Our story of PE and HELLP

Post On Thursday, February 19, 2015 By rachel

Our story of PE and HELLP

I have been reading the stories on this forum for over a year now and they have made me cry, scared, hopeful, happy and supported so before I begin I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story as I know they are not easy to write.

My story begins with a normal pregnancy and ends with a happy ending and I now have an energetic 14 month old boy, Oliver.  When I was 30 weeks pregnant I was on my way to my antenatal appointment when I almost crashed my car (my fault), and so flustered and annoyed at myself I had my blood pressure checked and was not surprised when it was a little on the high side! My midwife was concerned and wanted to see me a few days later. I walked this time and gave myself plenty of time to settle down and wait once there but it was even higher this time so we ruled out the car incident and I was told I would not be giving birth in the lovely new forest birthing centre which is what I had 'planned'. I was still working and was on my feet most of the day, my ankles were swollen and I had to take it easy but felt ok. Weekly checks became two day checks at the hospital and I went on maternity leave earlier than planned as I was exhausted. At this stage I just had high blood pressure but my midwife said that preeclampsia can go from bad to horrible very quickly so she would keep an eye on me and if I had any concerns, doubt, pain, anything to ring the hospital.   

Christmas Day at 36 weeks I couldn't move off the sofa, I felt so ill but I had only just been checked the day before and everything was ok, despite the high blood pressure and protein in urine.  Then, the night before New Years Eve 2013, I woke up feeling just wrong. My chest under my bump was incredibly tight, my back was really aching, I was being sick, my head hurt and I couldn't quite get my breath. I tried relaxing in the bath, I made a cup of tea, and then rang the hospital. 'oh dear! I think you'd better come in' said the receptionist. 'and bring everything with you'. All along I had said to my friends that my baby would be three weeks early and he was born exactly three weeks early.    My husband was secretly thinking that I was being a bit dramatic and at 4am who can blame him! We drove to hospital and my pain had become even worse and I felt so sick. When we got there, I was put straight onto the monitor. Baby was fine but my blood pressure was 227/110! 'Um, how are you feeling?' the midwife asked me. Soon the room filled up with doctors and other midwives and I was being pumped with drugs to lower my bp. Also, I had just started having contractions which I had been unaware of. The next few hours were a blur of being really sick, rejecting the medication, having an epidural, having my waters broken, being put on a drip, seeing my husbands pale face, falling in love with my anethatist who took the pain away, being told I had hellp syndrome, being rushed into theatre for a c section, knowing my faith was real, wondering how my legs had moved, hearing 'oh, your a tiny scrap of a thing' about my baby, seeing my husband hold him and then seeing my very tiny unhealthy placenta.   Oliver was 4lb8 but other than that ok. I'm still recovering emotionally. I had post partum anxiety for months after the birth but am getting better now. Oliver put on weight quickly and is now average size for his age. I would love another baby but have been told I would probably get pe again. I'm encouraged by those who have done it again, you are so brave. At the moment one is keeping us busy enough and I continue to be thankful to the staff at southampton hospital for the care they gave us. Thank you you for reading my story.    Xx  

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