I had severe back pain. It was high and off to the side. It first came in the middle of the night at 37wks; my whole core was in a spasm and I spent awhile on the toilet with a bucket on my lap. The next morning my OB called it early labor. It continued off and on for 2wks. The back pain always occurred at night. It was horrible; the only thing that provided some relief was heat. I took hot showers and baths over and over again through the night. Sometimes my husband would massage the area too. I had been preparing for a natural childbirth; while probably helpful, those relaxation techniques were far from effective. By morning, the pains would start to go away. There were contractions too; but these were often irregular and "dysfunctional." I considered going to the hospital a couple times but the contractions weren't right. And I had a huge fear of a C-section. (Irony? Fearing a C-section as I develop HELLP by waiting for regular contractions.) Plus, I was exhausted in the morning and wanted a bit of rest as soon as I was able to sleep before going to the hospital. I always woke up with no contractions and mild back discomfort. A day or two before going to the hospital -- I had finally had enough after 2wks of this "puttering, early, back labor" -- I also developed a stiffness/discomfort in my shoulder.
Once again the contractions had stopped by the time I was going to the hospital. I even had to talk the admitting nurse into calling my OB because the contractions were so weak. They said my blood pressure was elevated and were concerned -- I don't recall the timeline and details of the day. They started the induction. Then they came back with the results of blood work showing my liver was failing. I had never heard of HELLP and was still resistant to things that put a time-line on labor, like breaking my water. My OB gave me a little time to hesitate and let things progress, maybe 2-3hrs. But I wasn't progressing until the epidural, which allowed me to relax. My platelets were high enough to have an epidural. I don't know about my blood pressure during labor. Afterward, I still had spells of back pain while in the hospital. When those occurred, my blood pressure shot up.
JoHanna, DVT and HELLP survivor, living and loving her lucky little Leland, who made it to full-term to be born on 8-9-10. Married to a supportive husband and wonderful father who puts up with her obsessing over HELLP on a regular basis. Wanting to conceive again but still worrying about the "what if's" ... being an empathetic pessimist doesn't help.