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Second pregnancy after first with PE/HELLP questions

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

Second pregnancy after first with PE/HELLP questions

Postby naj » Sat Apr 06, 2013 08:45 pm

by naj (1 Posts), Sat Apr 06, 2013 08:45 pm

I had my daughter at 33 weeks due to HELLPs and am 28 weeks in with our second! Yeah! But I'm also getting more paranoid.

My BP has risen from a pre- pregnancy average of 106/67 to now getting daily reading of 120/80 and around there. My platelets have dropped from my first apt labs 201 to 170 (but some drop in platelets during pregnancy is normal, as with every symptom of PE/HELLP it seems) and I'm having some "funny headaches" that's more just like a fuzzy kinda dizzy weird feeling. No protein in urine though.

I'm switching OBs because mine again seems to think that nothing is wrong and not concerned that my BP is going up although two weeks before I had my daughter my apt BP was 122/78 and when I got to the hospital it was 180/153. SHe ignored every symptom I had told her the first time around including fast weight gain and super bad swelling-edema that she never once looked at.....I thought maybe she learned but I am thinking not....

So questions-
Did your right sided pain just start suddenly - I only remember the horrible pain that finally made me go in with our daughter that day that just kept getting worse. I've been having mild right sided pain that tends to be more in my back for maybe two weeks now that goes away at times but is there every day for at least a couple of hours. My doctor hasn't checked liver enzymes (another reason I'm switching)

Am I crazy to think that I should be seen more often? I was told this was a new pregnancy and have been seen ever 4-5 weeks. How often we're you seen so I can make sure my new OB seems to be doing the right thing?

If you got PE/HELLP again with another pregnancy, were your symptoms the same?

Thanks for your help, I'm hoping I'm just going a little overboard but can't help but to worry.
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Re: Second pregnancy after first with PE/HELLP questions

Postby sam10 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 02:09 pm

by sam10 (1436 Posts), Sun Apr 07, 2013 02:09 pm

If you don't feel in good hands, switch doctors. Also, you should be seen by a high-risk OB, also called MFM (maternal fetal medicine specialist). And yes, you should be seen more often. Labs should be drawn, you should have NSTs starting at 28 weeks, regular BP checks and so on.
Both my cases of PE manifested in a similar way, the second time around just a bit later though. Docs did not let me go as far, so my symptoms stayed somewhat 'milder'.
Welcome to the forums :-)
~Julija (40)
MC 3/2009 and 3/2011
Henry (1/1/2010-1/7/2010) - forever loved and missed; severe PE with Hellp; partial placental abruption, classical c-section at 25.6 weeks
Matilda (Nov. 2012, born at 35.4 weeks) - severe PE


Our pain has been put into words, placed into empty cradles, to remember that all our babies lived, that they mattered and always will. - Field of Cradles http://www.fieldofcradles.org/
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Re: Second pregnancy after first with PE/HELLP questions

Postby amallison » Mon Apr 08, 2013 08:15 am

by amallison (20 Posts), Mon Apr 08, 2013 08:15 am

I’m in my second pregnancy (32 weeks) after having HELLP with my first and delivering at 33 weeks 5 days. I have had monthly ultra sounds, to check for growth and fluid levels, and NSTs weekly since 30 weeks where they also do BP and protein.

I have complained of headache and pain associated with HELLP and they have run labs in both instances. It is scary, but I feel that I am mostly getting the attention I need. I can tell you that physically I feel substantially better than I felt at this time with, but I’m always nervous and waiting for the ball to drop.

I think having care that you are comfortable with is key. I also wonder if things will be the same, or if it’ll just hit me like a ton of bricks.
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Re: Second pregnancy after first with PE/HELLP questions

Postby mnickerson » Mon May 06, 2013 12:06 am

by mnickerson (15 Posts), Mon May 06, 2013 12:06 am

After developing HELLP without PE at 37 weeks, my doctor told me that I would not necessarily be considered high risk with a future pregnancy, but that I would definitely have blood work done much more often. For me, the upper gastric pain came on suddenly on a Monday afternoon, by Tuesday morning I was in the hospital, and by Wednesday morning I delivered my daughter. I actually had an at-home blood pressure sleeve that I was using from the moment my blood pressure started to go up, roughly three weeks prior to HELLP. You should definitely be your own advocate and insist on being tested as often as you feel you need to be - your life and your child's life could both be at risk! No need to waste time with a doctor who does not take this condition seriously. My doctor would come to the hospital to check on me on his days off, so clearly the good ones know not to take this lightly.

And if you feel at all that it has come on, go to triage as opposed to doing blood work in a regular lab. In triage, you can get your results back STAT, whereas a regular lab could take three days. My platelets are normally around 300. When I went in that Tuesday morning, they were in the high 200s and by Wednesday morning they were 45. Things happen quickly with HELLP, so timing is critical!

Best of luck to you.
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