I have been overweight for most of my life and have had hypertension for years,
I have been overweight for most of my life and have had hypertension for years, so when my husband and I decided to have a child, I went to my OB for advice on what complications might arise. HELLP wasn't one of the complications mentioned.
At about 24 weeks, my blood pressure started to go up, so my MD increased my medication. That seemed to work for a couple of weeks. My ankles were swelling a little, as well.
At 27 weeks I developed severe epigastric pain - I called my OB and she sent me to the hospital. My blood pressure was sky high and the pain was incredible. I remember joking to my husband that if labor was anything like this, I was in trouble, thinking it was indigestion. I'm really lucky because my OB thought it was HELLP right away. She told me we could check my gallbladder, but she didn't think it was that. She ended up not checking it because my platelet count was so low. For the next three days I was in the hospital on Magnesium Sulfate and had my blood checked twice daily - each morning it was low, and every afternoon it was ok. Three days after I was admitted, the pain returned and I had to have a C-section.
My son, Jonathan, was born at 28 weeks and weighed 2 pounds 3 oz. He was beautiful - and strong! I was discharged three days after delivering him and he was in the NICU for 11 weeks. We got to bring him home on Christmas Eve, 1995. He's a healthy 6 year old in Kindergarten and neither of us have had any ill effects from the HELLP.
I'm so glad this site is available. I'm not sure what, if anything I would have done differently, if HELLP would have been discussed with me before I became pregnant, but now that I know - it's making the decision for a second child a lot harder to make.