- Age at interview:
- Age at diagnosis:
- Julie is a research and performance manager for a local authority. She is married with one daughter. White British.
Yes, and obviously with me being with me being overdue the midwives came quite frequently just to see if anything was happening. And they booked me in for a standard induction on a certain date, saying, “Right if you’ve not had your baby by then, we’ll book you in, and you’ll go in on that day and, and things’ll proceed.
I think they must have come in about day five and they did the manual sweep to see if they could start things off, and they did all the routine tests of my blood pressure which had started to go up, just ever so slightly, but nothing significant. And at that point, I just felt heavily pregnant, didn’t feel anything wrong.
And then, one afternoon I was sat on a birthing ball in the living room and I just got all these horrendous lights coming in front of me and my head and I thought someone had hit me over the head, this severe pain, so I thought ooh I don’t feel very well and felt very sick. And I thought ooh I’ve gone into labour, because obviously I’ve never had a baby before. I had no idea other than physical pain. I didn’t know if these were just quite normal.
So I got my books out and rang the hospital and spoke to the midwives and they asked me to ring my community midwife and I rang her and she came out, took some bloods, did a urine test and just examined me and everything and took the bloods, ranging me later with the bloods from the hospital saying I was borderline having the starts of pre eclampsia. So she said, “You rest. And when I say rest, you rest. You know, you’ve got to be really careful.” And came in every day.
Then so, that started on the Thursday. On the Saturday I started with really severe headaches again and the, the visual disturbances were there pretty much all the time. So I felt very, very unwell. By then I couldn’t put shoes on my feet, because my feet were so swollen and I started to get pitting oedema on the legs. I mean I didn’t think my face looked swollen, but when they saw me, they were like, “Yes, you are, you are very swollen.” But I think that was then I felt that poorly I didn’t really, I wasn’t bothered by then.
So we got the pleasure of going to [hospital] Maternity Unit for the day where they could monitor [daughter] and make sure she was okay, monitor my blood pressure. They did, I had to do a twenty four hour urine collection over the weekend, for looking at the protein and my blood pressure all the time and it was just going up and up and up and they were like, “For now, you’re okay. You can go home.”
So we went home on the Saturday after being there for about nine hours, since my (or I) came home with the 24 hour collection and I was told to ring if I felt anything had changed overnight, and I had to go back in at 4 o’clock on the Sunday just for them just to see how I was again.
Sunday morning I got up, well I mean I can barely remember sort of the Sunday, Monday because it all just… I felt that ill. So I got up on the Sunday morning and I had to take all my jewellery off because my hands had really swollen. I mean I could see it at that point. And every time I moved I felt very dizzy and very, very unwell.
And I got a little bit of tummy ache. Not like labour pains, because we never got to that point. But I just felt, I didn’t feel right. So I rang the ward and they said, “You need to come in.”
So we got there, they did my blood pressure and I think it was something like 220/130 something. So they said at that point I was definitely not going to be going home [laughs].
- Age at interview:
- Age at diagnosis:
- Samantha is a pensions consultant. She is married with one daughter. White British.
I went to the Day Assessment Unit at our local hospital, for a check-up so that was at 28 weeks. My blood pressure was still high, even though I was on the medication, they checked protein in my urine was fine at the time but obviously I was having headaches and pain, so they asked me to come back later on in that week. At which point I was just 29 weeks.
And when I went back into the Day Assessment Unit at that point the, there was a lot of protein in my urine, and the headaches were worse, my blood pressure was higher, and the pain I had was worse and at that point they decided to admit me. For what they hoped would be a fairly lengthy stay in hospital controlling my blood pressure and you know, until the baby was born. I spent… They also gave me steroids at that point in case the baby was delivered early to help the lungs develop.
They kept me on a one to one, I was on the delivery suite at that stage because I needed the one to one care. So they were treating the, the high blood pressure basically and the hope was that that would reduce to a relatively normal level and I could just be put onto a ward for observation for a few weeks.
But unfortunately I had quite a few spikes in blood pressure, so I was admitted on a Friday, the Friday night, Saturday morning; I had quite a major spike in my blood pressure which they had to treat quite aggressively. It then sort of settled down a bit. I then had another major spike on the Sunday morning at which point my consultant said that if it happened again, they would probably have to deliver the baby.
No, sorry, I might have misled you, it was only at about 28 weeks that I developed the pain and because I had had a stay in hospital previously and I was given a number of warning signs to look out for and because I had started to develop that pain and the headaches was when I went back into the Day Assessment Unit for a check-up. And as I say, they, asked me to come back later in the week, which is when things started to really go pear shaped [laughs].
And how did you feel in between those two day. Did you, can you remember much about them?
Yes, I can. I had a couple of days where I felt fine, and I had a couple of days where I felt awful. But again I tried to, I think I tried to sort of put it down to, oh you know, millions of women have babies, you know, and everyone gets indigestion and, and heartburn and I’m sure it’s just that, and you know, I think I tried to convince myself that it was just a normal stage of pregnancy, and I just needed to get on with it, and actually on the day that I went into hospital I felt pretty, I felt pretty good. I did go downhill pretty quickly after that, but it was really swings and roundabouts. I had some, sometimes I felt absolutely fine and at other times I felt absolutely awful.
So going into hospital, did you have any expectations when you went in on that Friday I think you said it was.
Yes, it was. I thought I was going in for a check-up and actually I was all dressed to go to work and I, I kind of knew the routine by then, because I’d been in there a few times for check-ups so I knew they were going to check my blood pressure, I knew they were going to take blood. I knew they were going to ask for a urine sample. So we did all that and I sort of sat there, and I had my book, because I know that it takes a little while, and when the midwife checked my, my urine sample, and there was a, I think she said it was a plus 3 reading of protein which is like, I think is like the highest they check. I thought to myself then, okay this is bad. And she said to me, you know, “We’ll get the doctor to come and see you.&rdq