This story of Noah’s birth and pre-eclampsia was shared by one of our Stay at Home Mum community members, Tanya. We thank her for sharing her story with us here at Stay at Home Mum. If you would like your own story featured on the Stay at Home Mum page, please send your unique story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pre-eclampsia is the leading cause of maternal deaths around the world, however it is a condition that unfortunately doctors know little about. It is also the condition that impacted my pregnancy and caused the scariest and most amazing day of my life – the birth of my son.
I had a pretty good pregnancy really. I had some headaches, but have suffered headaches since I was an early teenager, and as I had no other issues other than swelling and some indigestion.
There was no need for concern.
At my 35 week checkup on a Wednesday, my blood pressure was around 96/60 – quite normal for my whole pregnancy. The afternoon of that very checkup, I noticed that I was seeing stars. At the time I remarked on it, but just shrugged it off.
All weekend I had on and off headaches, and by Monday I was frankly just getting sick of them. I made an appointment with my physio to try to relax my shoulder muscles and treat the headaches. All day Monday, I just felt unwell and tired. On Monday night, my headache was so bad, I could not put my head on the pillow. When my husband woke at 4:30am to get ready for work, he found me in the recliner in tears.
“I just don’t feel well!” was what I said to him. He bundled me off to bed again with instructions to ring my obstetrician when I got up.
That is the last thing I remember. The events below are what I have been told occurred:
It was Tuesday, 9th March. At some time between my husband leaving at 5am and around 9:30am, I had an eclamptic seizure at home alone. I was later told that I somehow rang my obstetrician and told him I thought I’d had a fit. He told me to get to the hospital immediately. I rang my sister-in-law. I rang my husband. I somehow organised a ride to the hospital and for my husband to meet us there yet I could barely stand to open the door. I was dazed, confused and kept saying I felt sick. When my sister-in-law arrived I had no idea why she was there. She rang the ambulance to help me up and out the door.
When the ambulance arrived, I was incoherent and couldn’t answer the attendant’s questions. My blood pressure was 185/148 and I had 4++ protein in my urine. I was having mild contractions. At 11:30am, my husband was told they would need to deliver the baby or there was a chance he could lose us both.
Noah was born 2050g at 36wks at 2:30pm. He was put straight in the special care nursery, where he was breathing on his own. He had a nasal tube to feed him, as he was so tiny and had no suck reflex.
I was taken to ICU. The next morning, a midwife bought some photos of my little boy, as I had not seen or touched him yet. When my husband returned to the hospital that morning the midwives let him bring Noah to ICU, where I finally got to hold my beautiful little boy for the first time.
Although I have very little recollection of his arrival, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it and how lucky I am to have Noah here with me, happy and healthy.
Pre-eclampsia can be very dangerous to both you and your unborn baby but it is not uncommon in pregnancy. It normally involves severe headaches, swelling, blurry vision and generally feeling unwell. For more information, please visit our post on Pregnancy Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
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Author Update: We’ve received a message from Tanya with a follow up that we wanted to share:
“Thanks Stay At Home Mum for reposting this story. It’s hard to believe that gorgeous boy starts prep next year! I am now very blessed to have three beautiful children, two other pregnancies free from Pre Eclampsia (although not without their own dramas!). It made me cry reading our story again, but happy tears knowing how amazing he has turned out. I am pleased to hear this has raised some awareness of pre eclampsia and what to watch out for.”
Thanks again Tanya for sharing your story.