A-Z

Amy

Age at interview: 34
Age at diagnosis: 31
Brief Outline: Amy took part in the BuMP study during her second pregnancy.
Background: Amy is married with two children.

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Amy was invited to join the BuMP study during her second pregnancy. She had developed high blood pressure during her first pregnancy. She took part in the self monitoring of her own blood pressure, but did not have any problems during this pregnancy.
 

Amy knew a little about pre-eclampsia because her friend developed it. Amy took part in a research study to monitor blood pressure during pregnancy.

Amy knew a little about pre-eclampsia because her friend developed it. Amy took part in a research study to monitor blood pressure during pregnancy.

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So how much did you know about sort of hypertension and pre-eclampsia before the trial?

I’d heard about pre-eclampsia.

Okay.

I hadn’t heard about hypertension. A friend of mine had pre-eclampsia in her first and second pregnancy but at different times so that’s how I that’s how I knew of it. But I didn’t know the symptoms of it so well, you know, swelling and protein in the urine, and that kind of thing, didn’t know that at all. So I wouldn’t have known what to look out for and you know, it can strike at any time whether you’re having your blood pressure done or not. So yeah, that was that was really my only my only awareness of it was somebody else having had it and even then, I wasn’t clear about what it was.
 

Amy found out that she had high blood pressure at a routine antenatal appointment.

Amy found out that she had high blood pressure at a routine antenatal appointment.

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So everything was absolutely fine for the first trimester. So usual kind of thing, you know, chucking up and feeling really tired and all the lovely things that come with it and looking great. And then the second trimester, I was still quite tired but started to pick up. The sickness, unfortunately, didn’t go until quite late on in the second trimester and then, when the sickness went, it seemed to be replaced by high blood pressure. I’m sure the two weren’t linked but that just seemed to be what happened and went for a routine appointment at the hospital because I was consultant-led and they did my blood pressure and it was elevated but I didn’t have any other symptoms you know, is it protein in the urine, I think, and things like that. So I think I saw one nurse and then I saw a lot of doctors after that because it had gone quite, quite high. It hadn’t-, it hadn’t been particularly low throughout the period when it should have been lower but it suddenly went up to the kind of the 150 over 100 and something kind of mark. So they were a bit worried about it. I think, honestly, I made it worse because I hate having my blood pressure taken so the more they did it, the worse it got.
 

Amy continued taking medicines to lower her blood pressure after giving birth. The dosage was lowered as her blood pressure returned to normal.

Amy continued taking medicines to lower her blood pressure after giving birth. The dosage was lowered as her blood pressure returned to normal.

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And the dosage got smaller and smaller each time until I came off it completely. I didn’t understand, actually, that I needed to do that. I thought, honestly, that I’d have the baby and then could leave all the tablets behind me and things like that but I didn’t realise that there was a risk that if you just stopped them completely your blood pressure would go up again and that was a bit difficult because when you get up in the night and your blood pressure is a bit lower.

And then you maybe reach down for the baby in the moses basket, your head, you know, you kind of see stars and things like that but it was a bit of a necessary evil really. So with some consultation from the doctor, they kind of adjusted the dose and weaned me slightly quicker maybe so.

Okay

I think it was six to eight weeks.
 

Amy tried to reduce her risk of developing high blood pressure in her next pregnancy, but she was unsure how much of a difference it can make.

Amy tried to reduce her risk of developing high blood pressure in her next pregnancy, but she was unsure how much of a difference it can make.

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How did you feel about being high risk during your second pregnancy?

Well, obviously, I was in complete denial about it, so [laughs] yeah, I felt very nervous about it because they had said to me, after my first pregnancy and my discharge you know, at six, eight weeks last time, in subsequent pregnancies, your blood pressure will be monitored more strictly because you’ve had hypertension this time and I thought, oh great, you know, it was, it wasn’t nice, you know. I wouldn’t I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody but, you know, I thought, well, you know, at least I’m, forewarned is forearmed. There are things I can probably try and do about it like maybe lose a little bit more weight and, you know, that kind of thing. Whenever I mentioned it to anybody who’s a medical professional they were like, no, if you’re going to get it, you’re going to get it. Oh great, thanks, you know. So I don’t feel great about it honestly and I just felt I felt very lucky at the end of it that it had not arrived in the second pregnancy. Quite why, I don’t know. Who knows? It’s just so random, so.
 

Amy was talked through the study and given a folder with information about the BuMP study.

Amy was talked through the study and given a folder with information about the BuMP study.

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So I had a folder with all of the information in and I had a read through it and sign up and then I had a, I was given a little blood pressure monitoring machine and shown how to use it and how to look back at the recordings as well, just to check that it had been taken. And then a form within recording, recording each of the recordings that I’d had.

As well and then there was like a three page form as well that I had to fill in about exercise and exertion as well, which progressively over the three months started off as, yes, I’m very active to the, I just sit on my backside and don’t do very much [laughs] and I was kind of laughing at how different, I was kind of ticking all the boxes of how well I was feeling to day went from like a well, it’s a nine to about a two today and I’m very cross about it.

[Laughs]

So there was lots and lots of information in there and yeah, about kind of how it would be used and kind of the style of study that I was taking part in, yeah
 

Amy didn’t like having her blood pressure checked. Through the BuMP study, she was able to monitor it herself at home. This meant that she could relax a bit and get more accurate results.

Amy didn’t like having her blood pressure checked. Through the BuMP study, she was able to monitor it herself at home. This meant that she could relax a bit and get more accurate results.

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I don’t like having my blood pressure taken. You can take as much blood from me as you like.

Put any needles in front of me, that’s fine, but show me a blood pressure monitor and, for some completely bizarre and unknown reason, I just would want to run away. So it always was a little bit elevated but that would be the top figure rather than the bottom figure, generally, that was elevated.

So I’d have to have it done maybe three times with a bit of a sit down and a quiet and a relax in between. And then it kind of brought it down to normal, so yes, I have had high blood pressure readings before and I have then had to have it kind of done repeatedly to check that it was fine.
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