Daily

It’s Awful, I Know

This morning on Good Morning America, I heard the story of Kim Kardashian‘s pregnancy complications.  Apparently, according to People Magazine, Kim might have been suffering from pre-eclampsia.

Is it awful that I kinda hope she really did have it?  Okay, I know it is.  But honestly, now that her baby is here and healthy and she is too, I really do hope that this was the cause of her swelling and early delivery.  You may think I’m awful for saying that, but my reasoning is sound.  You see, there are a LOT of people who still have never heard of pre-eclampsia.  Despite the fact that it is one of the top pregnancy complications today, despite the fact that it occurs in 5-8% of all U.S. births, there are so many people that still have never even heard the word.

My experience with it is not unique.

There are millions of women and children who have been touched by this awful disease and yet we still have no cure.

There is no known cause.

Sometimes it just happens.

You can’t prevent.

You can’t really treat it.

You can delay it slightly, but all you really can do is treat the symptoms.

The most awful thing about the disease is that the ONLY know cure for it is delivering the baby.

The problem with that is that sometimes, like in our case, the baby is just not quite ready.

The reason I am hoping that Kim Kardashian did have pre-eclampsia is simple – despite my personal dislike of all things Kardashian – America seems to love her.  The magazines, the news stations, they all will run stories about her and her new daughter.  If she did have pre-eclampsia, then that means that all the magazines and news stations will be running stories explaining the symptoms, explaining the need for more research to find a cure, explaining just how awful and scary this horrible disease can be.

Trust me, I know first hand how quickly a healthy, normal, perfect pregnancy can fall apart.

I have experienced the pain that this disease causes.

This horrible, awful disease is why I don’t have my baby here with me today.

This horrible, awful disease is what has taken not just Josh’s life from us, but the lives of so many precious little ones that I have come to hear stories of in these last 4 months.

This disease is not fair.

And unfortunately, sometimes the only way to bring awareness to something is if it effects someone that is in the spotlight.  I hope that if Kim had pre-elcampsia, that she will use her “celebrity” status to bring awareness and help push for a cure.

There has to be a better cure than simply taking a baby before they are due.  We deserve better.  Our babies deserve better.

Preeclampsia (pre-e-CLAMP-si-a) is a condition unique to human pregnancy. It is diagnosed by the elevation of the expectant mother’s blood pressure usually after the twentieth week of pregnancy combined with the appearance of excessive protein in her urine. Important symptoms that may suggest preeclampsia are headaches, abdominal pain, visual disturbances such as oversensitivity to light, blurred vision, seeing flashing spots or auras, shortness of breath or burning behind the sternum, nausea and vomiting, confusion or heightened state of anxiety. Preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy impact 5-8% of all births in the United States.

Most women with preeclampsia will deliver a healthy baby and fully recover. However, some women will experience complications, several of which may be life-threatening to mother and/or baby. A woman’s condition can go from a mild form of preeclampsia to severe preeclampsia very quickly.

Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy can be devastating diseases, made worse by delays in diagnosis or management, seriously impacting or even killing both women and their babies before, during or after birth. – Preeclampsia Foundation

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11 thoughts on “It’s Awful, I Know”

  1. This is well written. I had heard of the disease preeclammpsia, but I never thought when I got pregnant that that could happen to me. I hope if Kim did have preeclampsia that she will help bring awareness to it. People need to know that it is always possible and no matter who it is that they can get it!!

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  2. I am right there with you! I too had pre-e. Never thought about it until the doctor told me I had it. It happened all of a sudden. One week I was fine and the next I couldn’t keep the swelling down and then all of a sudden my kidneys stopped. I wish I would have know the signs and symptoms….I waited 2 weeks before going to the doctor and by that time it was almost too late. At 27 weeks I had an emergency C-Section. I was the sickest person on the floor and I almost died myself. TJ was in the NICU for 4 1/2 months before he passed away. I am lucky that I was able to go on and have another healthy pregnancy (watched by many doctors!) and my other son Logan turns 2 in a week!

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    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. :( I’m also very glad to hear that you have gone on to have a healthy 2nd pregnancy. After our loss of Joshua, I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the thought of another pregnancy. I love hearing “success” stories. They help give me courage.

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  3. Thank you for your candor and open honesty. When I read something like this, it’s almost surreal because I feel as if these are my thoughts documented too. My son Jonathan was born and taken much too soon due to severe PE. The pain is still with me, however discussing out in the open in some strange way offers a comfort. Brave article.

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  4. I too had pre-e and hellp. You are so correct with it will now be in the news!! I am so happy that finally they will be talking about this. It is such a serious and dangerous issue that is not known by many. I had a hard time describing hellp to people when they dont even understand pre-e. Thank you for posting!

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  5. I was just reading a tabloid the other day with her on it and thought, “That poor girl is so swollen she must be pre-eclamptic.” Her cankles were just spilling out of her shoes. I had my second go round with preeclampsia while Kate Middleton was getting all this media attention for Hyperemesis and I was reading about Tori Spelling’s placenta previa (which Ialso had) and wondering if there was ever going to be a celebrity to bring awareness to preeclampsia.

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  6. Kim K.was very swollen right from the beginning . i wondered if she didnt have an excess of fluids in her body .. but she had a healthy baby so all is fine in the end .. . yes i do hope she lets the world know and someone may find a cure for this awful disease ..
    i have my son 30yr old now who was born 3 months premature .so i was a lucky mum..

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  7. I had pre-eclampsia with my little princess almost 16 years ago. I started with the headaches and vomiting then ended up rushed into hospital and having an emergency c-section. My Little girl was born at just 26 weeks weighing 1lb 1oz and lived for two days. She was so tiny but perfect and would be 16 on the 15 July this year. I had never heard of it but i sure know about it now, i have gone on to have 4 beautiful children all without pre-eclampsia except the last one , my son who is 11 weeks old. He is fine though as it was towards the end of pregnancy and i managed to get to 39 weeks with bp meds.

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  8. You are very correct. I lost my children from other reasons, but until I started following your blog and others blogs, I still didn’t know about preeclampsia. I don’t know if it’s one of those things that are taken too seriously because like it says above, most mothers and children are fine. If Kim did have it, it will definitely be looked at more. There will be more notice. And it won’t be so hidden. It is sad though that it takes a celebrity to get something like this noticed. Not the mother’s in heartache everyday. I’m so sorry. I know the fear of the possible outcomes when you found out had to be terrifying. And then to lose Joshua. It’s not right.

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  9. HOLA , TUVE PRE-ECLAMPSIA HACE 3 AÑOS, NO SOLO ESO, TAMBIEN TUVE ECLAMPSIA, DURANTE LA CESAREA, FUE MUY DURO PARA MI Y MI BEBA, GRACIAS A DIOS ESTAMOS MUY BIEN , LAS 2 . PARA MI VOLVI A NACER. TODAVIA NO ENTIENDO PORQUE ME PASÓ, SIENTO TODAVIA MUCHA ANGUSTIA POR LO QUE ME PASO.

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  10. I had pre-eclampsia with my son almost 46 years ago. He was born in August one day after his due date. Up until then, I had had a normal pregnancy. No symptoms, no pain, no abnormal weight gain, regular pre-natal checkups and no clue. Well, a bit of swelling in the ankles, but in the middle of summer….go figure. But at the birth, no time for prep, full spinal anesthesia, a forceps delivery, and a terrific headache after, and a week in the hospital. My husband was told that the baby would be okay, but I would probably be a “vegetable” due to brain damage from the high blood pressure. Great news for a brand new dad, no?

    Anyway, my son was and is still fine, and I was fine. I was thrilled with my new baby, except for that first week when I knew I was supposed to love and care for him, and really felt nothing. I wanted to nurse him though, and it was difficult because in those days La Leche had not been invented (although the real deal had been around a lot of years) and the nurses wanted the ease of bottle feeding in the nursery rather than watching a struggling new mother who wasn’t really sure about being a mother at that that point, finally turning to her education, and remembering “Virgo Lactans” *from her college Art History courses as a way to get her son to take nourishment. (See below).

    Even better, I went on and loved and cared for my son, graduated from law school and passed the bar exam while gestating and giving birth to my daughter, his sister. No complications there; well studying for and taking the bar exam was kind of a bummer. I guess the “veggie” prediction was kind of a CYA for the hospital staff even before
    our current knowledge via the Internet, and all the birth injury litigation that has come to pass.

    Enough about me. This is a serious problem that, while not frequent, is one that needs to be brought to the public’s attention. If that has to occur because some celeb may or may not have had it, bring it on. I, too, noted Kim Kardashian’s, problems with weight gain, kankles, but most put the emphasis on her fashion failures, and so did she. My fashion failures included way big muumuus in my day, but then fashion was not my priority then, nor is it now. The children we bear are our priorities, and happily for me, my grandchildren (three, and all healthy and beautiful) are mine.. Be aware, be proactive before and after their births. Love and cherish them. They are our future.

    *Well, I tried to post a picture, but just Google “Virgo Lactans” and you will get the drift.

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