I started this blog eons ago in order to talk about cerebral palsy and Darsie and everything in between. Cerebral palsy has impacted our lives but we've tried to keep that impact as minimal as possible. However, the truth of the matter is that we wouldn't have to deal with cerebral palsy if it weren't for the ugly disease known as preeclampsia. Because of preeclampsia, Darsie was born at 28 weeks (that is 12 weeks early) and weighed in at 1 pound, 12 ounces. Due to extreme prematurity, she suffered a grade IV IVH (intra-ventricular hemorrhage or a brain bleed) on the left side of her brain. This caused brain damage which resulted in her diagnosis of right hemiplegia cerebral palsy.
Elise was also born early as a result of preeclampsia. Elise was born at 33 weeks (7 weeks early) and weighed in at 3 pounds, 7 ounces. She has developmental delays.
There is an organization that is dedicated to finding a cause and fighting preeclampsia; the Preeclampsia Foundation.
Since there isn't a local chapter or even an active Washington chapter, I've decided to bring my efforts in earning money to help the Preeclampsia Foundation online. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm making a baby quilt to be raffled off. To enter the raffle simply go to the Preeclampsia Foundation's web site and donate. You should receive an e-mail or if you mail your donation, a copy of your check. Take out any personal information (credit card numbers, etc. etc.) and send it to me (lilliputianmama at gmail dot com). For every dollar that you donate, you will get one chance at winning the baby quilt.
To start out this month of Preeclampsia Awareness, a definition of preeclampsia from the Preeclampsia Foundation.
What is Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms.
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. Preeclampsia, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and toxemia are closely related conditions. HELLP Syndrome and eclampsia are other manifestations of the same syndrome. It is important to note that research shows that more women die from preeclampsia than eclampsia and one is not necessarily more serious than the other.
Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading global cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 deaths each year.