During my first pregnancy, I had been feeling faint. Soon after, I started getting headaches with flashing black dots in my eyes.
My midwife had told me that my blood pressure was higher than it should be, and that if I got any painful headaches and started seeing black dots, I should go straight to the hospital, so I did.
It turns out I had pre-eclampsia — a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure — and needed to be induced. I was upset, but glad I had answers.
The day before my induction, I woke up gasping for breath. I thought this may have been from the baby getting bigger, and I thought it was normal to be short of breath during pregnancy.
I knew there was a problem, though, when I went to my mother’s house that evening, as she was making me a lovely roast that I had requested as my last meal before giving birth
But I couldn’t even eat. I gasped for breath with every mouthful, and my chest felt extremely tight. My partner took me to the hospital straight away. I was seen three hours later and told everything looked fine. They offered me a bed, as I was heavily pregnant and due to be induced in the morning.
I was lying in bed crying and gasping telling the staff I could not breathe. I was told that I was fine, I just needed to sleep.
Finally, the next day, I was taken for a scan where blood clots were found in my lungs, or pulmonary emboli.
I blocked this out after I gave birth. I was too scared and anxious to face it at the time. It was a terrifying pregnancy and birth journey, but I am ready to face it now.
If you’re feeling short of breath, lightheaded, faint, dizzy, or experience any chest pain, please go to get checked out. If you know something within yourself is not okay and they have not done the full checks, please don’t take “you’re fine” as an answer.