OK 1st pregnancy, HELLP 2nd, now what?

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OK 1st pregnancy, HELLP 2nd, now what?

Postby featherhaze » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:06 pm

I was told by my OB that it is fairly rare to have a normal first pregnancy and to develop HELLP in a second pregnancy, but that's exactly what happened to me. I also never developed classic PE; I never had protein in my urine. I had no hypertension with either pregnancy until my 36 wk checkup with the second pregnancy when I had an isolated 170/100 reading. A week later I developed class II HELLP (I was successfully induced). Almost all the stories other posters have shared are about HELLP with a 1st pregnancy. Has anyone NOT had PE or HELLP in 1st pregnancy, had HELLP in 2nd pregnancy, and been brave enough to go for a 3rd? How does that effect risk factors for future PE or HELLP? I am trying to gather as much information as possible before deciding whether or not to go for #3.
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Re: OK 1st pregnancy, HELLP 2nd, now what?

Postby sam10 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 01:40 pm

I don't have an answer to your question, nor is my case in any way similar to yours, but I can tell you that every pregnancy is different. Just because you had HELLP in your second pregnancy does not mean you'd have it again. It is often mentioned that PE/HELLP is a sickness of first pregnancies, but this is not a hard fact, just more of a statistical observation.

To get the best possible answer you might want to consult with an MFM/peri (high-risk OB) or even perhaps two (for a second opinion). Your case of HELLP would be evaluated, as well as your medical history/background. If this has not happened already, you'd be tested for underlying disorders (e.g. clotting disorders, lupus, etc.). Based on all that information, the MFM will then provide you with a recurrence rate.

Perhaps somebody else with a more similar case as yours will stop by and tell you about their experience.
~Julija (40)
MC 3/2009 and 3/2011
Henry (1/1/2010-1/7/2010) - forever loved and missed; severe PE with Hellp; partial placental abruption, classical c-section at 25.6 weeks
Matilda (Nov. 2012, born at 35.4 weeks) - severe PE


Our pain has been put into words, placed into empty cradles, to remember that all our babies lived, that they mattered and always will. - Field of Cradles http://www.fieldofcradles.org/
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Re: OK 1st pregnancy, HELLP 2nd, now what?

Postby angieb » Mon Oct 15, 2012 02:18 pm

I had a nightmare first pregnancy, a normal 2nd pregnancy, and my third pregnancy it looks like we are heading down the pre-e road though not as bad as last time at least so far. (First pregnancy I only made it 23 weeks, this pregnancy I'm almost 35.5 and things are still okay enough but troublesome.)

The biggest thing I would worry about in your shoes is making sure there is nothing underlying going on. A lot of times when someone has a normal first pregnancy but a pre-eclampsia/HELLP second pregnancy, she has developed some kind of condition that puts her at higher risk, or someone that was not "advanced maternal age" in a first pregnancy but was in the second, or has a significant time lapse between the two pregnancies.

I don't recall seeing anyone else on here with HELLP in a second pregnancy after a normal 1st, but there might be someone.
Me (29) DH (30)
#1-Olivia Caetlyn-9-28-09-9-28-09, 23+2 wks, emergency classic c-section, class I HELLP, IUGR
#2- Lucas Oliver (rainbow baby)- April 2011, 36+2 wks, HELLP and pre-e free! (lovenox and LDA pregnancy)
#3-Matthew, late October 2012...mostly normal, 37 wks, (lovenox and LDA again)
My blog: http://www.butterflies-and-rainbows.blogspot.com/
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Re: OK 1st pregnancy, HELLP 2nd, now what?

Postby featherhaze » Mon Oct 15, 2012 03:10 pm

There were only three years between my pregnancies and I was 29 when I delivered the 1st and 32 for the 2nd (my understanding is that advanced maternal age doesn't apply until age 35). I am not aware of any underlying conditions and I was never told I had any placental issues. I guess the next step is call the MFM specialist.
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Re: OK 1st pregnancy, HELLP 2nd, now what?

Postby tree » Mon Oct 15, 2012 09:02 pm

We have a few posters (including me) who developed HELLP without ever technically meeting the diagnostic criteria for pre-E. Most of us did have it in our first pregnancies. I can only think of one poster who had a healthy first pregnancy followed by HELLP in the second, and she later had a healthy third pregnancy. Her user name is "Catherine", and you can search her posts if you are interested. Her story may provide some encouragement for you.
I agree with the suggestions above to consult with an MFM to talk about any underlying risk factors (many of us have none) you could have and what your chances of a healthy pregnancy look like. I agree with Julija that every pregnancy is different and that you could have a good outcome if you try again. We all focus so intently on the chance that something bad should happen. That is a normal response to stress, but it makes it hard to be optimistic. A good MFM can give you a realistic understanding of your risks and what you could do (if anything) to mitigate them. Good luck, and welcome to the forums!
Daughter born April 2009 at 35 weeks due to Class 1 HELLP
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Re: OK 1st pregnancy, HELLP 2nd, now what?

Postby meesh » Fri Oct 26, 2012 09:26 pm

I had a normal first pregnancy, followed by a severe pe one (Dr said I had hellp postpartum), then went for a 3rd with no pe. With my 3rd, I had an amazing doctor who was proactive about my care.
2001 twins 36+ weeks - no pe
2005 singleton 36+ weeks - severe pe, abruption, emergency csection
2007 preconception appt at the UW, diagnosed with chronic htn and treated for high cardiac output
2011 finally pregnant -twins again! 37+ weeks, no pe, vbac! Higher bps pp but back down by 6 weeks
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Re: OK 1st pregnancy, HELLP 2nd, now what?

Postby AGGG » Tue Dec 03, 2013 08:22 am

This happened to me too. My first pregnancy was normal, and I delivered at full term, spontaneous labor. I had HELLP in my second pregnancy about 3 years later. I did not have protein problem either, but my BP started to rise around the 32 week mark. By 36.5 weeks, my BP was 165/105, so my baby was delivered via C-section. I was diagnosed with Class I HELLP on that day.
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