by angieb (1192 Posts), Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:48 am
After HELLP at 23 weeks and our daughter's death, our odds were pretty ugly. 12% chance of HELLP, 70% chance of preeclampsia, but they were pretty confident it would be later and less severe. Since our daughter had already died, I really didn't especially care all that much if my next pregnancy killed me, as long as I didn't have to watch another baby die, I'd consider that an okay trade off. (Sounds a lot braver than I really was, it was much more out of desperation than bravery.)
My next pregnancy we found an MFM I really liked and a plan I was comfortable with, I was watched closely by my doctors (who were adamant that I wasn't going to die though they couldn't guarantee us a living child), and the weeks slowly but surely ticked by and I think even my doctors were surprised when we made it to 36 weeks. (Delivered at that point due to my previous c-section.) DS was a healthy 7.4lbs, and did not spend a minute in the NICU. My pregnancy with DS was terrifying and stressful and risky, but so so worth it.
I am not a doctor or medical provider, and I don't think a doctor could guarantee you can walk away healthy from a pregnancy (which is true even for normal pregnancies), but generally, most often, the women who die from preeclampsia are USUALLY first time mom's, they may not know what to look out for or what is/isn't normal (especially since stuff like swelling can very well be normal), and/or they may have doctors who don't take their symptoms seriously or aren't watching them closely. And of those, the number in the US is very small. (Although I think we would all argue that any deaths are too many.) Another reason for the high number of maternal deaths are usually in countries without what we in the US consider normal prenatal and postpartum care. After having to deliver at 26 weeks, you should absolutely see someone for high risk patients and be watched very closely from around 20-24 weeks on. (My high risk doctor starts seeing me at 6 weeks but that may not be the norm.) I can't tell you what potential health consequences or the risk of dying from a pregnancy, but I do want to iterate that the odds of dying at least are very small. And I certainly don't want to talk you "into" or out of, trying to have another baby, that's a very personal decision, but I do think it is helpful to keep some perspective on the risks. I haven't seen stats recently but I think it's safe to say far more people in the US die from car accidents than from preeclampsia, but many of us still drive and ride in cars and put our kids in cars. That being said, another pregnancy might not be worth the risk, this disease sucks and there aren't any guarantees.
Anyway, good luck with your decision.
Me (29) DH (30)
#1-Olivia Caetlyn-9-28-09-9-28-09, 23+2 wks, emergency classic c-section, class I HELLP, IUGR
#2- Lucas Oliver (rainbow baby)- April 2011, 36+2 wks, HELLP and pre-e free! (lovenox and LDA pregnancy)
#3-Matthew, late October 2012...mostly normal, 37 wks, (lovenox and LDA again)
My blog: http://www.butterflies-and-rainbows.blogspot.com/