Deanna - posted on 06/25/2009 ( 26 moms have responded )
After giving birth to my son, we noticed in the hospital that my feet were swollen about three times their normal size. I couldn't even fit into the socks I had been wearing when I came in for delivery. I didn't have any swelling issues, with the exception of my knuckles, while pregnant, so I was alarmed.
The Doctor said it was from all of the fluid they pumped in my IV to keep me hydrated during pregnancy and that it would clear up within a week to ten days. We went to stay with my grandparents (they are retired and were very excited to help us out in the first couple of weeks, since my husband had to go straight back to work and was nervous about leaving me home by myself) and about two days later, my feet were even worse, I started to have horrible headaches and I began having upper gastric pain and felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I also started crying almost non stop. Finally, by the 5th day, I told my grandmother that my headaches were really bad, that it felt like someone had tied a band around my head and was tightening it, that my vision was blurry. She said that sounded like a blood pressure headache (she has had so many health issues that she is practically a nurse...heh) and she took my blood pressure (she has lupus and so has to take her daily and has a machine) and it was 189/100 so she called my Gyno and they said to bring me in ASAP.
It turned out I had post partum pre eclampsia and I had to be hospitalized and put on medication and it was an absolutely horrible situation. I had so much fluid in my body, that when I left the hospital (after two day stay) I had lost 23 pounds. My stomach had literally been sagging down to my thighs (but I didn't know that wasn't normal, because I'd never had a baby before) and when I left the hospital it almost looked like it did at about my 3rd month...just kind of pouchy, but not sagging.
Here is my question/comment... I had heard of pre eclampsia before, but I had NO idea that it could occur AFTER you give birth. No one ever mentioned it or even told me the signs to look for. If I had gone home instead of gone to stay with my grandmother, I don't think I would have called the doctor or known that is was that bad. The doctor had said the swelling was normal and I had never had a baby before, so I figured the headaches and such were just part of it all.
Considering that women can die from pre eclampsia and have serious complications, I wonder why it is that the don't have the post natal visits within the first week? Women need to be made aware of this...