One of the things we did over our Due Date weekend was make plans to attend a Preeclampsia Foundation Awareness Walk. It’s Mothers’ Day weekend, and we have to travel 5 hours away for the closest Walk. . . And I’m terrified! I don’t have to tell you all how terribly difficult it’s going to be to attend this family-friendly event without our sweet babies, but we just really feel compelled to honor their memory in this way.
I know that everyone has their own causes, and I know that we’re all stretched thin during these times. And I know that it’s super uncomfortable for me to ask people for things – anything! – especially people like you who have been so wonderful and supportive of us :)
But I also know how many of you have also been touched by preeclampsia/ HELLP Syndrome, and I know how many of you care about me and B. So I wanted to at least let you know what we’re doing and give you the opportunity – and ask you kindly – to support us and the Foundation by donating to our Walk.
Most of you already know my story, so I won’t bore you with it now. (If you don’t, you can click here to read about the day the wheels fell off.) The short version is that I developed HELLP Syndrome, which is an extremely severe variant of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia causes a woman’s blood vessels to constrict, resulting in high blood pressure and a reduced blood flow that can affect organs throughout the body including the liver, kidneys, and brain.
HELLP Syndrome is very rare; however, preeclampsia is all too common. It is the leading known cause of premature births in the U.S., and it affects as many women in the U.S. as does breast cancer. Preeclampsia complicates 5-8% of all pregnancies: nearly 350,000 women each year in the U.S. alone. Over 1,500 women each week reach severe or critical status as I did and, even in the U.S., at least 2 mothers die each week because of this condition. Worldwide estimates suggest that preeclampsia causes 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.
But the worst part is this: Preeclampsia has no known cause, and has no known cure other than delivery of the baby.
The Preeclampsia Foundation is dedicated to raising public awareness and funding innovative research for preeclampsia. Please consider supporting us and our Walk by donating to the Foundation! You can send us send a check made payable to the Preeclampsia Foundation, and we be honored to present it to the Foundation at the Walk. (Please email me for a mailing address.) Or, if you prefer to make a credit card donation simply go to https://www.preeclampsia.org/pfwat/watdonation.asp, and make sure to indicate that the donation is made in memory of "Baby A and Baby B." I'm asking for this notation for record keeping purposes only - I know your own babies will be on your heart! All donations are tax deductible.
Please don't be upset with me for writing this post! Like I said, this is definitely not comfortable for me, but we're trying to reach out to all our family and friends - and you're my friends :) (Lucky you!)
Thank you so much for your continued love and support! And thank you for helping me fight preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome.