With pregnancy, it is important to remember that things may not turn out the way that you had intended. I learned this during my first pregnancy, and I experienced it again during my most recent pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my first son, I developed preeclampsia towards the end of the pregnancy. I began to show signs of it before I was to term, but fortunately the symptoms did not present fully until about ten days before my due date.
Preeclampsia is a medical condition where a pregnant woman’s blood pressure rises suddenly and other symptoms including protein in urine and elevated levels of certain liver and kidney enzymes indicate that her organs are experiencing distress. The only cure or treatment for it is to deliver the baby. In all cases of preeclampsia, the health of the mother is very much at risk. In some cases, the health of the baby is more at risk than in others. There has been some research about how to prevent preeclampsia, but the general consensus is that there are a few things that could possibly help prevent it, but the preventative measures do not work for every woman. It is also not the type of condition where having it during one pregnancy is a definite predictor for whether you will have it during subsequent pregnancies, although your risk for developing it is elevated when compared with women who did not develop it during their first pregnancy.
During my pregnancy with my second son, I chose to work with midwives who practice independently of any hospital so that if my health were to remain good I could have a home birth. My midwives were wonderful, and they developed a plan of care that I could follow throughout my pregnancy which was designed to give me the best chance at preventing preeclampsia. The plan included a few supplements, exercise, and a high protein diet. I followed the plan very closely because I wanted to do my best to have a healthy pregnancy.
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I did develop preeclampsia and ended up with a hospital delivery, induced labor, and cesarean birth. Instead of being upset about the way that things turned out, I am choosing to appreciate what I did get out of the experience. My son was born healthy, and that is of the utmost importance to me. I am also very happy that I did take good care of myself during pregnancy because I am recovering quickly from the surgery. If your pregnancy does not go the way that you had expected that it would, take heart in knowing that a lot of women go through similar experiences. In pregnancy and in life, there are no guarantees.
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