Early one afternoon in 2000, Monique Shields, just a few weeks shy of her 30th birthday, left her busy day as an executive assistant at Starbucks’ corporate headquarters to go to her routine prenatal checkup. Feeling healthy, as she had throughout her 34 weeks of pregnancy, she stopped by her home outside of Seattle, changed into her flip-flops, and drove the five minutes to the appointment at her obstetrician’s office.
Following standard care practice, the nurse checked Shields’ blood pressure. It was sky-high. Her health care team sent her to the emergency department for monitoring. Shields called her husband at work and told him she still felt fine and would be home soon.