No one ever prepares for the eventualities that come with pregnancy, we all hope that the women in our lives take in and give birth to our minis uneventful atleast not having Eclampsia.
Pretty sure it was the same with the newlyweds that will be sharing their beautiful story today, sit back and get enlightened.
It’s important to know this is an awareness post on Eclampsia; a post that I hope helps everyone out there.
This fancy word Eclampsia is not something anyone wants to associate with pregnancy as couples. It is a complication of severe Preeclampsia and comes as onset of Grand mal seizure and/or coma within the pregnancy and delivery periods. Most cases present in the third trimester. Preeclampsia on the other hand is a condition in pregnancy with hypertension and excess protein in the urine with or without leg swelling.
Eclampsia is devastating to both the mother and the unborn child and can lead to severe complications as we are about to find out.
With not much further ado, let’s get to it.When Steve Curto and his fiancée Camre were expecting their son, Camre suffered a devastating and permanent brain injury resulting in complete and irreparable memory loss. Although she looks and sounds normal, she cannot remember anything from her past, and she is unable to form new memories in the present.
This is the true-life account of one man’s determination to create a family with the woman he loves even though she doesn’t have a clue who he is, or even they have a child. Steve Curto proves that real love isn’t hearts and flowers, but showing up every day, doing what has to be done, and never letting go. It is, in his words, always telling yourself, “You’ve got this!”
The title comes from a time after her brain injury when Camre sat on the couch, looked at Steve and said, “I don’t know where I am. I don’t know who you are. I don’t know why I am here, but I know I love you.”
Kindly introduce yourself to my blog family.
I am Steve Curtio, 38 years old and from Michigan, the author of the book “But I know I love You”.
How Long was the Pregnancy Before the Eclampsia?
My fiancé at the time of the incidence was 7 months pregnant before our son was born at 33 weeks with a weight of 4lbs 1ounce 16 and half inches long.
Was she going for antenatal before the incident?
Yes, we were seeing an obstetrics and Gynecology Doctor from the beginning till the end. Everything was going well: during first trimester, she was having nausea and vomiting. Third trimester was worse for her although we weren’t expecting what happened but when she was brought into the hospital, she already had swollen feet.
When you were informed about her long and short memory loss, how did you feel?
When I was informed, my feelings were sad, shock, unbelievable and it took me a little while to realize this. When I started realizing was when I started interacting with her, it dawned on me she didn’t know who I was. it’s a feeling I would never want anyone else in the world to feel, it was heartbreaking, I was heartbroken. Sighs!
What made you resolve to stay with her all through knowing fully well she won’t recognize your or remember the memories you two shared.
It was Love, Family, Faith and Hope. All these combined, made it a lot easier for me to get through this. We were on this journey together; we had this knife that slashed us apart and I wasn’t going to let that win.
I wanted our family to stay together which was very important and I didn’t want to lose the girl I love even though she didn’t know who I was, it was challenging but over a long period of time she finally started to realize maybe who I was in long term but in short term who I was to her.
At what point of her recovery did she gain trust and remember you.
In the beginning maybe like 8 weeks in, we were sitting on a couch, she looked at me, clueless to who I am and she told me, looking right at me ‘I don’t know who you are but I know that I love you’.
She knew she love me, that was something I grabbed onto to keep our relationship together and to me it was everything. That is what I have been fighting for this whole time. It took her probably a year and half to remember my name and Gavin’s name but when she did, it was one of the best moments in the world.
What was her reaction to knowing she had a child she doesn’t remember?
It took roughly 2 and half to 3 years for her to remember and realize she had brain injury. When she started realizing she has a child and she can’t remember his life, it actually became harder because it was more heartbreaking for her, it was a tougher pill to swallow, to fully realize that she lost her memory and that this happened to her.
She was 24 years when it happened and when she started to realize this, she was 27/28 years old. It took quite some time and still till this day it breaks her heart to know she doesn’t remember Gavin’s life, but she tries to stay in the moment and appreciates what she has.
Was there any point you felt like throwing in the towel or your mental health was affected?
I have never the feeling or thought of giving in and throwing in the towel, it has never been an option and it is never going to be an option.
I have always been hopeful that things are going to get better and they have gotten better.
Of course, I have lot of stress and there has been very frustrating days, but I have never had the feeling of giving up, I have always been able to figure out a way and I have put my faith in God to help me get through these challenging times and I have asked him for help, and he has delivered.
If you can turn back the hand of time, what would you two have done differently.
If there is one thing I can go back in the hands of time, I will just want to be aware of the dangers of preeclampsia, I wish I had known more, I wish I had asked more questions to the doctors, I wish I was handed a pamphlet ,I wish there was awareness for I have never had of it, I didn’t know anything about it, I wish it was explained to me, I wish we knew more, maybe that could have changed things.
What’s life before this and after
Well I think for any parent, life before is different once you have a child, real life changes whether you have to go through what we have gone through, which is obviously unique and rare but I think we are on this path for a reason, I think it is to give other people hope.
Yea our life was easier, of course my wife could drive, my wife could remember, she could work , my wife could do a lot of stuffs but errm now those responsibilities even the cooking, taking care of our child has all fallen on me. Obviously, life got more difficult, but we are grateful what we have in the world and that’s what is meaningful to us.
Do you think there’s enough awareness on eclampsia and its effects?
Since our story has gone viral, our book has sold thousands of copies, I have been contacted by a lot of people in order to bring awareness to preeclampsia and eclampsia and their dangers, including inside edition with people commenting that “ this could have happened to me”, “ this did happen to me” relating to Eclampsia or preeclampsia.
There are a lot of people not only in this country but in this world who maybe have not lost all their memories like Camry has and has gone on the journey we’ve gone as a couple but it has brought a ton of awareness and I hope it continues to do so, changing the course for doctors and nurses to be aware of this condition for pregnant women.
What is your advice to all pregnant women out there and to their husbands?
My advice to all pregnant women out there is: if you have any swelling in your feet, throat, hands, make sure you go to doctors. Preeclampsia is dangerous, it can kill you, it can kill your child, it can cause a stroke and usually when eclampsia hits, you don’t have much time. Be aware and I don’t want to scare anyone, I also want to bring awareness that this is a potential for women and when it comes to Dads, do all you can do for the woman.
Make it easier on them, your life is about to change to become a dad and it is the best thing in the world, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We have been put in this position for a reason and we hope we can change the outlook and people’s feelings in life.
Yea I wanted to touch on the fact that I was thrown into a position as a first-time father having to raise a premature baby, work, try to keep our relationship and joggle all these at the same time. It’s been extremely challenging, but it’s also been extremely rewarding for the fact that I have the woman I love, a son.
You know the material things don’t really matter in life, it is your family seeing from what’s going on in this world today with people being quarantined etc., you just must spend time with your family. So, it is appreciating what you have, love your family, never give up on them and always do your best. Thank you.
Wow, it was definitely a pleasure having you share this life changing story and glad you all pulled through.
Till next awareness post, be aware that Eclampsia exists and stay alive.
Sending E-sanitized hug