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New Member- Real Experiences, Pregnancy After Class 1 HELLP?

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New Member- Real Experiences, Pregnancy After Class 1 HELLP?

Postby James09 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 05:06 pm

by James09 (3 Posts), Wed Jul 24, 2013 05:06 pm

Hi all,

First post... I was looking for a HELLP section that I read on another site existed here. Am I missing it? Sorry if I'm posting in the wrong area.

In early 2009 I became pregnant totally unexpectedly and in spite of precautions taken. I was on my own except for the constant stress he caused by trying to force me to to abort because I was "ruining his life" though I told him I wanted nothing from him. I wasn't young; I was 30, financially independent, and had plenty of family support. I'm only mentioning this stuff because I wonder if the extreme stress of working 70+ hour weeks and dealing with a jerk of this magnitude didn't add to the problems I ended up having. Honestly, not exaggerating, he did not let up for a moment and still hasn't 4 years later. We are now in a full-fledged custody battle. The stress has been enormous.

Now for the good stuff; I've been with someone since my son was just a few months old (he's 4 now). I'm not getting any younger and would really, really like to have another baby. Problem is, I'm terrified. If something happens to me, my son is stuck with that selfish lunatic that fathered him. I don't want to be selfish and risk that just because I want another baby now that I'm in a great relationship, intended to be permanent. OTOH, am I being paranoid? HELLP is so rare that it seems like if I weren't the one scared, it would seem a bit irrational to tell someone never to try again. I feel terrible that my current bf would miss out on ever having kids just to stay with me, when he's already proven himself a great father to my 4yr old son. He claims it's "not a dealbreaker" if I can't have another baby, but I think he's just being nice. I want another child; I'm not wanting it just because I think he does. I really would like to have the experience again, this time not be made miserable through all the things that are supposed to be so happy.

I had a rough pregnancy from the beginning. I was sick every day (I was told that wasn't unusual for a first preg), worked anyway (no choice- I was on my own), despite blackouts and constant nausea, felt pretty good during month 5, then got pre-e, went undiagnosed, and ended up having an emergency C-section at not quite 33 weeks with Class 1 HELLP, liver enzymes in the high 900's, platelets at 15. BP was 210/140 and not going down. My normal bp is about 90/60. I spent 4 days on mag, almost 2 weeks in ICU, had 3 transfusions (2 platelets and 1 whole blood). I didn't see my son for several days after he was born. He was strong- all APGARs were 9's. No oxygen, even, but spent a month in NICU before he learned to eat. He was 4lbs 10oz and came home at 5lbs 12oz. Aside from the occasional stutter and some ADHD symptoms (he may just be an obnoxious, precocious little boy!), my son is the picture of health and normal. He's even big for his age and ahead of the curve intellectually, despite being quite premature. He is quite a miracle. I hate to tempt fate...but...

What, in all your experiences, are the odds of success after HELLP, at what ages, and what other factors played a role, if any? IE, what was your health previously, any family history of HELLP or pre-e, same fathers, different fathers, long relationships or brand new (there was a paper published in Switzerland that showed a correlation between new relationships and an increase in HELLP), etc.?

I'm trying to get a realistic picture from real people, not just read terrifying and conflicting studies. There hardly ARE any studies on HELLP, at least not in this country. Are there any people with similar stories near Chicago? Any recommended docs I could talk to to get an idea of whether I'm a horrible mother for even wanting this or if I might be ok the 2nd time around?

Thanks for reading if you made it this far! ;-)
James09
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Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 09:33 pm

Re: New Member- Real Experiences, Pregnancy After Class 1 HE

Postby Mari2013 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 07:02 pm

by Mari2013 (24 Posts), Wed Jul 24, 2013 07:02 pm

I had severe HELLP with my first pregnancy and delivered at 29 weeks. I am not pregnant yet, but planning another pregnancy. I did a pre-conception appointment with a MFM who reviewed my records and said I had a 20% chance to develop pre-e again and something like a 2-5% of it being as severe. If you are ready TTC, I definitely recommend a pre-
Conception appointment and coming up with a treatment plan. I was also tested for some blood clotting disorders and have some positive markers, so will be taking Lovenox next time. The testing, plan and peri consult all make me feel comfortable to try. Good luck! And there is a HELLP section if you scroll down the board index
Mom to one amazing toddler girl, delivered at 28 weeks due to severe HELLP.
Mari2013
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Re: New Member- Real Experiences, Pregnancy After Class 1 HE

Postby James09 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 07:54 pm

by James09 (3 Posts), Wed Jul 24, 2013 07:54 pm

Thank you; I'll try looking for it again. I missed it somehow, I guess. Was your appt. w/a "regular" MFM doc or did you find someone who had a lot of experience with HELLP? I can't seem to find anyone who has any experience with it. The closest I found was a veterinarian I sold a horse to that had it, LOL. She said I was the only other person she'd ever met with HELLP. I would think there would HAVE to be docs who had enough data to give realistic odds of overall risk during subsequent pregnancies?
James09
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Re: New Member- Real Experiences, Pregnancy After Class 1 HE

Postby angieb » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:43 pm

by angieb (1192 Posts), Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:43 pm

I had class I HELLP at 23 weeks with our daughter (who unfortunately did not survive.) I have since gone on to have two more relatively healthy pregnancies. My blood clotting disorder bloodwork all came back normal but my MFM put me on lovenox anyway as she thought it was likely I had a clotting disorder they didn't have a test for yet.

Definitely try to get a preconception appointment with an MFM (maternal fetal medicine specialist) or peri. They should go over the risks with you and whatever they feel are your odds of getting sick again. (I'm not a doctor so take this with a grain of salt, but my guess is that they will tell you the odds of HELLP recurring are fairly rare, though your odds of preeclampsia recurring are a big higher since you did have a case that progressed to HELLP.)

Since you have a history of HELLP, a good doctor will be watching you a lot more closely then someone with a normal history. Most of the maternal deaths from preeclampsia and HELLP are in first time pregnancies when the diagnosis of preeclampsia is discovered too late. Since they know what they are watching for, I personally felt like I was a lot safer than most "normal" pregnant woman who had the standard monthly appointments and that was all. That said, pregnancy is a risk, no doubt about it. (We actually have a relative who died during childbirth in a major hospital a few years ago, she had a clot in her lungs.) Getting in a car, train, etc. is also a risk. Only you and your significant other can decide if the risk is worth it to you, though personally I am very very glad we tried again even though it was risky and terrifying.
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/
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