Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I wish I had never been touched by preeclampsia. For all the positive that has come from it, I still feel very angry and bitter at times. I am immensely lucky to have my children with me, so many are not as fortunate. I'm five years out from my HELLP experience and two years from the mind numbing second chance pregnancy. So why is it that I still feel as strongly about it today as I did years ago. As soon as I think I've accepted our fate, and in many ways I have accepted it, something rears up and the thoughts & feelings are brought to the forefront again.

I wish I was still naive about preeclampsia and it's affects. I wish I never met had to meet a woman who has lost her child. I wish more people knew about how serious preeclampsia can be. I wish I could be wrapped in that tight cocoon of "everything will be perfect and go according to plan."

I came across a blog last week and after reading it, I've found myself in a funk. And going over my wishes. This woman is pregnant with her sixth child, and she wrote that she was excited to have been diagnosed with preeclampsia as she got a "get out of pregnancy" card at two weeks early. She had mild preeclampsia with two other pregnancies I believe. When my eyes first read her words, anger filled me. Anger that she was so cavalier about a condition that kills. And anger that I wished I looked at preeclampsia like that.

There are many women who are affected very mildly by preeclampsia. It touches their lives briefly and it vanishes from their radar as soon as they leave the hospital. They say, "it was no big deal" or downplay it completely. I know some doctors do not share the seriousness of the condition with their patients as to not worry them and cause their blood pressure go up. But what's right? Shielding them from the potential or being real and giving facts? I believe you can share information without frightening women. We are not hysterical creatures. Well, some of us may be, but I know a couple men who could fall in that category.

I wish I could be one of those women who had mild preeclampsia and never thought of it again. I wish I didn't feel like a freak. I have used our experiences to help others and to push forward in hoping for a cure/prevention. I know I have done good things, have created positive experiences from our hell, our worst thing. But there is still a part of me who is jealous of a woman who has the perfect pregnancy, the perfect baby who never cries and doesn't have reflux. To not have to worry about risking another pregnancy. To not have be on mag or watch your baby desat in the nicu.

I read a comment by someone I admire and respect the other day where she shared her experiences and when responding to someone who asked how she did it again, and again, even after nearly dying...she replied that she'd do it all again in a heartbeat if she knew she'd get her children out of it again. As I took in the words, my heart began to pound and my spirits fell. I wish I was brave enough to try again, but the fear and the risk was so overwhelming for us. I wish I could be "tra-la-la" about it, but I just can't.

So many wishes, and none will come true.


Heather said...

It's weird you should mention that "second chance" pregnancy, because even though I suppose my last one was successful in terms of PE -- it makes me even more scared to tempt it again. Scared witless to be exact.

The people I know IRL who've had PE had very mild cases and think I'm just a drama queen. Don't I wish.

You'll have to pass along this blog you were reading if you don't mind.

Sarah said...

That's so weird that you posted this. I wake up every morning wishing I wasn't affected by preeclampsia. My husband and I want to try again but my risk is extremely high. I don't know if I will try again or not. I wish I didn't even know what pre-e was. I wish that I knew nothing of prematurity. I hate the stares we get out in public. I wish my son didn't have to suffer like he did. Pre-e just plain sucks. And all the while I think, 'why me?' 'Why did I get this and she didn't?'

Just wanted you to know that I know where you are coming from.

Aunt Becky said...

I wish a lot of these things. Life just isn't fair sometimes.

God, now I'm crying.

Christie O. said...

I actually can't believe that "whatever" attitude on that blog you were reading. It's so incredibly selfish I can't even believe my eyes.

It's hard to read something like that when you know in your heart that you would give anything in your being to go the whole way in pregnancy -- and that more importantly than you, your baby went the whole way.

I know it's scary and it's hurtful to read about people who have absolutely no idea what they're talking about (I really still can't stand when people complain about being uncomfortable in their third trimester) but that's they way people are. If they haven't been through it, they truly truly don't understand, and you just have to let it go. They will never understand. And that fact is fortunate for them, but always rough for us.

Hugs to you!
And thank you for that lovely card -- I felt really happy and special that you were walking for all of us!

Jen said...

Gosh, how I wish I didn't feel the same way D? Why did PE/HELLP have to land squarely onto our shoulders? What the heck did we do wrong? The answer is nothing. We deserve successful outcomes and pregnancies. We do, and I'm sorry so many of us haven't had that happy ending for all of our pregnancies. HUGS lady! You wouldn't be you, if you didn't get upset by the irreverance of that blogger's comment.

Hey, I never did get around to sponsoring you for the PE walk. I'm so sorry about that. Could I sponsor you in a different way? Let me know. :) - Jen

Pam said...

I feel the same way about juvenile diabetes, severe food allergies, infant and pregnancy loss, and premature births. All of which have affected my family very deeply. And unless you go through each experience it is so hard to understand the depth of other's pain and fears. I have many friends who have sadly lost their babies and almost their own lives while pregnant because of Pre-E and/or HELLP. I am so sorry you have had to experience the pain and fear of such a scary illness.
BTW We miss you on Junebugs!!!

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about so much of what you said and here we are TTC again. I am overwhelmed with fear, and so angry that I won't get to have the joy of pregnancy again. Pregnancy will always be a scary unknown for me.

I also get so irritated by people's attitudes towards pre-e. Why don't they realize how dangerous it is?