Sophie’s Story: Preeclampsia

Both Lives Matter | Stories | Sophie’s Story: Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia affects up to 6% of pregnancies in the UK. The exact cause of preeclampsia is not known, and there is no cure. It is a major factor in premature births because delivering the baby is the only ‘cure.’*


  1. How and when did you find out that you had preeclampsia?

I had a routine check-up with the doctor, and they noticed that I had high blood pressure and was carrying fluid. I was around five months pregnant, and they said, “We will keep a close eye on it.” A few weeks later, I went in for my 32-week check, and my blood pressure was quite high. The doctor recommended complete bed rest, so I was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks. I did not realise how serious it was because I felt completely fine. So, I had to rest completely in the hospital for three weeks.

My urine was tested regularly for protein (high protein levels in urine are another symptom). I had to write down all the fluid that I drank and all the fluid that I passed on a chart to see how much fluid I was gathering. Whenever they tested the protein levels at 35 weeks, they showed up as very high and very high in protein, so I was immediately taken into surgery for an emergency C-section.


  1. How did you feel mentally and emotionally?

I was scared because I did not know what would happen; it was a learning curve. It was very emotional because I was in the ward, where other mothers had their babies, and I only had a photograph after my daughter was born. I did not meet or hold her until the next day, which was incredibly difficult.


  1. What does the phrase ‘both lives matter’ mean to you?


The phrase ‘both lives matter’ became real when I was pregnant with my daughter. The medical staff were incredible, and they did everything they could to ensure that both of us were safe and cared for – both pre & post-birth. From the start, I always viewed her as a human being. A mum and baby may have different needs, but all of those needs are valid and should be given the same care and attention.


  1. What advice would you give to a mum in a similar situation?

Listen to the healthcare professionals. If they tell you to rest, rest. There is a reason why they are saying it. Childbirth may happen every day worldwide, but that does not mean that your story, pain or recovery is insignificant. Everyone heals at different rates – do not push yourself, especially during the first few weeks. Everyone initially feels overwhelmed, and asking for help is not a sign of weakness – do not be afraid to ask for help.