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HELLP with 1st pregnancy, now pregnant again, high risk?

Have you suffered from HELLP syndrome or had a pregnancy complicated by an underlying disorder? Discuss your concerns here

HELLP with 1st pregnancy, now pregnant again, high risk?

Postby sunflower99 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:29 pm

I had HELLP with my first baby at 32 weeks. Very sudden symptoms and they were misdiagnosed as gall stones. Went back a couple days later because my right side pain was so bad. My platelets were so low the doctors were terrified to even give me an epidural as they thought I would bleed out. Anyway, to make a long story short, emergency C-section after getting my platelets to 50 with blood transfusions, my vitals came back quickly, I got to go home after 4 days and my son was in the NICU for 6 weeks. He's 2.5 years now and doing great!
Anyway, I finally was able to get pregnant again, YAY Clomid! I'm only at 4 weeks but am wondering if anyone out there knows if this 2nd pregnancy should be considered high risk or not. My OB said that I really don't need to see a high risk pregnancy doc, that she would just test me more often and watch me close, and I really like her so I don't want to leave. I even called the high risk doc that took over for my OB during my first pregnancy and his office said they don't consider a previous case of HELLP high risk for a 2nd pregnancy so they wouldn't see me unless my OB recommended it.
Does this sound about right? And I apologize since there are probably a million posts on this same question but I couldn't find any right away so I started a new one. And any positive stories about women who had a great 2nd pregnancy would be much appreciated!
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Re: HELLP with 1st pregnancy, now pregnant again, high risk?

Postby caryn » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:56 am

Yeah, you're high-risk. Sorry. I'm really surprised your MFMs said that you weren't, because our Experts on our Medical Board say you are. Using any kind of fertility treatment is also a risk factor for preeclampsia so it seems a very odd thing for them to say! On the other hand, there's nothing they can really do - so you'll want to know which symptoms to look out for and monitor yourself - and women who develop these conditions at 32 weeks have about a 6/10 chance of being *fine* so I suppose your docs might just be confident that they can transfer you to high risk if it becomes necessary.

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Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies? Lectures from researchers?
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DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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Re: HELLP with 1st pregnancy, now pregnant again, high risk?

Postby grantk » Tue Aug 16, 2011 08:53 pm

I had HELLP at 28 weeks with my first. I'm seeing a high risk MFM with my second pregnancy, and I'm doing well (almost to 36 weeks) with no problems so far. I did not trust my regular OB to handle this pregnancy, I feel a lot better going to doctors who are very experienced with this. sometimes it seems like overkill but it has reduced my stress level!
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Re: HELLP with 1st pregnancy, now pregnant again, high risk?

Postby sunflower99 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:29 am

Thank you both for your responses. I guess I should be considered high risk for this pregnancy after all. I see my OB on Sept. 1 so I will have a long chat with her then.
And I'm so glad to hear your are doing well at 36 weeks, grantk!! That's great news and makes me feel more optimistic about my pregnancy.
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Re: HELLP with 1st pregnancy, now pregnant again, high risk?

Postby jean » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:59 am

Caryn, you mentioned that she has a 6/10 chance of being fine...do you know what those stats are for a person that got HELLP at 28 weeks? 4 or 5/10 of being fine? :(
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: HELLP with 1st pregnancy, now pregnant again, high risk?

Postby sugabbz » Tue Sep 06, 2011 01:24 pm

caryn u mentioned she had a 6/10 chance i had hellp and delivered at 24+2 can you give me a rough estimate of what my chances are of having it again
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Re: HELLP with 1st pregnancy, now pregnant again, high risk?

Postby clairerobi » Thu Sep 08, 2011 04:06 pm

I just shared my story so if you have time, check out my post from today for the fullblown story. I had HELLP the day I turned 35 weeks and delivered my first son immediately once they received my blood work at hospital. The dr said we had to do the c-section immediately. The symptoms had probably been there for at least several days.

I am currently 38 weeks pregnant w/ 2nd son and have had NO symptoms of preeclampsia and HELLP BUT I've been watched very closely by my regular OB and a MFM. I highly recommend pushing your dr for a MFM referral. I took a daily baby aspirin, extra folic acid (4x dose), calcium supplement. When I went for my first MFM visit while pregnant, the ultrasound techs and nurses said that with a previous HELLP experience, I was in good hands w/ my MFM and she'd watch me closely. That is my recommendation!

Good luck to you!
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Re: HELLP with 1st pregnancy, now pregnant again, high risk?

Postby caryn » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:49 am

Jean, IIRC about the same. Here's a link to the Experts talking about it: http://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/viewt ... f=19&t=331

Sugabbz, since you developed HELLP in your third pregnancy, you're a bit of a rare bird. It's unusual to develop these conditions for the first time in a third pregnancy. However, you have company here. We have a number of posters who have developed it in a pregnancy that was not their first. :D

Since you're not someone who got it in a first pregnancy, the statistics I'm citing just don't apply to you. It's too rare for studies to have been done and too hard to find a research population!

In your shoes I would want to consult with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist who researches these sorts of pregnancies. Here's a link to help you find one in your area: http://www.smfm.org (search by state, because their search engine is a bit weird and sometimes excludes people who are close to me if I search by city.)
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies? Lectures from researchers?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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