Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

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

Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby Stormborn » Sat Oct 05, 2013 02:53 am

Hi All,

I suffered with HELLP syndrome during my first pregnancy & had ds at 37w + 0 by emergency c-section. The RUQ pain started very mild and came and went, it just seemed a normal pregnancy discomfort so I didn't take much notice about when it started. By 30 wks it had started to bug me so I complained about it to my ob who wash't concerned and just dismissed it. The pain intensified & became more frequent at 32wks she misdiagnosed me with reflux & told me to take antacids which did nothing. By 35wks the pain was so bad I needed pain relief, it was now in my right upper abdomen, rib cage on the right side, sternum, right shoulder & down my back to my bra strap only on the right side. My legs also swelled up like tree trunks & I couldn't fit any of my shoes. My ob still continued to insist it was reflux & gave me a new antacid to try, again it didn't work. She put the swelling down to normal pregnancy swelling. At 36wks I complained again as the pain had increased in severity again, it was also lasting longer & coming more often. She ordered routine blood tests but was still saying the pain was reflux. This was 3 days before Christmas & I never heard from her in regards to the results so assumed all was well. By Boxing day the pain was severe, I couldn't sleep, didn't want to eat & just felt awful. The pain never went away from then on by the night of the 28th Dec it was so severe it hurt to breathe & I couldn't take it anymore. I went to the hospital & was given my first urine test of the pregnancy, it came back positive for high levels of protein (they didn't give me the exact results). Blood tests were then ordered and the results came back really bad & I was rushed in for an emergency c-section. Luckily ds only had bad jaundice & we were both released after 7 days. It was 2 days after the c-section when I was told that I had HELLP, the ob was acting puzzled & said "it's strange you never had any upper abdominal pain did you?", my reply "yes I did YOU said it was reflux!". She then showed me the blood test results and even I could see there was a massive drop in platelets between the routine October results & the ones done 7 days prior. When I questioned why she didn't pick up on it she admitted she'd forgotten to check the results. She also said that I would be at risk of getting HELLP again in any subsequent pregnancy's and I needed to go under the care of a high risk ob.

My blood pressure was always within normal ranges until the night I was admitted when I was told it had increased but they didn't tell me how high or serious it was. I only found out I had pre-eclampsia as well as HELLP when I got my notes to give to my new high risk ob.

Fast forward 4yrs and I am pregnant with baby number 2. I am under the care of a high risk team (ob, midwife & physician) and am being seen more often, urine is tested at every appointment & I will be having additional growth scans. All seemed to be going well till 25w+2 when I started getting RUQ pain. It was very mild, a little tender to touch but nowhere near needing pain relief. I also had a headache. I went into hospital and all my tests came back normal. I saw my ob who said at this stage it is not HELLP & it is very unusual how I presented with HELLP the first time. I was discharged and the pain went away later that night. Then yesterday it came back, still very mild but it has increased in intensity. No headache but I did feel like vomiting all day (I'm still suffering from morning sickness so not sure if it was related to the m/s or RUQ). I'm 27wks + 4 today. It feels like deja vu at the moment & I am beginning to get scared. I have a scan, ob & physicians appointments in 3 days so haven't gone back to the hospital yet. I will go into hospital if the pain comes back before then or I get more symptoms.

For those who have had HELLP more than once did it present the same way each time?

Thanks in advance :-)
DS - 29th Dec 2008 - Born @ 37wks due to HELLP. Presented with RUQ pain @ 30wks, normal blood tests until 35wks (missed by ob) & normal BP until 36w + 6 when HELLP was finally diagnosed. Was misdiagnosed with reflux from 32wks.

DD - Due 31st Dec 2013 - Crossing fingers HELLP doesn't come back!
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Re: Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby MomTimesThree » Sun Oct 06, 2013 02:51 pm

First- I'm so sorry so many of your symptoms were missed the first time around. What a scary experience! So glad your OB recognized that you needed to be followed by a high risk OB.

Trust your gut- if your symptoms are worrying you- it's always worth it to get checked out- especially with your history.

Each pregnancy is unique. While your risks are higher- there are parents here who have gone on to have picture perfect pregnancies- complicated but different severity pregnancies. It's hard to know what a subsequent pregnancy will bring- so it is excellent that you are under better care with a high risk OB who can review your unique history and risks.

Keep posted as you can!
Lauren
2008-Our Baby Girl, PTL born too early at 30w6d, Fought so hard... Forever Loved & Missed
2010- Lil' Bro, Pre-E at 29 weeks... Induced at 36w6d, Born 37w
2012- Lil' Sis, Super-imposed pre-e at 25 weeks, PTL & GD at 35 weeks, Evicted 36w
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Re: Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby Stormborn » Sun Oct 06, 2013 07:00 pm

Thanks Lauren :-)

I guess I'd be feeling better about this if I didn't keep getting told by the doctors "You can't possibly have had HELLP that early & lasted till 37wks", "it's very unusual the way you presented with HELLP" & "if you get it again it'll come on all of a sudden". It just feels like they don't believe me & I'm wasting their time going in to be tested. Honestly I didn't think my tests would come back abnormal this early but I wanted a baseline on record so if/when the pain intensifies like it did with ds they will be able to see the difference straight away.

Thanks again :D
DS - 29th Dec 2008 - Born @ 37wks due to HELLP. Presented with RUQ pain @ 30wks, normal blood tests until 35wks (missed by ob) & normal BP until 36w + 6 when HELLP was finally diagnosed. Was misdiagnosed with reflux from 32wks.

DD - Due 31st Dec 2013 - Crossing fingers HELLP doesn't come back!
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Re: Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby MomTimesThree » Sun Oct 06, 2013 07:10 pm

Yeah, those are all reeeallly unhelpful answers! If you're not confident in your care team- you might also consider switching to literally the folks you trust with your life.

Glad you were able to get a baseline in.
2008-Our Baby Girl, PTL born too early at 30w6d, Fought so hard... Forever Loved & Missed
2010- Lil' Bro, Pre-E at 29 weeks... Induced at 36w6d, Born 37w
2012- Lil' Sis, Super-imposed pre-e at 25 weeks, PTL & GD at 35 weeks, Evicted 36w
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Re: Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby Stormborn » Tue Oct 08, 2013 02:54 am

I had my appointments today & got told off for not going in to be tested on Friday. They are now going to be ordering blood tests every 3 weeks, more often if the pain returns. If the pain returns again I have to go in straight away as they want to do a scan to see if it maybe something else other than my liver. They did mention it could be gall stones - I've never had them before so no idea if the pain is the same as liver pain. I've also been put on calcium tablets as a preventative, seems a bit late to me but will do as I'm told. They wanted me to take baby asprin to but I'm allergic to it.

The scan went well and bub is measuring well, she's not small or big so that's reassuring.

I feel much better with this today as even though they doubt the way my symptoms presented last time they are not dismissing the way they are presenting this time.
DS - 29th Dec 2008 - Born @ 37wks due to HELLP. Presented with RUQ pain @ 30wks, normal blood tests until 35wks (missed by ob) & normal BP until 36w + 6 when HELLP was finally diagnosed. Was misdiagnosed with reflux from 32wks.

DD - Due 31st Dec 2013 - Crossing fingers HELLP doesn't come back!
Stormborn
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Re: Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby MomTimesThree » Wed Oct 09, 2013 03:51 pm

Soooo glad that they are taking your concerns seriously! Yay for Bub measuring right where he needs to be. Keep posted!

:)
Lauren
2008-Our Baby Girl, PTL born too early at 30w6d, Fought so hard... Forever Loved & Missed
2010- Lil' Bro, Pre-E at 29 weeks... Induced at 36w6d, Born 37w
2012- Lil' Sis, Super-imposed pre-e at 25 weeks, PTL & GD at 35 weeks, Evicted 36w
MomTimesThree
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Re: Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby Lee2011 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:04 am

Just seen this, having rushed to post before my son arrives home!

I hope you are doing well, it sounds like we have quite a bit in common. I think my RUQ pain started about 30 weeks last time and i was emergency induced at 38weeks, and this time it started over the weekend at almost 30 weeks!

**HUGS**
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 :)
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Re: Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby Stormborn » Wed Oct 23, 2013 02:00 am

Wow, I just read your thread & it felt like I was reading my own story. I'm so sorry you're going through this as well, it really does feel like deja vu doesn't it!

I've had two more admissions since my last post as the pain has intensified and is becoming more frequent. All my tests have come back normal both times, they didn't give me the results so not sure what my actual levels are. BP is within normal range but that's no surprise as it didn't go up last time either. On my last admission I had another growth scan and they checked all my other organs on both sides at the same time. Everything looks normal so they've ruled out gallstones, blocked kidney, fatty liver, cholestatis & kidney problems. Bubs is also growing normally. I also saw a physio when I didn't have the pain to get them to rule out a rib injury or inflammation in the rib joints, they couldn't set the pain off so have ruled out any muscular skeletal problems. So all we're left with is HELLP. Now it's just a waiting game to see if more symptoms appear & bloods go haywire.

My midwife who has been adamant that I couldn't possibly have HELLP yet has finally changed her tune and is being a lot more supportive. Her attitude before was dismissive & she acted like it was all in my head. Thankfully my OB didn't share her opinion & although he isn't convinced it's the onset of HELLP he's also not dismissing it.
DS - 29th Dec 2008 - Born @ 37wks due to HELLP. Presented with RUQ pain @ 30wks, normal blood tests until 35wks (missed by ob) & normal BP until 36w + 6 when HELLP was finally diagnosed. Was misdiagnosed with reflux from 32wks.

DD - Due 31st Dec 2013 - Crossing fingers HELLP doesn't come back!
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Re: Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby Lee2011 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 02:17 am

Weirdly your due date is one day after mine!!!

I am due to see consultant on Friday, pain is not too bad at the moment but as you say nothing like feeling like we have been here before!

Keep me/us posted :)
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 :)
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Re: Does HELLP present the same in subsequent pregnancy's?

Postby Stormborn » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:50 pm

Wow that is weird. I won't make it to my due date though as I have to have a c-section around 38w + 2 (exact date will be booked next week).

How did your consult go?

My pain was staying about the same until last night when it increased and is now under my ribs & in my shoulder. It hasn't gone into the top of my back yet & isn't "I need pain killers" bad, but it is definitely getting worse. When I rang the hospital they said to wait for a second symptom to occur before coming in again for assessment. My second symptom last time was severe Oedema, which hit about 34wks. I haven't got any swelling as of yet, but was very nauseous last night at the same time the pain hit and ended up vomiting around midnight when the pain was at it's worse. I was also lying in bed and felt faint (for lack of a better word) when I opened my eyes the room was rocking (like when you're on a boat), is this another symptom?

The first time round I remember feeling nauseous & put it down to morning sickness returning until the last 4 days before they finally diagnosed me. At that stage I knew it wasn't morning sickness but thought I was sickening with a cold. I don't feel like that at the moment but also don't think it's morning sickness hitting late at night (normally it hit from the time I got up till about 2pm then I was fine till the following morning. It lasted till 26wks).
DS - 29th Dec 2008 - Born @ 37wks due to HELLP. Presented with RUQ pain @ 30wks, normal blood tests until 35wks (missed by ob) & normal BP until 36w + 6 when HELLP was finally diagnosed. Was misdiagnosed with reflux from 32wks.

DD - Due 31st Dec 2013 - Crossing fingers HELLP doesn't come back!
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