The BellaNaija community is one where life experiences are shared and where everyone bonds over amazing stories that are uplifting and inspiring. So, when BellaNaijarian, Kenny sent us an email saying she wanted to share the story of her experience with pre-eclampsia, we knew we had to share.
We hope you read and find the experience educating. No symptom should be ignored. Check with your doctor if you think anything feels off.
We thank Kenny for being open enough to tell her story.
For a woman, knowing that she is pregnant is one of the happiest days of her life. However, not everyone goes through this easily. For some women, complications arise in their preganancy which cause a very real threat to the life of mother and child. One of them is called pre-eclampsia.
Before I tell the rest of my story, let me first go over the medical or clinical definition of pre-eclampsia.
Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition that is characterized by an abnormally high amount of protein in the urine of a pregnant woman and the sudden onset of high blood pressure to a pregnant woman, who prior to pregnancy had normal blood pressure.
My husband and I had just been married a few months when we found out we were pregnant.
If there is such a thing as the perfect pregnancy I experienced it. I had a wonderful, no-morning sickness/vomiting /spitting first trimester with so much energy and also no cravings.
At 29 weeks, I was gaining a significant amount of weight with swollen feet, swollen face and palms. I thought nothing of it. My husband kept saying it was pregnancy related. My feet would swell at the end of each day. I was told that once I finished work and put my feet up then the swelling would ease. This was not the case, I continued to swell and the weight kept piling on.
My eyesight was constantly blurred, and I also kept seeing flashing lights in front of my eyes. I had constant headaches and my whole body felt swollen. My wedding rings were stuck.
I was experiencing symptoms of preeclampsia but didn’t understand that they wre symptoms.
At my 30 weeks appointment, ultrasounds revealed that the baby was measuring behind by a couple of weeks. The sonographer said it was nothing to worry about. Silly me, I went to the store and got every available fat yogurt and went about my business. I thought eating fatty food would increase her size. I was so wrong.
One lovely Friday I was in my office, in pain, and my feet literally gave up on me. It was hurting so bad a colleague forced me to A&E. I was really reluctant even though I worked at the hospital.
Eventually, routine checks were carried out and found out my blood pressure spiked at 184/104 190/116 with spilling protein in my urine.
I saw trouble written in HD on the doctor’s face. He turned to me saying you “You are lucky to be alive. You could have slumped”. I just sat there, staring at her in confusion – trying to make sense of high blood pressure and the Pre-eclampsia I was diagnosed with.
I did a quick mental calculation at all the symptoms: from constant headaches to the swollen palms and feet. How did everyone think it was normal?
I was admitted into the hospital. The goal was to keep me on bed rest, under constant supervision to keep the baby baking as long as possible. To combat the preeclampsia, nurses hooked me up to constant fetal monitoring.
Also as a precaution, they gave me steroid injections to prepare the babies lungs for an early delivery. My blood pressure was sky rocketing, so my medical team was left with no choice than to plan an emergency cesarean.
On the 20th January 2016 at 13:15 pm, Dade, my little fighter was born weighing 1.7kg about 3 pounds at 34weeks+2days. I got to see her for a millisecond before she was whisked away to the Special Care Baby Unit.
She fought her way through 2 weeks in SCBU. God came through for us.
My near-death experience made me realize that a mom’s biggest advocate needs to be herself . My advice would be if your instinct says something isn’t right then trust it. If you aren’t happy with the answers or responses then challenge it.
Frequent consultation with the doctor will go a long way in taking care of a pregnant woman’s preeclampsia. Close monitoring could be the most important key in handling the condition.
If you’re pregnant and you’re not feeling well, don’t be afraid to call or consult your doctor. What you think is “normal” may actually already be a symptom of something else.