I am so encouraged by the forum & can relate to so many of the same emotions. There is such a lack of information out there! Even getting straight answers from your own physicians is sometimes difficult. Who better to ask but others who have been in the same shoes? I know several of you mentioned wrestling with fear, unanswered questions, etc. What helps resolve these issues?
I would appreciate your input for the following:
1. Does anyone know how early can HELLP occur? (I've heard it's usually 3rd trimester.) I ask because I had elevated liver enzymes & was hospitalized with severe dehydration for 4 days at 11 weeks. I had pain in my "upper right quadrant", just under my ribs at around 4-5 months. The nausea was constant around the clock til about 20 weeks, & I still didn't feel quite right after that. I know these are also present in normal pregnancies.
2. Is preterm labor/contractions associated w/HELLP? I began having menstral type cramps at 27 weeks, was hospitalized again at 28 weeks & was diagnosed w/preterm labor/contractions then. I was on Mag, terbutaline & nifedipine & complete bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I kept a constant headache which I thought was from the meds. I was diagnosed w/HELLP & delivered a healthy baby boy at full term. My ob thinks the meds for the preterm labor actually masked the syndrome.
3. This sounds so strange (& to those of you who walked through much deeper fear & pain than I, I am so sorry. I truly am grateful that my ending was so happy.) but I want to know "how bad was it?". My platelet counts were 82,000; on bp medication, my bp was 178/112 (normal for me is 100/60). I feel like it sounds morbid, but I feel like I need to know in order to completely deal with it. Anyone else go through that?
4. How do you handle the feelings like you missed out on a normal, joyful delivery? I am overwhelmed that I have a wonderful, healthy little boy & that so much has gone "right", but there was so much fear & sickness & blur surrounding his birth. When I reflect back on it, I get an eery feeling. That's not how we're supposed to remember the birth of our child!