I just found this forum and read through all the posts and it brought tears to my eyes to find so many women who went through what I went through, and worse!
I haven't had a chance to tell my story to anyone so I hope you will all be patient with another HELLP survival story ...
I had a normal pregnancy for 35 weeks. Little bit of morning sickness, but other than that everything perfect. Everyone told me that I looked like I was glowing with health, "just like a pregnant woman should" in the words of one friend. Then one night I woke up with pain in my upper abdominal area, just under my ribs. It was really bad, bringing tears to my eyes and keeping me from sleeping. I thought it was a pulled muscle or heartburn or something and put a heating pad over it and dozed off and on in a chair. I threw up a couple times. I know now I should have called the doctor immediately but I was tired as well as in pain and stupidly did not call. I'm glad that I'm living to tell this tale! Anyway, the pain receded at about 5 am and I went to sleep. The next morning I told my husband about it and he (smarter than I) insisted we call the doctor. They in turn insisted I come in and did blood work. The next day my doctor called me at work and told me to come down to the hospital immediately--my liver enzymes were elevated (400 instead of 90?) She said "I think you have HELLP syndrome and the cure is delivery." Unlike many people here my doctor was very alert and thought of HELLP immediately! I'm so grateful for that now!
They did more blood work at the hospital and my liver enzymes had decreased (apparently this never happens). My doctor was mystified but sent me home. I had the pain off and on for the next two weeks as my doctor shuttled me from one specialist to another trying to figure out what it was. I certainly can't complain that she brushed off my concerns! In fact, I was the one who was sick of making all these appointments and was secretly thinking there was nothing wrong!
Then, about two weeks later the pain in my abdomen came back with a vengeance, and this time we called the on call doctor immediately. We went down to the hospital and they gave me pain meds and took blood. The Demerol made NO difference to the pain, I was moaning and writhing on the bed! My enzymes were sky-high again, and my platelets were low, they decided to induce and put me on mag sulfate and also put in a catheter. I think they also gave me oxygen at one point. My platelets kept dropping so they abandoned the induction idea and gave me an emergency C-section, with general anesthesia because of low-platelets. Eve was born at 1:40 am on August 5, 2002. When I came out of it, my husband handed her to me and I still remember the look she gave me, "So that's what you look like on the outside."
I'm doubly grateful to my doctor because my ONLY symptom was the abdominal pain (and throwing up twice). I didn't have swelling at all, I only got protein in my urine and high BP right before they delivered me (and afterwards).
Eve had no problems other than being on the small side, 5 lbs 16 oz. She didn't have to go to the NICU at all. I however was in the hospital for 5 days but by the 3rd day they said I was out of the woods. They took my blood so many times I looked like junkie, with bruises up and down my arms.
Anyway, now Eve is 15 months old and is very happy and healthy. I too have had no problems since. We're starting to think about maybe, someday, trying again, which is what has led me to revisit this. I'd hate to go through that again, but I have such a wonderful, alert doctor and she said she'd watch me like a hawk and also have me see a perinatalogist. I've been so happy to read the stories of the women on this site who have gone on to have healthy pregnancies! And Eve is such a joy that I'd love to have another one. I know if I do decide to get pregnant again I'll be visiting this site often!
Thanks for reading my story. I love that this site exists.
Eve, born 8/5/02 (HELLP syndrome)