As a child, I had heard of my mom losing her mother at the time of delivery and a part of me always thought people die when they have babies.
Needless to say a part of me lived with that fear even as I was ready to have my first baby.
I was bloated giant size. I went from 59-79 kilos but otherwise despite the bad marriage, the lack of support from my in-laws, and the hectic work schedules, I was well.
I had a normal delivery and I gave birth to a 3.4 Kilo baby without any massive stress points.
Second time round, everything was different.
Having been there I knew exactly what I didn’t want. My current husband was supportive and we had the resources to take it easy.
We had moved cities and I wasn’t working. An intensive search of a doctor helped me find a doctor that supported normal deliveries and allowed equal participation of both partners. Baby making was not simply a woman’s job and I thought we were doing alright. We were in control.
Somewhere towards the end of the second trimester, my blood pressure started to misbehave. I have had an instance or two of my BP fluctuating so I didn’t stress too much.
My doctor was not too happy about it but he prescribed some medicines to help me through it.
On the side was my growing feet. I had seen the same happen through my first, so I wasn’t too worried. I was asked to sit with my foot up. But nothing I did made it better. As the days went by, the foot kept growing. My physiotherapist asked my husband to release some of the swelling with pressure. He did so, religiously.
The numbers were shooting up despite the medication. A part of me was beginning to worry. There was protein in my urine. The tests showed so.
I had read about eclampsia, and I looked it up again. But if my doc is not too worried, it should be alright I thought. I let the nagging thought go.
I went to sleep as usual. Late at night, I woke up with discomfort. This is normal in pregnancy and usually not a cause for worry.
But then I threw up.
My neck and the back of my head hurt.
My BP was 150/120.
We went to the hospital.
It was only when my dad mentioned that we had lost my grandma to eclampsia that things went it to full swing.
I was in the ICU locked away. Quick decisions were made. There would be a surgery. I may not be able to handle the stress of childbirth.
|We had to have a quick C-Section to ensure baby and I were safe|
Surgery was done. The baby came through.
The painkillers brought down the banging in my head.
We had had a close call.
But all is well that ends well, right?
I have no postpartum problems.
My baby is fine.
I had all three of the textbook signs for Pre-eclampsia: Protein in the urine, severe swelling and a high Blood Pressure.
My doc had still missed it.
|Three sure signs for Pre-eclampsia|
My mom grew up without a mother to care for her, because their doctors were not prepared. Our culture even blamed ‘the time of her birth’ for the loss she grew up with. Zach could have been blamed for it too.
I had the resources; I had the network, and I had everything working for me.
The doctors should have been able to work on a diagnosis long before I was at risk.
But they failed.
What about the hundreds and thousands of women in India and abroad who are not as lucky, as blessed as I am.
Eclampsia probably accounts for 50,000 deaths every year and is responsible for 12% of all maternal deaths, according to WHO.
Do we not owe our women a fair chance of survival to enjoy motherhood.
To watch the children they birth grow.
To raise them the way they have dreamed of?