It Ain't No Cabbage Patch: The Second Time Around

Chloe was born at 31 weeks. I spent most the pregnancy doing one of three things:

  • worrying and praying
  • going to the perinatologist 
  • on bedrest, with my laptop, trying to maintain my full-time consulting job

Such is the life of a mother who had preeclampsia once. The knowledge of my risk for a second bout of preeclampsia was extremely instrumental in maintaining my health, Chloe's health and my pregnancy. But it came at a price:

My sanity.

My second little miracle; when she was just about 1. 
Which, I quite nearly lost, if it was not for the resources offered by the Preeclampsia Foundation. I spent hours on the message boards and in the forums and reading all the amazing literature I could. The women in the forum were my lifeline: when I felt guilty for wanting and having a second pregnancy; they reminded me that no doctor knows if preeclampsia will strike again. When I panicked before my weekly perinatologist visits (which included testing for everything under the sun), they reminded me that they were panicking too. I found a community that understood and made me stronger, because we had each other.

This is why I am walking in the Promise Walk this year. The Walk will raise money for preeclampsia research (there is no known cause or cure, minus immediate delivery of the baby). It will raise money for preeclampsia education--making sure women know the signs and their risk factors for preeclampsia. And it will fund hope and sisterhood--two commodities that are priceless.

Someday, when Lily and Chloe decide to start families of their own (and they will, I want grandchildren in thick loads.), they will have to enter their pregnancies knowing that their risk of preeclampsia is high--because of their mother.  But, I will also be able to give my daughters hope--maybe there will be a cure; but there will definitely be a community of women waiting for them. Women who will listen and share and send their friendship.

This is why we walk: for each other.

"It ain't no Cabbage Patch" is the third of a series of articles on preeclampsia, a life-threatening disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Preeclampsia and related disorders such as HELLP syndrome and eclampsia are most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure and death of the mother and/or baby. 

Join me and my team LilCoCo at the May  12  Promise Walk to the benefit the Preeclampsia Foundation in Challenge Grove Park in Cherry Hill, NJ.