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Post On Saturday, April 26, 2014 By Marianne
I was 29 years old when I got pregnant. Everything seemed perfect at the moment. I was scared about all the things a mother would be scared about (not making it through the first trimester, baby not being healthy, gestational diabetes, etc...). I was having a very good pregnancy with no symptoms at all. I thought it was great that I was able to enjoy my pregnancy without any symptoms or discomfort. My last trimester, I started developing heartburn (it didnt matter what I ate, everything would cause me heartburn).
My doctor noticed that I had excessive amniotic fluid and decided to monitor me closely (every week). I had to give urine samples every week and have my blood pressure checked. Around 37 weeks, I started feeling weird (unwell). I had a weird pain in my upper stomach and felt heaviness around the area. My doctor said I probably had gastroenteritis and prescribed some antacids, among other medication. Yet, the pain never went away.
By week 39, the heaviness grew stronger and I started feeling worse. My husband wanted me to wait until week 41 to induce our baby (in case we needed to), but I kept insisting on inducing earlier due to the pain I was in. He convinced me to wait (claiming that the baby would be healthier of he was carried full term). One night, during week 39, the pain kept me awake. I knew this pain was not normal and begged my husband to take me to the hospital. I was admitted and the hospital called my doctor, who said he was okay with inducing me the next day. The nurse told me I was having contractions, but I couldn't feel them due to the other pain. My BP was elevated unlike the rest of my pregnancy and my blood plalets were extremely low. My liver was not working properly either. I didn't know what was happening. The nurse then told me my water broke, but they had to rush me in to the OR for an emergency c-section.
Everything happened so fast, I didn't have a chance to process the information. When I woke up from the general anesthesia, my husband told me that I had HELLP syndrome (which does not occur often), and on top of that, when my water broke, the cord prolapsed, compromising my baby's life. Luckily, my baby boy was born healthy and the pain from the HELLP syndrome probably saved our lives. The doctor said that had I stayed at home, the story would've been very different. I was confused even after delivery. How is it that my doctor missed the diagnosis? Am I entitled to feel disappointed and angry for not being diagnosed earlier? I left urine samples every week and none of them showed an increase in protein in the urine? Up to this day, I still think about it.
I'm afraid of having another child since the doctor said the chances of having the syndrome again in future pregnancies is very likely. My baby is two months old now, and I can't imagine my life without him. But now I'm scared of what the syndrome can cause in the future. I've heard that it causes aneurysms and other health issues, and it is quite scary. I don't know who to talk to because no one I know has ever suffered from preeclampsia.
My name is Antonella Bartow, I am a pre-eclampsia hellp syndrome survivor, and this is my story. I... Read More