My name is Milena and I am a full time Finance professional and a mum to two girls.
In 2017, when I was pregnant with my eldest daughter, I first learnt about preeclampsia. Following in the footsteps of both my parents, I was diagnosed with hypertension at an early age and placed on medication. I was a fit and healthy 22 year-old at the time and didn’t take the condition too seriously. Come my first pregnancy and given my hypertension history I was classed as a high risk pregnancy and placed under the care of a renal specialist who monitored my blood pressure carefully. Everything was going well up until the 31st week at which point preeclampsia started to show. I was immediately hospitalised, given steroids to help the baby’s lungs mature and I delivered her a week later. Although I recovered pretty quickly after delivery, my little girl spent the next two months in the NICU/Special Care Nursery. It was definitely not how I ever imagined my first pregnancy to end.
Fast forward to 2020 and my second daughter followed a similar path except, preeclampsia showed up a lot earlier, at 24 weeks. Once again I was hospitalised and expected to deliver her any day but with the help of Dr Sandra Lowe and the MFM team at RHW and three different blood pressure agents (sometimes four, when things got tough), I delivered my second daughter at 28 weeks and 720 grams. The NICU/Special Care Nursery journey was much longer this time and the list of things that could go wrong was endless. Luckily we survived the journey and she is a healthy and happy little toddler now.
Just before I was discharged from the hospital, I was asked if I wanted to join a blood pressure study post preeclampsia, through which I also met Lynne.
I was looking to get involved in voluntary work for a while now but I wanted to be involved in a cause that was close to my heart. Luckily through my connection to Lynne and the blood pressure study, I came across this wonderful association which provides the exact support and awareness about this condition that I wish I knew about back in 2017.
I am really looking forward to working with the AAPEC team and to help them promote the work of this amazing cause.