Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symptoms

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

Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symptoms

Postby clairerobi » Thu Sep 08, 2011 03:50 pm

Hello,
I've not been an active participant on the forums but instead have scoured the various forums for more information to better understand preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. I gained so much knowledge and reassurance from the forums that I thought I'd finally write a message. I am currently almost 38 weeks pregnant with my 2nd son and this pregnancy has been completely different than my first very traumatic one!

I delieverd my first son at 35 weeks due to severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome in April 2008. Fortunately, I went to the hospital on a Sunday evening when I did (the pain in my right rib cage is what clued me in that things were really not right and not just "normal pregnancy symptoms") and fortunately, the on-call doctor in my practice did not waste any time in diagnosing my condition and I had an emergency c-section. I had HELLP Class I, my liver was spilling out enzymes and my blood pressure was sky high. I spent 2 days on magnesium post-delivery, had a platelet transfusion, and didn't get to see my son in the NICU for 48 hours. Needless to say, it was not the birthing experience I had been planning. I know many of you can relate! I probably had the symptoms for a few days - I was swelling, had a headache (chalked it up to the terrible pollen/allergy season that always affects me in spring) and just in general, felt terrible (but thought I was just tired and rundown). If I would have called my doctor earlier, I probably would have had time for the 24 hour steriod shot to beef up my baby's lungs. I will never forgive myself for 'ignoring signs' and this experience taught me to become very proactive in my health (this is the first medical issue I've ever had). My son spent 16 days in the NICU -- 1 day for oxygen assistance but mainly learning how to suck, swallow, breathe while eating- he was a stubborn one -- and we have been very fortunate that he has not any preemie developmental delays. He was a good size at birth (5 lb, 12 oz) and gained weight quickly once at home.

Although we always wanted at least 2 children, I was very scared to get pregnant again because my biggest fear was that I would develop preeclampsia or HELLP even earlier the next time --even though my OB told me over and over that it is typically a first time pregnancy disease. Before getting pregnant, I had several consults with my regular OB, saw a MFM, and a rheumatologist to run a full blood panel to rule out any underlying disorders. I did have a positive ANA reading and also tested positive for SSA/anti-Ro (which can be a marker for lupus but the rheumatologist ruled out a lupus diagnosis due to the fact I had zero symptoms for it). I do have a strong family history of autoimmune diseases so perhaps down the line, one of those are in my future.

After months (and really years) of debating whether I was ready to get pregnant, I became pregnant in Jan 2011 and I am almost 38 weeks pregnant. I have a c-section scheduled for next Fri the 16th. I have had ZERO preeclampsia symptoms and I just wanted to share my story in hopes that it may bring comfort to other HELLP survivors. This pregnancy, I took a daily baby aspirin, extra folic acid (4x normal dose), calcium supplement and I was very conscious of a low-sodium, healthy diet and water intake. I was working fulltime in my first pregnancy and this time, I only worked contract from home for my old employer and would make a point to rest every afternoon. I know everyone has a different situation but I think it really helped that I slowed WAY down this pregnancy (or as much as you can with a 3 yr old!) and I was watched very closely by my regular OB and a MFM. I think having very supportive doctors was key! I've read so many stories on the forums about doctors who don't think HELLP and preeclampsia are a 'big deal' and I completely disagree. If you don't have good doctors that take you seriously then I would search for a new doctor.

Good luck to any HELLP survivors who are considering another pregnancy! I wish I could say I was more of a "glass half-full" kind of girl but when it came to this pregnancy, I was quite sure that I would deliver early and made my husband help get everything ready for the new baby well before my dreaded 34/35 mark. But the great news is that I made it to fullterm without any symptoms and maybe you will too!!
clairerobi
Registered User
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:25 am

Re: Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symp

Postby Cookie » Thu Sep 08, 2011 05:12 pm

Wow - I am so pleased to read this post!!

The birth of your son sounds so so similar to the birth of my son, I developed HELLP at 35+5 weeks and am really hoping that we can try for a 2nd baby, but it's taken me 4.5 years to get to this stage! We have an appointment with my consultant at the end of this month and we'll make a decision based on how that goes but I so hope for a trouble free 2nd pregnancy!!!

x
Cookie
Registered User
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 09:17 am

Re: Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symp

Postby Lee2011 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 02:24 am

Just had to say thank you sooo much for taking the time to write this post!!!
Wishing you and your family all the best.

**HUG**
Mother to baby boy Lee born 12/3/2011 after emergency induction at 38weeks following diagnosis of severe atypical HELLP syndrome. Having come within hours of losing both our lives every smile is a celebration.
Baby sister Paige c-sectioned at 38 weeks with no signs of HELLP :)
Lee2011
Registered User
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 01:24 pm

Re: Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symp

Postby clairerobi » Fri Sep 09, 2011 09:04 am

Cookie and others - One more thing that I forgot to mention is that my regular OB's office doesn't have Level 2 ultrasounds which is another reason he wanted me to see the MFM (I live in Atlanta, GA). At 20 weeks, the MFM checked at my uterine blood flow (done with a Level 2 ultrasound) and she saw "notching" which is decreased blood flow to the placenta. Since the theory that preeclampsia involves issues w/ the implantation of the placenta, they suspected that I also had notching w/ my first pregnancy but we didn't know to monitor. My doctors thought the daily baby aspirin would greatly improve my blood flow to the placenta and baby. I actually started taking the baby aspirin months before getting pregnant. My notching never progressed past 'mild' (I think once it is severe, they put you on bed rest) but I definitely took things a lot slower this pregnancy and tried to be off my feet more later in the day and at night to help with my blood flow.

Another reason why I think it is so important to be seen by a MFM too if your OB can't do this type of ultrasound in their office. My MFM and OB happen to be old friends. I really think having good communication between all of us was key to this 2nd successful pregnancy.

Good luck!!
clairerobi
Registered User
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:25 am

Re: Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symp

Postby Cookie » Fri Sep 09, 2011 01:25 pm

clairerobi wrote:Cookie and others - One more thing that I forgot to mention is that my regular OB's office doesn't have Level 2 ultrasounds which is another reason he wanted me to see the MFM (I live in Atlanta, GA). At 20 weeks, the MFM checked at my uterine blood flow (done with a Level 2 ultrasound) and she saw "notching" which is decreased blood flow to the placenta. Since the theory that preeclampsia involves issues w/ the implantation of the placenta, they suspected that I also had notching w/ my first pregnancy but we didn't know to monitor. My doctors thought the daily baby aspirin would greatly improve my blood flow to the placenta and baby. I actually started taking the baby aspirin months before getting pregnant. My notching never progressed past 'mild' (I think once it is severe, they put you on bed rest) but I definitely took things a lot slower this pregnancy and tried to be off my feet more later in the day and at night to help with my blood flow.

Another reason why I think it is so important to be seen by a MFM too if your OB can't do this type of ultrasound in their office. My MFM and OB happen to be old friends. I really think having good communication between all of us was key to this 2nd successful pregnancy.

Good luck!!


I'm in the UK and have no idea what a MFM is! :oops: Anyway, all check-ups would be done at my local hospital so am hoping they'd be able to scan me for this if they thought it was needed - will add that to my list of things to ask the consultant!! I actually wonder if there were probs with my placenta as my insulin requirements dropped about 3 weeks before Matthew was born and I'm sure it was mentioned that could have been because of a problem with the placenta.

Thanks for this, all info is helpful!
Cookie
Registered User
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 09:17 am

Re: Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symp

Postby clairerobi » Sat Sep 10, 2011 02:49 pm

Cookie - Sorry, MFM stands for maternal fetal medicine doctor. In the US, they treat high-risk pregnancy patients :) Good luck with your upcoming appt!
clairerobi
Registered User
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:25 am

Re: Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symp

Postby clairerobi » Sat Sep 24, 2011 07:25 am

Just a quick update - I had my c-section last Friday 9/16 and delivered a healthy, 7 lb, 8oz boy! No signs of preeclampsia or HELLP appeared after the delivery either and the doctors and nurses watched closely to make sure nothing appeared post-delivery.

Good luck to all of you former HELLP survivors with your future pregnancies!!
clairerobi
Registered User
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:25 am

Re: Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symp

Postby blythe » Sat Sep 24, 2011 08:25 am

Congratulations!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Enjoy that new little baby :D.
Heather, mom to
#1 7-18-03 - 5#8oz 37 weeks PE/PIH
#2 8-11-06 - 6#14oz 37 weeks PE/PIH
#3 9-10-09 - 5#10oz 37 weeks PE/PIH
blythe
Registered User
 
Posts: 3060
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2004 10:24 am

Re: Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symp

Postby Cookie » Sat Sep 24, 2011 02:49 pm

Many many congratulations!!!

You have given me such hope!
Cookie
Registered User
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 09:17 am

Re: Previous HELLP survivor and 38 weeks pregnant w/ NO symp

Postby tob » Sat Sep 24, 2011 07:43 pm

Thanks for the inspiration. I too had class I HELLP Syndrome. I delivered my son at 31 weeks. I am now 8 weeks pregnant and scared to death!![


quote="clairerobi"]Hello,
I've not been an active participant on the forums but instead have scoured the various forums for more information to better understand preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. I gained so much knowledge and reassurance from the forums that I thought I'd finally write a message. I am currently almost 38 weeks pregnant with my 2nd son and this pregnancy has been completely different than my first very traumatic one!

I delieverd my first son at 35 weeks due to severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome in April 2008. Fortunately, I went to the hospital on a Sunday evening when I did (the pain in my right rib cage is what clued me in that things were really not right and not just "normal pregnancy symptoms") and fortunately, the on-call doctor in my practice did not waste any time in diagnosing my condition and I had an emergency c-section. I had HELLP Class I, my liver was spilling out enzymes and my blood pressure was sky high. I spent 2 days on magnesium post-delivery, had a platelet transfusion, and didn't get to see my son in the NICU for 48 hours. Needless to say, it was not the birthing experience I had been planning. I know many of you can relate! I probably had the symptoms for a few days - I was swelling, had a headache (chalked it up to the terrible pollen/allergy season that always affects me in spring) and just in general, felt terrible (but thought I was just tired and rundown). If I would have called my doctor earlier, I probably would have had time for the 24 hour steriod shot to beef up my baby's lungs. I will never forgive myself for 'ignoring signs' and this experience taught me to become very proactive in my health (this is the first medical issue I've ever had). My son spent 16 days in the NICU -- 1 day for oxygen assistance but mainly learning how to suck, swallow, breathe while eating- he was a stubborn one -- and we have been very fortunate that he has not any preemie developmental delays. He was a good size at birth (5 lb, 12 oz) and gained weight quickly once at home.

Although we always wanted at least 2 children, I was very scared to get pregnant again because my biggest fear was that I would develop preeclampsia or HELLP even earlier the next time --even though my OB told me over and over that it is typically a first time pregnancy disease. Before getting pregnant, I had several consults with my regular OB, saw a MFM, and a rheumatologist to run a full blood panel to rule out any underlying disorders. I did have a positive ANA reading and also tested positive for SSA/anti-Ro (which can be a marker for lupus but the rheumatologist ruled out a lupus diagnosis due to the fact I had zero symptoms for it). I do have a strong family history of autoimmune diseases so perhaps down the line, one of those are in my future.

After months (and really years) of debating whether I was ready to get pregnant, I became pregnant in Jan 2011 and I am almost 38 weeks pregnant. I have a c-section scheduled for next Fri the 16th. I have had ZERO preeclampsia symptoms and I just wanted to share my story in hopes that it may bring comfort to other HELLP survivors. This pregnancy, I took a daily baby aspirin, extra folic acid (4x normal dose), calcium supplement and I was very conscious of a low-sodium, healthy diet and water intake. I was working fulltime in my first pregnancy and this time, I only worked contract from home for my old employer and would make a point to rest every afternoon. I know everyone has a different situation but I think it really helped that I slowed WAY down this pregnancy (or as much as you can with a 3 yr old!) and I was watched very closely by my regular OB and a MFM. I think having very supportive doctors was key! I've read so many stories on the forums about doctors who don't think HELLP and preeclampsia are a 'big deal' and I completely disagree. If you don't have good doctors that take you seriously then I would search for a new doctor.

Good luck to any HELLP survivors who are considering another pregnancy! I wish I could say I was more of a "glass half-full" kind of girl but when it came to this pregnancy, I was quite sure that I would deliver early and made my husband help get everything ready for the new baby well before my dreaded 34/35 mark. But the great news is that I made it to fullterm without any symptoms and maybe you will too!![/quote]
tob
Registered User
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:57 pm

Next

Return to HELLP Syndrome Survivors and Underlying Disorders

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: angela and 2 guests

cron