This past year, I met Sarah Hughes of Finnegan and the Hughes through the Philly Social Media Moms and I felt an instant connection. Sarah is sweet, outgoing and always finding new ways to do something for others and to make this world a better place all around. Her heart and spirit is contagious and I have been especially taken by her story with preeclampsia and her ongoing fight to help find a cure. Read Sarah’s powerful story below, learn more about what she is doing to make a difference and what you can do to help…
Hayley was my second baby. She arrived full term via scheduled c-section on October 25th. Our little princess had arrived and even my son Derek, at just 26 months old, was thrilled for our family. I was released from the hospital and spent two days in that post baby honeymoon phase. When I agreed to called my OBGYN I was surprised at the stern immediacy in her voice when she insisted I get to the hospital right away.
Preeclampsia. I heard the word, I knew it had to do with pregnancy and headaches and blood pressure (mine was 220/110)……but I wasn’t pregnant!!!! There I was, a mother of two, about to be hooked up to a Magnesium IV so I wouldn’t have a seizure or stroke due to preeclampsia and I had NEVER even heard of having preeclampsia postpartum!
The first night I was on the magnesium I saw 5 of everything. I had to wear an oxygen tube because my oxygen saturation levels kept dropping so low that every time I would drift into sleep I would wake up gasping for my breath. I was pumping every two hours, unable to get out of bed and hooked up to a catheter.
It took a few weeks for my BP and me to get back to normal. I feel so lucky that my preeclampsia story only involves me and that Hayley was unharmed by it all. Most people aren’t so lucky since Preeclampsia is the leading known cause of prematurity.
Typically, preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks gestation (in the late 2nd or 3rd trimesters or middle to late pregnancy), though it can occur earlier. Proper prenatal care is essential to diagnose and manage preeclampsia. Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and toxemia are outdated terms for preeclampsia. Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. The Preeclampsia Foundation www.preeclampsia.org the only non-profit in the US devoted to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, serving the 10 million women worldwide who develop preeclampsia each year.
“I grew up in Staten Island, New York. When I escaped working in New York City for a new life in Philadelphia I started dating my now husband Rob. We have two children, Derek is 4 and Hayley is 2. Finnegan is our 5-year-old Australian Shepherd and really more like a third child than a dog. All of our children love to sleep in our bed!! I am a Shot@Life Campion and a
Preeclampsia Foundation Walk Coordinator. I blog over atwww.finneganandthehughes.com“