Saturday, May 7, 2011

South Florida's First Annual Promise Walk for Preeclampsia!!!

Proteinuria, High blood pressure, sudden weight gain, blurred vision/changed vision, headaches, nausea are all signs of Preeclampsia. Some, are even *normal* symptoms of pregnancy. But, to a degree, they aren't. The Preeclampsia Foundation's motto is "Know the Symptoms, Trust Yourself".Boy do I wish I spoke up more or insisted they test or do something during my pregnancy with Naomi. For a good part of my pregnancy, I knew someting wasn't right. I couldn't pinpoint it I just had that "mothers gut". I remember when I was pregnat with Naomi, I started swelling on my ankles, feet and hands early on. I told my OB about it and she said "oh thats normal". To hell it was not. I was small, I didn't have really any "pregnant belly" for a while, actually not until my "end" did I start to show. I remember reading in the books that every doctors appointment they would measure your belly. Well, mine never did. She always said I have nothing to measure, well I wonder why. Naomi had IUGR (inauterine growth restriction). If she had done some poking and proding and maybe sent me for more testing, maybe they would have caught something? Who knows.But I will always wonder.

I just remember feeling AWFUL the night before my 28 week appointment. I was at my brother's baseball game and I left right after the game ended. I remember at my doctors appointment, they did an ultrasound and saw I had a short cervix and everyone was going haywire, but then decided they couldnt stitch me because of how far I was already. Then, from my urine dip, I had a 2+ of protein. I had no idea what that meant, but was sent later that day to a perinatoligst where he did an ultrasound and explained the reverse bloodflow from the placenta, Naomi's size, (IUGR), and mentioned Preeclampsia. I still didnt understand or get how serious it was, but I was admitted from there to the hospital. Thats when I stayed from Friday night, they did lab work and a 24 hr urine over the weekend and they were talking as if I wasn't going to be pregnant much longer, due to me being quite sick. Well, come Monday morning, my protein was up from 2+ on Friday, to 6+. And the cutoff is 5+. Well, I was sent for a c section STAT that morning and thats when I had my baby girl Naomi.

Preeclampsia. That word is forever the devil to me. Whenever I see pregnant woman, I think, will they develop it? I tell my friends, watch out, take your bp, watch your weight gain. I have one friend in paticular, she is 19 weeks, and she had a blood clotting disorder, and she knows she is a higher risk for developing preeclampsia. So I have been trying to remind her, yet not scare her, about the signs and what not. I just hate it. I hate it all. But, upon discovering the Preeclampsia Foundation website, I started posting on the forums a bit after Naomi passed away. I have "met" and came close with so many wonderful amazing woman, who get it. (Unfornately). They are all so kind and I have learned more than I knew then, which was nothing. I have even met two woman from there,(one is local and the other is a few hours away) through loss, it breaks my heart. But, I am glad we have found each other and are able to understand and come together in times.

A friend from there, happened to ask me on facebook a while back if I was attending the Promise Walk in my area. I thought, I had no idea there was one. So I did some googling and I found that it was right at my local water park!! I had participated in a huge team event and was a team Captain for the March of Dimes this year, and well I didnt feel right asking for money for them and for this, but I decided I will sign up and be a walker this year for the walk and next year I will for sure go all out and gather a huge team. I want to get awareness and inform others and have the Promise Walk be everywhere just as the March of Dimes is widely known. They say that it happens in 5-8% of pregnancies, but I just feel like its more common then they say.

So well, I happened to tell just one friend about it, her and I used to be quite close in 9th grade in highschool, and she said shed like to walk with Sadie and I. So we both registered and she came to my house this morning and we took baby Sadie and went. It was a small group, maybe about 30-40 of us all, but non the less, it only takes ONE, to start something. And it being South Floridas first walk, I think they did well! We got our tshirts and they had a DJ, and fruit and cereal bars to munch on and water. I thought was GREAT, because usually they have junk at these type of events. They had a few speakers, and two girls share their stories. I cried. The one sweet woman, happened to have lost her daughter at 29 weeks, stillborn, to severe preeclampsia 12 years ago. Imeediately the tears started to fall. I just couldn't help it. Because, well, my loss is still very close with me, and it stays with you forever. She then said she went on to have her son, at 35 weeks and he did spend a few days in nicu, but is alive and well today and I think was 9 years old.

There was a young girl, maybe my age, and shared her story. She said she was nervous, I could tell in her voice, but she lost her baby at 21 years old, at 25 weeks as well. Tears fell for her too. It just breaks my heart. After the speakers spoke and we were waiting to walk, I went up to the woman who lost her daughter 29 weeks and just hugged her and told her about my story briefly and we spoke. Then after, a mama came up to me and told me how sweet Sadie was. She asked if I was at the March of Dimes, I said yes and she said she was the one emailing all of us with things. I said, my team was Spider's Hope. She goes OHH!!! She knew us, because we were the biggest team, of 67 people. Just felt nice to see another face supporting a good cause.

The walk began, it was a small walk, I would have liked to walk longer, but its okay, They had a DJ rooting us on.

We each got a I KEPT MY PROMISE necklace type thing. My Sadiekind kind of destroyed it with her baby drool. But, we DID IT! It felt good to come out and support this cause, yet it made me sad, all of the mommies and families who have to go through this and go through a loss it is just beyond heart wrenching, I cant explain it. But I will for sure make a big team next year and go all out. I am proud. This is for Naomi Hope and all the mommies and babies born too soon and lost.

I hope one day, there will be better testing, more management and care and one day, ONE DAY A CURE FOR PREECLAMPSIA! I know that there are LOTS of walks going on today around the Nation so I hope everyones walks went well and THANK YOU for supporting us all!

*Naomi Hope, Benji Spider, Cara Angel, Nolan, Mikey* we miss you and love you all very much.


Andrea said...

Such a touching post! It brought back so many memories for me. Thank GOD my babies made it! I feel for all those women you met today! It will always be a part of my life. Thank you for walking today! It means a lot to me! I too hope they can find a cure one day! Take care!

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