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Questions about my experience with HELLP

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Questions about my experience with HELLP

Postby jean » Tue Apr 12, 2011 07:26 pm

by jean (675 Posts), Tue Apr 12, 2011 07:26 pm

When I had HELLP, I went straight to HELLP and didn't have any pre-e beforehand. After my c-section, I was hurting literally from head to toe. My feet also swelled up a LOT. (though the rest of my body didn't seem to swell too much)
My questions are:

1. Is it normal for ppl to swell up after surgery, regardless of whether or not they have pre-e/hellp or not (b/c my son swelled up with edema after surgery, which ended up causing a severe brain bleed. I was just wondering if my feet swelled b/c of some pre-e that happened after my HELLP, or if it was just something that happened b/c of the surgery. It scares me to think that I could get severe edema that could threaten my life after having surgery)

2. I was seriously in pain from head to toe. Was that from the HELLP/pre-e, from something to do with the surgery, or from the mag-sulfate?

3. I don't know about anyone else, but when they took out my catheter, that was the WORST pain. (Well, that and standing up for the first time). Is that normal? Are subsequent c-sections any easier or better? (please tell me they are)

4. I was having contractions 2 days before my HELLP set in. Is it possible that something to do with the contractions caused my HELLP, or was my body anticipating HELLP or something and trying to expel the baby?

These are all just things I've wondered about. I don't know if anyone will have any answers, but I was curious.
Our first son was born and passed in Feb of 2010. Born at 29 weeks due to HELLP and passed due to NEC. We miss him every day. :~(

Our second son was born at 39 weeks gestation in Nov of 2011. No HELLP or pre-e! Took LDA starting at week 12 and went off of it at week 38!

http://findingtherainbowconnection.blogspot.com/
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Re: Questions about my experience with HELLP

Postby tracym » Tue Apr 12, 2011 09:25 pm

by tracym (375 Posts), Tue Apr 12, 2011 09:25 pm

I didn't have HELLP so I can't answer any specific questions about that, but it is normal to swell after delivery. Not sure about regular surgery, it's not something I remember from any other surgeries I've had.

As HELLP affects many organs, I'd hazard a guess that it may have been the cause of head to toe pain. Your body can only cope with so much. I had severe pain in the recovery room directly after my c-section which nothing touched, but I think that was due to the spinal anaesthetic wearing off towards the end of surgery. It took a long time to get my daughter out, she was wedged up under my ribs. They had to use forceps. It was really starting to hurt as they were stitching up the layers inside and by the time I got to recovery it was agony. I don't recall pain upon removal of the catheter with either c-section. The recovery from my second section was slower as I got put back on mag for 24 hours the day following delivery, but I didn't find recovery from either of them as bad as I'd expected. That being said, I stayed in hospital 7 days after delivery with my first and 8 days with my second.

The contractions prior to delivery could have been because your body knew something was wrong. It's not unheard of.
Tracy

Jack - 37 weeks Feb '01 (mild PE dx 33 weeks)
Kate - 33 weeks Feb '05 (severe PE dx 31 weeks)
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Re: Questions about my experience with HELLP

Postby jenprzygoda » Wed Apr 13, 2011 06:38 pm

by jenprzygoda (103 Posts), Wed Apr 13, 2011 06:38 pm

I also went straight to HELLP with no PE before. I was VERY swollen before the c-section and the swelling didn't start to go down until a few days afterwards. I was in such pain from the time I went into the hospital (upper right quadrant pain from the failing liver) and from the c-section that I don't remember much of the first day. THey had to get the anesthesia out of me before they gave me anything for the pain, so I just remember being in excruciating pain. With the mag and the other drugs I was pretty out of it, I just remember that I couldn't push the button for my morphine because my hands were too swollen. I can't remember if it was pain from head to toe, I just remember the pain being unbearable. I am not sure which catheter you are referring to but I don't remember any pain with the removal of the urinary catheter. As for an epidural catheter I was under general anesthesia, so I didn't have one.

Yea, some of us are a crazy bunch that just went straight to HELLP and baffled our doctors. It makes it hard to get answers since it seems we didn't follow the usual progression. Wishing you the best!
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Re: Questions about my experience with HELLP

Postby michelarea » Mon May 09, 2011 07:32 am

by michelarea (35 Posts), Mon May 09, 2011 07:32 am

Hi!I had hellp at 32 + 3 with my first pregnancy (tough I showed signs of PE starting from 27th week, labile/high bp and iugr), no hellp with my second.

- second time I was by far less swollen after surgery
- I had definitely less pain with my second cesarean (the cut was painful for weeks the first time)
- altough my bp and most labs were normal in a few weeks, I was tired for 2-3 months after my first pregnancy, this time I recovered very fast (my bp stayed in the 85/130 range for a couple of weeks and then goes back to my normal which is about 70/100)

So my experience with second pregnancy was very positive (consider that I wasn't totally PE free as my second daughter was only 2.5 kilos but very healthy at 37+3, my placenta was small with no perfect uterine doppler...) Really hope it's the same for you!
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