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Preeclampsia and Postpartum Depression – Ashton’s Story

mom and baby preeclampsia photo
Ashton with baby Emerson

Just three weeks shy of her due date, Ashton was admitted to the hospital for preeclampsia.

At just 25 years old, Ashton had been given a clean bill of health, which was very important since she and her husband Joey had recently suffered a miscarriage.

But this pregnancy was going well and she experienced no morning sickness or other pregnancy-related issues. She remained very busy too, working 60 hours a week as a CPA while also doing makeup for brides on many weekends.

Signs of Complications

But then, Ashton began to have swelling and her blood pressure rose. Her blood pressure naturally registered low, so while her readings may not have been cause for alarm for those with average readings, for Ashton, it was high. As such, her blood pressure was monitored at each doctor visit to make sure it stayed in a safe range.

But then, on August 26th, just three weeks shy of her date, things changed. During her doctor’s visit at Cherokee Women’s Health, her blood pressure reading was once again high, so she was sent to the hospital. It was determined that she had preeclampsia.

Hospitalized for Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is pregnancy-related hypertension that affects mothers and infants during late pregnancy, with symptoms typically developing after week 20 and showing up as late as six weeks postpartum. 

Preeclampsia can also be very dangerous for both mom and baby so Ashton was immediately admitted to the hospital.

While in the hospital, Ashton’s blood pressure continued to climb so it was determined that the best course of action would be to deliver her baby. For a few days, the doctors tried several methods to help her go into labor naturally but there was no progress — and Ashton’s blood pressure remained elevated.

Early Delivery

For the safety for Ashton and her baby, Dr. Crigler decided a C-section would be best. During the surgery, Ashton recalls hearing Dr. Crigler’s voice telling her that all would be fine.

“It was very comforting and calming to be reassured by Dr. Crigler during surgery.”

Meet Baby Emerson

Baby Emerson

The C-section was a success, and Dr. Crigler delivered a beautiful baby girl, whom Ashton and Joey named Emerson. The only complications Emerson experienced was a bit of jaundice, but after spending three days in the BiliBed, she was fine and cleared for release.

But while baby Emerson was cleared to go home, Ashton had to remain at the hospital for another week because her blood pressure was still high. She was so grateful though that she was allowed to have Emerson by her side the whole time. She’s also grateful for the care she received from Dr. Crigler.

“Dr. Crigler was so caring — before, during, and after the delivery. He checked on me often.”

Guilt and Postpartum Depression

At her six-week checkup, Ashton felt better physically but confessed to Dr. Crigler that she had been struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. She said she felt guilty because she couldn’t take care of Emerson like she thought she should while she was recuperating. She shared that her husband Joey was doing a great job helping but felt she should be doing more.

Ashton and baby Emerson share a laugh

Dr. Crigler listened as Ashton shared feelings that many mothers experience after giving birth. “Dr. Crigler was phenomenal. He really listened to me and calmed my nerves by telling me what I was feeling was very normal. This really put me at ease.”

Mom and Baby and Thriving, Thanks to Expert Care

Ashton is now feeling back to her normal self and baby Emerson is thriving. “I love how Cherokee Women’s Health walked alongside me throughout this whole ordeal, she says.

Ashton’s story is a great example of how important it is to have expert care, especially when things don’t go as expected or medical complications arise.

To contact Cherokee Women’s Health, please call 770.720.7733.