My experience with HELLP syndrome pre-eclampsia .On June 25, 2002 I lost my baby girl
Posted On Monday, August 19, 2002 by Brandi
My experience with HELLP syndrome(pre-eclampsia).
On June 25, 2002 I lost my baby girl Natalie Grace Knippling because of HELLP syndrome. I was 26 weeks pregnant. The week and a half before I lost my daughter I was put on bed rest for high blood pressure and swelling in my hands and feet. For a week I did nothing but stay in bed, the swelling seemed to go down in my hand and feet. I thought that was a good sign. But after 7 days on bed rest I got very bad heartburn, so bad I couldn't lay down, sit, or stand. I read my pregnancy books about pre-eclampsia and it mentioned chest and shoulder pain, so I did not think this was it. It also mentioned flashes in eyes but I just had a lingering dark spot. Athough I know now these are syptoms of HELLP syndrome. So the next morning I called the hospital they called my doctor and I was admitted. My blood work was not good, and my blood pressure was 160/140. My doctor came in and said that he I had a pretty bad case of pre-eclampsia and he was going to start me on magnesium-sulfate to prevent seizures. He then said he was going to send me to Sioux Valley hospital. It is much bigger than my hometown hospital and they had well known perinatologists. So they airflighted me to the hospital.
When I got there they took me into the ultrasound room and I got the worst news of my life. Although I was 26 weeks pregnant my daughter was only the size of a 23 weeker. She weighed less than a pound and was not getting the blood and oxygen she needed. We were then told she was not going to make it. My choices were to have a c-section or to deliver vaginally. If I had the c-section it would have to be done immediately and I would probably bleed out and have to have a hysterectomy and I might not make it through surgery my daughter also had a very low survival rate. If I went through a vaginal delivery it would be better for me but she would not survive. After talking with my husband we decided on the vaginal delivery. They tried to induce labor for 36 hours. I would not dialate more than 2 centimeters. On Tuesday June 25th they listened for a heartbeat and there was none. My baby girl had died. That night I was completely incoherent, suffering labor pains and my health was failing. HELLP syndrome is high blood pressure, low platelets, and elevated liver protiens. My blood pressure was not going down if they did not deliver I was not going to make it. So Tuesday night they delivered my baby girl through a D&E. Within 36 hours of delivering my blood pressure went down.
This awful illness took my daughter Natalie Grace Knippling. She was loved and wanted so much. I had quit my teaching job on an indian reservation to be a stay at home mom. We were eagerly waiting her arrival. Instead on July 1,2002 we had her funeral.
My mother also had pre-eclampsia with me. I was born at 32 weeks weighing 3 lb. 3 oz.
Thanks you so much for reading my story.