My story begins 8 years ago, my husband and I were expecting our first baby
My story begins 8 years ago, my husband and I were expecting our first baby together. My pregnancy began as a typical pregnancy with morning sickness and water retention or so I thought. About 12 weeks into my pregnancy I began to become ill with blurred vision, pain around my kidney area and vomiting. I had just been in for a doctor's appointment and made another one. They set me up for a sonogram for the next day, September 11, 2001.
I did not make it to my sonogram appointment. I had spent my entire evening ill, and soaking in a warm bath of water to relax me and get rid of the pain I was feeling. I called my doctor at 4 am. He advised me to go to the emergency room. There I had tests run, sonograms done and an IV hooked up to me. I laid there in agonizing pain while the towers were hit. My doctor came in shortly afterwards to give the news that I had HELLP syndrome and the only way I could survive this is to deliver the baby, as his lungs had not been developed yet and he would not survive.
I was sent to a hospital where the experts could watch over me and deliver my baby. I spent 5 days in back labor as having a c-section would only allow me to bleed to death. They continued to take blood to the point where I looked like a pin cushion. I was tested for lupus as my mom has lived with this condition for several years. Those tests showed up negative. Nothing really gave us the answers. I had a good friend of ours bring in an article about HELLP syndrome so that we would understand it better. Still pretty vague.
After the five days, I delivered a beautiful baby boy, Zach. He did not survive as his lungs were not developed. We were able to hold him and say prayer. We felt relief but also sadness at the same time. We knew this was something out of our control.
The doctors did take me into surgery to clean out my uterus, as this is the only way to insure the HELLP syndrome does not linger. I was monitored for a few days. I ate a few good meals and was sent home.
Two days after being sent home the pain returned in my kidney area, I went back to see the specialist. They had me check back into the hospital. I was very ill, vomiting, crying and begging the doctor not to let me die. Later that day I ended up in ICU. My body was shutting down. I had congestive heart failure, kidneys, liver, and pancreas were also shutting down. I had blurred vision and could not see well enough to watch TV let alone read. I am not sure how long I was in ICU, they had me hooked up to tubes, I had many scans and blood work done. I spent 6 weeks in the hospital recovering. Prayers, and lots of visitors got me through the entire thing.
I had a long recovery ahead of me. I was very weak, at first. It took me 6 months before I was able to do the activities I had done before, I did not give up. I had several specialists that I visited throughout the years as my body healed. I was happy when I was given the okay to go off many of my medications and even begged my heart doctor for a stress test. He told me I was one of his healthiest patients.
I still take blood pressure medication as a maintenance drug. I continue to make sure I work out and eat healthy for the most part.
I was advised not to get pregnant again, as my body may not recover the second time. Two years later, we adopted a beautiful baby boy. As difficult as it was for many to understand, we feel that all this may have been a blessing in disguise.
My advice to anyone is to make your own decision. I was extremely heathy when I did get pregnant. The question of why my body reacted to the pregnancy this way still haunts me. I take each day as it comes to me and celebrate the life I have.