A little about me -- I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome at 38 weeks. I did not have any symptoms prior to my diagnosis. I had gone in for an ultrasound the day before my diagnosis because my fundal height measurements were erratic. My OB had told me it was probably because the baby was changing position. I was basically just expecting to get more pictures of the baby. Little did I know! At the ultrasound, they discovered DS was only measuring in the 3rd percentile. The doctors did a non-stress test and he passed, so they put me on bedrest and told me they would induce me the next week and they ran some bloodwork. The next morning my doctor told me that my bloodwork came back, the results were not good and I needed to get to the hospital right away for an emergency c-section. Four hours later, my son was born at 5 lbs. 8 oz. It was while we were in the hospital that I was told I had HELLP syndrome and IUGR. It wasn't until after the c-section that I really started to feel sick (I swelled up a lot), but I haven't had any notable health issues since then.
A little about my son -- He has had some issues with his heart and lungs and has had problems gaining weight. He had to be put on oxygen for 3 months because we lived at high altitude. We moved to a lower altitude and he was able to come off of oxygen and his heart checked out fine. The doctors told us he had pulmonary hypertension when he was born, but no longer has it. He has never been able to breastfeed, which has been pretty devastating for me since I was very committed to breastfeeding, and he remains very small (10th percentile for weight). But he is reaching all his developmental milestones and is a happy little boy. He is definitely the joy of my life.
I have so many questions related to HELLP ... Am I at long-term risk for other diseases or health issues because I had HELLP? Is my son at risk?
Also, I would really like to have another child. I am an only child, and I never wanted to have just one child -- I wanted two. My husband is scared about me risking my life or our child's, but I believe with proper monitoring, it is unlikely that anything would happen to me. What scares me most is having a preemie, miscarriage or stillborn. I have read the risks of HELLP happening again are anywhere from 5-25%, and if it were to occur, it would more likely be later in my pregnancy. That makes me believe the odds are in our favor, but 1 in 4 is still pretty high. Also, I have read that I am more at risk for developing preeclampsia, but what about other pregnancy complications like miscarriages and preemies? Are there any kind of screening tests I should have done before I get pregnant again?