How Postpartum Preeclampsia Almost Took My Life

Postpartum Preeclampsia

I wasn’t aware of how sick I was…

We had been there for a week and I was ready to go home. The walls were starting to close in on me. I was over the place and wanted life to begin, in our home, with our new baby girl. ​

 I was induced and put into the hospital 3 weeks early on August 14th due to preeclampsia. On August 17th Ava made her entrance into this world. August 19th was our day to go home and I didn’t want anything stopping us from that.

We were in the hospital room packing things up while Ava was having her car seat test in the NICU.

My parents were in the room with us. My mom mentioned something about wanting to talk to my doctor when he arrived and how she had some questions for him. My mom is an OB nurse and has been for many years. When she said she had some questions for him, I knew what that meant.

I made the biggest mistake that day by telling my mom NOT to say anything to the doctor and to let me handle it. All I wanted to do was go home. I didn’t want anymore magnesium, or another catheter, or a blood pressure cuff strapped to my arm going off every so often. I just wanted to GO HOME!

The doctor came in and my mom did what I asked.

The doctor who discharged me that day wasn’t the doctor who delivered Ava BUT was my original OB doctor who induced me 3 weeks early for preeclampsia.

He walked in, asked me how I was doing and if I had a vaginal delivery or a c-section. DO WHAT??? How did he not know this? Did he not look through my chart before discharging me? Did he not remember me having preeclampsia? In my head I was stunned, shocked, ticked off, disappointed, and confused but I wanted to go home. I acted as everything was fine so he would sign that little paper and let me go.

They brought Ava back from the NICU, she passed her test and we were all set to go. We arrived home and life began.

Fast Forward One Week…

It was the Sunday after we arrived home and my parents came over to visit. When my mom arrived she took one look at me and said we needed to take my blood pressure. She just knew. Her mother/nurse instinct kicked in and she just knew.

My blood pressure read somewhere around 190/140. I still thought I was fine. I felt fine. I was tired, exhausted, weak, had a headache, but I just figured those were all the normal symptoms to parenthood and being postpartum. My mom said I needed to go to the hospital right away but I told her I would be ok and that it would go down in a little bit. She insisted I call my doctor and see what he said (she knew he would tell me to go to the ER). He immediately told me to go back to the hospital. I remember sitting in the back seat with Ava on the way to the hospital just balling my eyes out. This wasn’t what I expected. It wasn’t what I had planned.

I was admitted to their mother baby unit, hooked up to some more magnesium, they strapped the blood pressure cuff on and these leg cuff things (don’t know what they’re called), they padded the bed rails incase I started to have seizures, inserted my catheter (I hate those things) and we spent the night and next day getting my blood pressure under control.

That night was tough for us. It finally hit me that my body was sick, very sick.

The next evening, I was sent home. THIS TIME with some BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICINE. Looking back now this is what should have happened the first time we left the hospital. My doctor (the one who discharged me) should have read my chart a little better and prescribed me some medicine. THIS is what my mom wanted to talk to him about.

The other day I read an article about a woman in Tampa who died in her home due to postpartum preeclampsia. My heart aches for her family and I can’t help but think if my parents hadn’t visited that day, could that have happened to me?

My mother was my angel that day.

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