Grief: Preeclampsia Awareness Month

"Infant death is one of the most devastating consequences of preeclampsia. In the U.S., approximately 10,500 babies die from preeclampsia each year and an estimated half a million worldwide." - www.preeclampsia.org

I don't know Grief. But I know it's real and palpable. I've seen Grief in the faces of family and friends. I've mourned with them but Grief is a visitor in my life and not a permanent fixture. I'll walk with Grief, show it around my house, where it'll stay for a bit and once the light comes back into my home, it knows to leave me and it will greet happiness and light at the door.

I know Grief wanders through the hallways of friends' houses. I know they sit in front of them at the breakfast table. I know Grief is the last thing they see when they close their eyes at night.

Because I don't know Grief, at least.....not yet. I don't want to blog about how to overcome it, how to deal with it or any of those things...... Grief has many different faces and to pretend that I know what to do when Grief and Death comes calling would be to belittle what my friends and family have had to go through. I don't understand Grief and Death. They are strangers in my home.

I understand the 'what ifs' and I understand mourning for someone or something. In my own home, I've mourned the POSSIBLITIES of life without Preeclampsia. I've mourned the idea of big families. I've gone through so many "what ifs" that I've had to stop a few times and shake myself back to the present.

But the way I understand mourning and Grief pales in comparison to the women in my life and the strangers in my online support group.

Grief, loss and death enters their home and hearts, envelops them in sadness and darkness and I wonder if they ever believe that there is more to life than the solitude. I wonder if they know that beyond the grave, there is something even more.......

I wonder if they believe in the lovely idea of Heaven or if they buried their faith in the ground.

I wonder but all that grieving leaves the rest of us to take in the scenery and breathe a sigh of relief that Grief was just a visitor and we get one more day, or a few more precious moments with our own loved ones.

I also wonder which is worse. To have grief the beginning of life or towards the end? In the beginning, you'll also be mourning for the possibilities of who the little one will grow to be. In the end, you'll be mourning for the possibilities of what they could accomplish... if only they had more time. Grief knows no time, save one. It only knows that time will stand still for those whose home they are in.

Grief has a relative and its name is Guilt. In the meantime, here is information on "who gets Preeclampsia."

*Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy occur in 5-8% of all pregnancies of women who have no known risk factors (see below). It is more apt to occur during the first pregnancy. The most significant risk factors for preeclampsia are:
  • Previous history of preeclampsia
  • Multiple gestation (i.e., pregnant with more than one baby)
  • History of chronic high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or organ transplant
  • First pregnancy
  • Obesity, particularly with Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater.
  • Over 40 or under 18 years of age
  • Family history of preeclampsia (i.e., a mother, sister, grandmother or aunt had the disorder)
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Lupus or other autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis and multiple sclerosis
  • In-vitro fertilization
  • Sickle cell disease 
*Information gathered from www.preeclampsia.org


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