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Personal story: pre-eclampsia

Her midwife spotted symptoms of pre-eclampsia and the baby was induced next day. She was very scared, but the care in hospital was excellent.


Was it important to you to be able to go every 6 weeks?

Yeah, it was. And then towards the end you go every 2 weeks and then every week and, actually, my midwife spotted I had pre-eclampsia in the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy. And my midwife spotted it, because I, actually I went to my GP then for some blood tests and it didn't get through, the blood tests, by the time it had come through I was near the end of my pregnancy and I'd had pre-eclampsia 4 weeks beforehand. And, and my midwife appointment, they'd, they'd spotted it and sent me straight to the hospital and I was induced the next day. And so that was, you know, they really sort of, sort of helped me then, definitely.

Did you feel any different when you started to have the pre-eclampsia?

Not at all, no. I mean I was swollen anyway and my feet were swollen and my face was swollen but I thought that was quite normal. And also, I was working full-time to the Saturday and I had him on the Tuesday and I don't think that helped at all. I thought that's why I was swollen because I was, I'm a hairdresser and work, you know, on my feet. So that was, that was kind of it, really. I didn't have any symptoms at all but because, obviously it's high blood pressure, that's the main, the main symptom and you don't notice that at all, so.

Did you know what pre-eclampsia was?

I did, yeah, because I'd been to my antenatal classes and, you know, I'd read a lot of books and, you know, all that sort of business so I, you know, I was, I did vaguely know what it was [laughing].

Tell me how the, what happened at the midwife's appointment when they discovered that you had pre-eclampsia?

I went for your usual the old wee test and blood pressure and she had a poke around and, basically, they, they found it from the urine sample. And she literally, she literally phoned the hospital that minute and got me in there straightaway and, like I say, I was induced the next day so they were really quick.

How did she explain to you that you had pre-eclampsia?

Oh my God, basically just told me [laughing] pre, pre-eclampsia, basically. Because, you know, you, I knew, I knew what it was, so, but yeah, she just said, “You've, you've got pre-eclampsia." I need to, to go up to the hospital straightaway.

How did you feel when she said, “You have to go to the hospital now”?

Very scared, yeah, I was very, very nervous and my partner was at work. I was with one of my friends who was also pregnant at the time and she took me up to the hospital and I was, I was in, I was a mess [laughing].

Were you? Could you tell me about that, what happened, how were you feeling?

Just really, really scared, really scared. The, the fact that I knew I was going to be having my baby the next day rather than it happening naturally. And very, very anxious, definitely very anxious and, and worried about it. And just wanted my partner to be with me and, and to get it over and done with, [laughing] really.

And what happened in the hospital, what kind of care did you receive?

They were brilliant, again they were, they were really good. They took my blood pressure again and, you know, did all, did all the tests and they said that they would get me in the next day to be induced and they were all very calm and, you know, made me very calm. And then my partner arrived and I felt better then as well and, you know, a couple, after a couple of hours I was fine, I was alright, I sorted myself out. But they were very good, really good. And it was also, it was over Christmas as well so, Christmas Eve he was born so I was in hospital all over Christmas, 5 days and it was actually quite a nice Christmas, believe it or not [laughing]. And the, like I say, again, the care at the hospital was, was brilliant.

What was good about it, can you think?

They were just, just really on the case. They were taking my blood pressure all the time, you know, making, I got all the drugs and everything and making sure that I was okay. And they actually taught, you know, I was, I tried to breastfeed in the beginning and they were showing, you know, really trying to show me how to do that and everything, how to bath him, how to do everything. So I was really quite clued up by the time I got home because I was in there for quite a while.

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Please note...

This interview has been sourced from, award-winning research into patient experiences in conjunction with the Health Experience Research Group at Oxford University, UK.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby doesn't endorse any personal opinions expressed in the video, and we recommend you discuss any questions you have regarding unfamiliar terms or descriptions, as well as how this experience compares to the Australian health care system, with a health professional.


Copyright: ©2013 University of Oxford. Used under licence from DIPEx. All rights reserved.

Last reviewed: October 2016

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