HELLP at 38 weeks!

Post On Tuesday, January 02, 2018 By Katie

HELLP at 38 weeks!

 "I want to give my old self a hug and tell her she is a fighter and a survivor."

I had a wonderful and active pregnancy. I ran a 5k at 24 weeks and was working full time as an RN. I felt wonderful throughout until around 35 weeks. I began feeling more lethargic and was plagued with agonizing mid back pain. I initially brushed these symptoms off and attributed them to late pregnancy. Additionally, we had moved at 32 weeks to another city and I had to switch providers. I was new to them and I was admittedly overwhelmed with all the stress and change from a move. In hindsight, this is why I endured the pain and fatigue for so long.

 At around 36 weeks, my back pain was unbearable especially at night. I can remember pacing our new living room in tears telling my husband this can't be normal. I called my OB one evening thinking this could be back labor and went to labor and delivery. They hooked me up to a monitor and later sent me home. I continued to endure this misery and tell my providers how I felt at each appointment. Since I did not have typical signs of preeclampsia ( no elevated bp, liver enzymes, swelling) they dismissed my complaints.

At my 38 week checkup, my midwife noted that I was measuring small. She sent me to a perinatologist for an ultrasound and it was discovered my fluid was borderline low. I was scheduled for an induction the following morning at 6am. That afternoon we excitedly packed our bags and called our family. We went out for one final meal at Carrabas but I felt so terrible I could only eat some soup. I didn't sleep at all that night due to pain and nerves and also vomited(my body getting toxic). The next morning, we check into the hospital and they started me on pitocin. I was planning on getting an epidural for pain relief and I remember pulling out a people magazine and my makeup to pass the time. About twenty minutes later, the nurse came in saying that my lab work was critical and they believed it to be a lab error. They sent off another sample and I turned to my husband and said it's not an error. What followed, is a blur of pain, panic, and finally clarity for all my misery the final weeks.

I did not receive an epidural or any pain meds and labored BabyBeardenon pit for 6 hours. I had class two HELLP syndrome. My beautiful son Hudson was born healthy at 5 pounds. I remained in labor and delivery for three nights receiving mag sulfate and enduring more needle sticks than I can count. My liver enzymes were not stabilizing and I felt like I had the flu and had run a maratho. I strugggled to breast feed and was so weak I could barely hold my son.

It took six weeks for my levels to stabilize and honestly six months for me to feel normal. I struggled with postpartum depression and stress from a traumatic delivery. I want to give my old self a hug and tell her she is a fighter and a survivor. My practitioners told me I was a miracle. If I had not come in that weekend my liver likely would have ruptured. One thing that helped me in my recovery and healing was getting involved with the promise walk. Advocating for preeclampsia and hellp education gives my story a purpose.

I am happy to say I went on to have a healthy HELLP free second pregnancy. My HELLP baby Hudson is now a healthy and bright six year old! I will continue to educate others on this dangerous condition in an effort to save moms and babies worldwide. 

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