tight chest again, she took my blood pressure and gave me a Milo . I never felt my baby kick after this, they told me the blood pressure tablets would make him sleepy. I spent two nights in there after several tests. They listened to the baby's heartbeat and told me everything was fine despite the constant checking on the baby. They also injected me with steroids to help develop the baby's lungs. The doctor said I would be fine and should be ok to fly back to Perth the following day as I had a check up the day after. The doctor also said I was at risk of developing preeclampsia with my medical history. I never realised how bad preeclampsia was or how much danger I could be in!

After arriving in Perth I felt terrible and very sleepy myself. I also noticed that the baby had dropped and felt as though he was sitting right on my bladder. I hadn't felt movements and thought that he was just sleepy as well from the methyldopa. I had my check up the next morning so I just rested my huge ankles and slept most of the day.

I once again woke up at 3am on Thursday 16th February 2006, this time I knew something was wrong. My head was thumping with the biggest headache, I went to the toilet and heard a pop noise and began to bleed. I told Mark (my husband) to call an ambulance, the ambulance called back as they had no idea where to go as we were staying in a fairly new subdivision with my brother. When they arrived they asked whether I suffered from panic attacks, I said I had years ago but this wasn't one.

After I explained about my hypertension they gave me the option to stay home or they can take me if I want. I couldn't believe this! I said I need to go to hospital; they took their time getting there with no lights on and even got lost in the process. I began to throw up in the ambulance and my head was thumping, I was also getting small cramps.

When we got to the hospital they took me into an examination cubicle and got a Doppler out to find the baby's heartbeat, I heard a heart beat and thought he's fine. It was my heartbeat. They said they need to get the ultrasound machine in, my husband asked them what's going on, what's wrong? The doctor said, "I am sorry, there is no heartbeat." I told her she is wrong and to keep checking. She said, "it would have been quick, your placenta may have abrupted." My world fell apart. How could this have happened?

They moved me to a delivery room where I was told they would get me to give birth to our baby boy; I didn't know whether I could see him. I was poked and prodded with needles and drips and given an epidural. I had 3+ protein and my blood pressure was 185/125 at this stage, they gave me a magnesium drip, hormones to induce labour quicker and morphine. I couldn't believe that this was happening. Why me? I gave birth to Liam at 12.14 that afternoon. He was beautiful and so perfect. He was only 50grams off his correct gestation size, 1255grams.

I was later told my placenta was very small with several dead bits; it's a miracle that Liam was so perfect. There was also a clot on the placenta and my placenta abrupting was the cause of Liam's death. My blood pressure returned to normal after a fortnight and I also suffered no other effects as a result from the preeclampsia. My husband and I are trying again and its suggested I will be using Clexane next time. All my recent blood tests have proven little but they suspect I have thrombophilia but are unable to detect it.

I still can't believe how everything went so wrong in less than 2 weeks and I think there needs to be so much more education on this horrible illness. I was fortunate enough to pull through but I miss my little boy dearly. I have also made incredible friendships with others who have been through such an awful ordeal similar to mine.