Pregnancy is an overwhelming experience. Every day presents a new celebration, a new worry, and new questions. Expectant mothers are bombarded with all kinds of new information, but do they really know all that they can face during those 40 weeks? One of my goals is to educate those around me about some of the challenges I have faced in my pregnancy journey. This information is not meant to scare or further overwhelm mothers-to-be. Rather, I am hoping to help expectant mothers and their families to be in tune with their bodies and aware of the effects that pregnancy can have. Awareness is helping me to make the best decisions for my health and my family as we move forward.
During my 29th week of pregnancy, I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia. Typically, a diagnosis of any kind means answers. Answers for the patient and answers for the medical professionals. Preeclampsia is different. There’s a lot, and I mean A LOT, that the medical world doesn’t know about preeclampsia. What they do “know,” is still heavily based in theory and conjecture.
Here’s some of what is known about preeclampsia:
Most women who are diagnosed with preeclampsia go on to give birth to healthy babies. However, there are those, like myself, who have a more complicated relationship with preeclampsia. I hate preeclampsia for compromising my health and for taking my daughter. However, because of preeclampsia I now know so much more about my health. My preeclampsia experience led to my diagnosis of Factor V Leiden which is a clotting disorder. (More on that another day.) Preeclampsia helped me to find a team of doctors who are committed to helping Mike and I to continue building our family.
It is still difficult for me to put in words what preeclampsia put me through. It is terrifying for me to think about the prospect of putting my body and my family through it all again. But, it is even more terrifying to think about giving up on my dream of having a family the way I have envisioned. So, that is why I choose to be aware. I choose to be educated. I choose to go forward knowing what I may face again.
For more information about preeclampsia please visit the Preeclampsia Foundation website: The Preeclampsia Foundation