If you read my last post, you know a little about what was going on this time last year. If not, go back and check it out. I’ll wait.
Ok. So now comes the interesting part. In three weeks, Little Miss Minion would be born. In that time, she would double her weight, get an inch taller, and have some impressive lung development that would shock the NICU team when she came out.
There’s not a whole lot that is known about preeclampsia. Everyone knows that it’s high blood pressure and some people know that you have to have protein in your urine, but what do those two things really mean, on a practical level? There’s a theory that the issue is with the placenta. Maybe the blood vessels didn’t form right, maybe they are too thin, maybe there aren’t enough of them. This theory says that the baby realizes the issue, since it isn’t getting enough of what it needs through the damaged placenta, and sends a hormone to the mother that increases blood pressure, which in turn raises the amount of blood that should come through to baby. Except that the placenta is damaged on a microscopic level, so nothing changes for the baby, but the mother now has high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure causes many other problems, unrelated to pregnancy, but add another level of stress to a body that is already sustaining two lives. High blood pressure causes headaches, blurry vision, fatigue, swelling, and organ damage. It can eventually lead to seizures, and even death.
There is another theory that involves hormones, but this time, it’s from the mother to the baby. If the mother or her body are under stress, she sends a hormone to the baby that speeds the development of vital organs like the heart, lungs, and brain. So if the mother has high blood pressure, for example, her brain knows that something is wrong and sends a hormone to the baby, in an attempt to get the baby as far developed as possible in case the baby comes early.
There isn’t enough research out there on preeclampsia to really know for sure if either or both of these are correct. However, I tend to agree with both theories, especially given my experience in going through preeclampsia and the premature birth of LMM.