I am a very lucky woman. I hear that every time I tell my story.
I am a very lucky woman. I hear that every time I tell my story. I am a 37 year old mother of three. My oldest daughter was born at 33 weeks after I was finally diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. I had major swelling.......gained 20 lbs in one week. Maggie was in the NICU for 2 weeks and did very well. She had respiratory issues until she was about 3, but is a healthy active almost 10 year old now. We felt we had been very lucky.
The stress and emotional battles did not keep us from having our second daughter two years later. We were optimists and had been told that HELLP syndrome does not typically occur in second pregnancies and should we be the rare case it would be milder and later in pregnancy. Apparently, that did not apply to me. After bed rest, excessive swelling and battles with BP, I in fact had HELLP a second time around. It was an extremely emotional struggle for me. I was angry and disappointed. Annie was born at 34 weeks, but was small (SGA) and her lungs were not strong. She stayed in the hospital for a few weeks. She was on a ventilator for a brief stint and was tough to feed. However, she was a fighter and overcame all of her complications. She is a healthy, strong willed almost 8 year old now.
When we found out we were pregnant with our son 5 years later, it was a scary, emotional pregnancy. I feared the worst with every twinge or odd weight gain. I had a beautiful pregnancy and all seemed fine. I was seeing a wonderful doctor who had me on a cocktail of calcium, baby aspirin, vitamin E, prenatal vitamins, low sodium diet, iron, and vitamin C. I had never felt so healthy. Yet, despite all the prevention I started showing signs of HELLP at 35 weeks. Thomas was born just shy of 36 weeks and came home from the hospital with us. I was awake for his birth and felt great. I was delivered as soon as my BP started to creep up and I started spilling protein in my urine. It made all the difference. Life in our house has been a flurry of activity ever since. I am a lucky woman but can relate to the struggles and stress of carrying a baby after having HELLP syndrome. It is a scary syndrome and even scarier to carry a second time. Good luck to all of you who are in that position.
After surviving a very traumatic first pregnancy with a nightmare delivery (30 hours of magnesium-induced hell, ending in an emergency c-section) and even more debilitating recovery, one would think I was DONE having children. Let's be ...