I suffered with HELLP syndrome during my first pregnancy & had ds at 37w + 0 by emergency c-section. The RUQ pain started very mild and came and went, it just seemed a normal pregnancy discomfort so I didn't take much notice about when it started. By 30 wks it had started to bug me so I complained about it to my ob who wash't concerned and just dismissed it. The pain intensified & became more frequent at 32wks she misdiagnosed me with reflux & told me to take antacids which did nothing. By 35wks the pain was so bad I needed pain relief, it was now in my right upper abdomen, rib cage on the right side, sternum, right shoulder & down my back to my bra strap only on the right side. My legs also swelled up like tree trunks & I couldn't fit any of my shoes. My ob still continued to insist it was reflux & gave me a new antacid to try, again it didn't work. She put the swelling down to normal pregnancy swelling. At 36wks I complained again as the pain had increased in severity again, it was also lasting longer & coming more often. She ordered routine blood tests but was still saying the pain was reflux. This was 3 days before Christmas & I never heard from her in regards to the results so assumed all was well. By Boxing day the pain was severe, I couldn't sleep, didn't want to eat & just felt awful. The pain never went away from then on by the night of the 28th Dec it was so severe it hurt to breathe & I couldn't take it anymore. I went to the hospital & was given my first urine test of the pregnancy, it came back positive for high levels of protein (they didn't give me the exact results). Blood tests were then ordered and the results came back really bad & I was rushed in for an emergency c-section. Luckily ds only had bad jaundice & we were both released after 7 days. It was 2 days after the c-section when I was told that I had HELLP, the ob was acting puzzled & said "it's strange you never had any upper abdominal pain did you?", my reply "yes I did YOU said it was reflux!". She then showed me the blood test results and even I could see there was a massive drop in platelets between the routine October results & the ones done 7 days prior. When I questioned why she didn't pick up on it she admitted she'd forgotten to check the results. She also said that I would be at risk of getting HELLP again in any subsequent pregnancy's and I needed to go under the care of a high risk ob.
My blood pressure was always within normal ranges until the night I was admitted when I was told it had increased but they didn't tell me how high or serious it was. I only found out I had pre-eclampsia as well as HELLP when I got my notes to give to my new high risk ob.
Fast forward 4yrs and I am pregnant with baby number 2. I am under the care of a high risk team (ob, midwife & physician) and am being seen more often, urine is tested at every appointment & I will be having additional growth scans. All seemed to be going well till 25w+2 when I started getting RUQ pain. It was very mild, a little tender to touch but nowhere near needing pain relief. I also had a headache. I went into hospital and all my tests came back normal. I saw my ob who said at this stage it is not HELLP & it is very unusual how I presented with HELLP the first time. I was discharged and the pain went away later that night. Then yesterday it came back, still very mild but it has increased in intensity. No headache but I did feel like vomiting all day (I'm still suffering from morning sickness so not sure if it was related to the m/s or RUQ). I'm 27wks + 4 today. It feels like deja vu at the moment & I am beginning to get scared. I have a scan, ob & physicians appointments in 3 days so haven't gone back to the hospital yet. I will go into hospital if the pain comes back before then or I get more symptoms.
For those who have had HELLP more than once did it present the same way each time?
Thanks in advance
DS - 29th Dec 2008 - Born @ 37wks due to HELLP. Presented with RUQ pain @ 30wks, normal blood tests until 35wks (missed by ob) & normal BP until 36w + 6 when HELLP was finally diagnosed. Was misdiagnosed with reflux from 32wks.
DD - Due 31st Dec 2013 - Crossing fingers HELLP doesn't come back!