Last week Janelle Giannetta was 26 weeks pregnant with her first child. She wasn't feeling well, and decided to go lie down for awhile. A short while later her husband, Richard, heard their dog barking liked he'd never heard him bark before, and he knew something was wrong.
He was right. He raced upstairs where their 1-year-old Goldendoodle, Louie, was hovering over Janelle. The state he found her in was terrifying.
He told 10101 WINS, “I turned her over, her tongue was in her mouth and she had white foam all around her mouth."
According to CBS she was having a seizure, which was caused by eclampsia, a very serious complication involving high blood pressure and seizures. The only cure is to deliver the baby, or it can lead to death for both.
So early Saturday morning, she had an emergency C-section, and their daughter, Charlotte Marie, was born. She weighed just 1 pound, 7 ounces. That's just 8 ounces less than my son weighed when he was born at 27 weeks after I developed preeclampsia, which is typically a precursor to eclampsia.
It's a terrifying disease, and the fact that she developed full-blown eclampsia is even more so. According to Preecamplsia.org, eclampsia is rare in the developed world, as signs of preeclampsia are usually recognized and treated first. For it to get to this level for a woman in Long Island, who was getting regular medical care is pretty terrifying, but it can happen. Thank goodness for that dog.
Important symptoms that every pregnant woman should know about the disease include the following:
Visual disturbances, such as oversensitivity to light
Seeing flashing spots or auras
Shortness of breath or burning behind the sternum
Nausea and vomiting
Confusion or heightened state of anxiety
The thing is that so many of those could be attributed just to pregnancy in general. So it's important that women really be in tune with their bodies and check in with their doctors if anything seems new or unusual.
The good news is that after such a rough start, today my son is a healthy, strong 9-year-old. I hope little Charlotte fares as well too, and that soon she'll be home snuggling up to Louie.
Have you had preeclampsia or eclampsia?
Image via CBS