Pregnancy induced High Blood Pressure



WHEN I was four months pregnant, my feet began swelling. At five months, I was swelling too much and I was becoming breathless which I thought was normal in pregnancy. I went for routine check-up and that is when the doctor told me that my blood pressure was high. The increased blood pressure was pregnancy-related. I was put on medication. At first, I was taking the drugs three times a day but later the doctor increased the dosage to four times a day.

When I missed my periods, I did two pregnancy tests at home and both turned negative. I was a little bit worried and so my husband, Protas Saende, and I decided to visit a doctor who did a scan. The scan showed I was five weeks pregnant but we had to wait for six more weeks because they could not feel the baby’s heart beat. During that period, we did not tell anyone because we thought it might be a false alarm. All along I knew I was carrying one baby and I started calling him Michael hoping it was going to be a boy.

When we went for the second scan the doctor told me that I was carrying twins. We do not have a history of twins in my family but in my husband’s family they do. The sex of the babies did not matter and I continued calling the babies Michael.

The first scan showed they were identical but the second one indicated they were not. I had prayed for twins and when the doctor told me I was carrying twins my first reaction was, ‘You mean God answers prayers?’

Before we began trying for a baby, I had been advised to take folic acid. I did this from the beginning of October  up to February and then the doctor changed the drug to Pregnacare, which has more minerals. Once diagnosed with high blood pressure, I combined the high blood pressure tablet with Pregnacare in the mornings. At lunchtime I would take the high blood pressure tablet with a calcium magnesium supplement and in the evening I would take it together with iron tablets. The drugs did not show any significant side effects on me, apart from excess sweating.

My EDD was 27th July but the doctor said that because I was carrying twins I would not need to go to full term to deliver them; we opted for a C-section because the doctor has advised so. So the new date was set at 14th July.

My blood pressure kept fluctuating but by July it had reduced to 130/90. By that time, I had added 34 kilograms. By 2nd July I was so tired that I wanted the babies delivered. I went for my normal clinic accompanied by my husband Protus. I told the doctor that I felt I could not wait any more. I remember him asking me if I had lost hope. He immediately booked me for a C-section operation to be done the following day.

On 3rd July, Michael and Leandre were delivered at 8.46am and 8.47am respectively weighing 2.7 kilograms each. My blood pressure went back to the normal 120/80. A week after delivery, I lost 21 kilograms.

High blood pressure is a silent killer because I did not know I had it; and there were no symptoms to give me a clue. Were it not for the doctor, I do not think I would have known. This being my first pregnancy, I thought it was normal for a pregnant woman to sweat a lot and at the same time put on weight.

END: PG  9 / 38-39

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