Hi, I am new to these forums, having recently lost my daughter between 23 and 24 weeks due to HELLP syndrome. I'm glad I found this forum, but I'm very sorry we all have to be here in the place of grief and am so sorry for everyone's losses.
Molly's story: My husband and I found out we were pregnant on Father's Day, and it was very joyful. I'd had a previous miscarriage, so I was a little nervous from the beginning but felt slightly reassured as the pregnancy got farther along. However, I always felt there was something "not quite right." I kept asking my doctor if we could check my placental function. I was basically blown off. I was feeling so terrible throughout the pregnancy that at one point, in tears, I told the nurse practitioner that I thought the pregnancy might kill me. She probably thought I was being a melodramatic, worry wart pregnant lady. I also asked my husband if he knew what to do if someone has a seizure (meaning me). Obviously, my intuition that something wasn't right was spot-on, but everyone kept telling me not to worry, everything was fine, "if you get up and move around, you'll feel better," "the sicker you are, the healthier the baby will be." Looking back now, it's amazing to me that I was the only one who just knew that something was very, very wrong.
I had severe nausea and vomiting from about 7 weeks until 17, and then had to go to the ER at 18 weeks due to high blood pressure, chest pain, and shortness of breath. My potassium and sodium were both low--I had to ask to be replaced for the potassium, and they didn't tell me about the sodium. I only found that out a few days later from my primary doctor. Because I was having chest pain, they did a stress echocardiogram and when everything there came back fine, they sent me home telling me that I'd probably eventually have to go on blood pressure medication. I discussed that with my OB and was told that they didn't like to start medication until my blood pressure was consistently higher than 150/90. Also, one of my thyroid tests indicated hyperthyroidism, but since my free T4 was normal my doctors weren't very concerned. I was, though.
I was on modified bed rest, but then my doctor and the nurse practitioner both expressed concern about me being too sedentary because they didn't want me to get blood clots. So I tried to get up and move around. But most of the time when I'd get up for more than 5 or 10 minutes, my blood pressure would start to go back up and I'd feel short of breath.
On Friday, Oct 28, I started feeling really ill. When I checked my blood pressure, it was 168/123 and I went into see my OB. They prescribed medication for me but my blood pressure remained high after taking it, and I also vomited and developed severe upper abdominal pain that radiated to my back and right shoulder. After calling the on-call doc, I went into the ER, got sent up to L&D and everything happened very fast after that. They did tests to rule out GI issues, but I was told within a few hours of being admitted that they believed I had developed HELLP syndrome. My platelets were getting lower and lower and my liver enzymes were shooting through the roof. I was told by my OB and a perinatologist that my condition was deteriorating so rapidly that they would need to deliver the baby within a few hours or I would likely die. And the neonatologist told me very firmly and coldly that there was absolutely nothing they could do for the baby since she was only 23 weeks--just short of the "age of viability"-- and would be too small for their equipment.
I was also told that I was going downhill so fast that inducing me wasn't an option and I would instead have to have a c-section. To top it off, because my platelet level was dropping so quickly, they wouldn't be able to give me a spinal--I would be getting general anesthesia. And so, they gave me a drug called Versed, which causes amnesia. To add to my heartbreak, I don't remember that first hour or so with my precious newborn daughter. In the afternoon of October 29, my daughter was born alive, weighing 1 pound and measuring 11 inches. She was beautiful, petite, and perfect and looked a lot like her daddy. She lived for almost 2 hours and died in my arms, where she stayed until the next day when I finally surrendered her. If there had been any way to save her, I can say with absolute certainty that I would have risked my life to do so.
I'm beyond sad and devastated, and I don't understand why this had to happen. I wish I could have my baby back so much. I look at her pictures every day, and the pain of loss is excruciating. We named her Molly Meriki.
I feel a lot of guilt because I feel like my body failed my baby. My doctor will be testing me for autoimmune and clotting disorders, but at this point it's difficult to even contemplate trying to get pregnant again. I just want my sweet baby Molly back.
Molly was cremated yesterday, and my husband and I just chose an urn for our little girl's ashes. I'm so heartbroken.
Mommy to Molly, who was born alive on Oct. 29, 2011 at 23+3 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia/HELLP syndrome and passed away 3 hours later. Loved and missed every minute of every day...."If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever."