Promise Walk for Preeclampsia

Approximately 7% of pregnant women develop a serious complication called preeclampsia, which can be deadly for mothers and babies. Symptoms include high blood pressure, protein in the urine, headaches, swelling, and a pain in the right part of the midsection. Preeclampsia is a leading cause of premature birth and kills 500,000 babies and 75,000 mothers worldwide each year.

My son Dex was born at 32 weeks, not from pre-e, but from a placental abruption. Unfortunately my condition could not be predicted, but as local survivor Jessie Ostendorf’s story illustrates, knowledge of preeclampsia can save lives.

At 18 weeks gestation, Jessie started exhibiting significant swelling. Attributing it to normal signs of pregnancy and working too hard, she was given the advice to relax and drink more water. Preeclampsia was a nagging thought. At 21 weeks, after a severe headache, she was admitted to the hospital with blood pressure of 200/100, protein in her urine, and a diagnosis of preeclampsia.

Baby Autumn and Jessie were failing quickly and delivery could not be delayed. It was a scramble to save Jessie’s life as she was sent to the ICU with a fever of 107.5.

Autumn was delivered stillborn on May 14, 2011.

The Ostendorfs found the Preeclampsia Foundation as a source of information and support. They founded Team Autumn for the 2011 Denver Promise Walk and have been volunteers since.

To join the Ostendorfs, register for the 4th Annual Denver Promise Walk for Preeclampsia.

jessieIt will be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at City Park in Denver at 8 am. The event is sponsored by Reign Magazine, Rose Medical Center, the Lefkovitz Foundation and Belly Bliss.

My son was born at Rose Medical Center and, along with my OBGYN, they saved our lives.

Learn the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia. You may need it while pregnant, or be able to inform a friend or family member in need.

Many thanks to Jessie and her lovely family for sharing their story with us.

This article has 9 comments

  1. Ben D

    My wife had pre-e – thanks for sharing this.

  2. Kriddie

    One of my best friends suffered with preeclampsia with both of her pregnancies. Her first son was born 2 months pre-mature, her second pregnancy was with twins who were born 3 months early, one of the girls did not survive. It was an incredibly scary time & the doctors had no idea why it happened to her. This was 18 & 15 years ago now. Her oldest son will be graduating this May, her daughter is a freshman in HS. For all the trauma they suffered in the early days of their lives, she has two beautiful, smart, strong, loving kids whom i absolutely adore!
    Thanks for another great post Aimee, this definitely took me back to a not-so-happy-time, but it also makes me appreciate how lucky we’ve all been to have these 2 amazig kids in our lives the past 2 decades. ;o)

    • Aimee

      Thanks, love! And so glad your friends are here with us too!

  3. Brandy

    My 3rd baby girl was induced at 37 weeks because I had pre-e. It came on very fast, I was fine at 34 weeks but at 36 weeks I had very high blood pressure and extreme swelling. We were lucky that I was far enough along that she was ok after only 2 days in the NICU. Almost 3 years later I am 32 weeks with our first son and the thought of it happening again is on everyone’s mind but the doctors are watching me carefully and say so far everything looks perfect.

  4. Zipper

    glad to hear the family is doing better.

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