What the Hellp Almost Killed Me?

Post On Friday, December 28, 2018 By Jen Fawcett

What the Hellp Almost Killed Me?

When I was 28 weeks pregnant, my blood pressure spiked and blood pressure meds were increased. The way I was feeling, I just figured “I’m pregnant. This is how all pregnant women feel. I’m finally experiencing the terrible side of growing a human being”.

HELLP SYNDROME never crossed my mind. 
Heck, I never heard about it until I was 32 weeks pregnant. 

Everything was fine until 30 weeks. My blood pressure spiked and I started swelling up. I was turning into a blown-up tick and not to mention Christmas was less than 5 days away. 

Two days after Christmas, I went in for an ultrasound, still feeling like garbage. Blood pressure was checked. Baby was active. I called the doctor, even though I was scheduled to see her in less than five days. She increased my blood pressure meds and told me to keep checking my blood pressure.

Dec 30st, week 32. My husband and I went in for the usual check-up. Blood pressure was not good. After it was checked several more times, the doctor pushed for blood work and we were sent home. In less than an hour, we received the life-changing call from the doctor. 

MY LIVER WAS FAILING, WE WERE IN DANGER. I HAD TO GET TO THE HOSPITAL ASAP. 

We made the hour trip to the critical care hospital and was informed that I would not be leaving the hospital until baby was born. 

WHAT? I STILL HAD 2 MORE MONTHS OF PREGNANCY. 

The doctors explained what was happening. Words like liver failing, premature baby, NICU, steroid shots, and STRICT bed rest became my life. 

What the HELLP almost killed me Minute by minute, we were going to being monitored until he came into this world. The nurse hooked me up to the IV and poured the devil’s medicine, magnesium sulfate, into my body. The mag felt like fire bursting through my body. 
Two days went by and strict bedrest was lifted. I was able to sit up in bed. 


I searched on my tablet everything there was to find out about HELLP SYNDROME, premature babies and NICU experiences. Little did I know, in just three short days, my outlook on life was going to completely change. 

Jan 4th, after my placenta abrupted, causing my son to rapidly decline, Maddox was delivered via emergency C-section. He was able to meet Mom and Dad for less than a minute before he was whisked off to the NICU. 

About 90 minutes post-birth, I started to suffer severe postpartum hemorrhage, which granted me another trip to the operating room table.

I became a medical miracle, baffling the doctors as to how I survived. I had numerous blood, platelet and plasma transfusions and was placed on critical care watch. 

After 36 hours, I stabilized and became coherent. I asked about my baby. My only link to him was by viewing pictures on a camera. I was well enough that the doctors said I needed to meet my baby.

I scrubbed up and was wheeled to the side of his isolette. I laid eyes on him. I remember the words, “That’s not my baby’ escaping my mouth while my eyes flooded with tears. Weeks later, I was told by a nurse it was one the most gut-wrenching meetings and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. There were no ‘mom instincts’, no maternal bonding feelings. Honestly, I didn’t even want to touch him. I felt like it was all a dream. I was sure I would wake up, be 6 months pregnant and granted a do-over.

1014051 10151982528183772 1086542476 nAfter coaxing by the nurses, I was able to fight the wires and hold my son for the first time. While the tears were rolling down my face, my heart broke into a million pieces. Guilt, grief, helplessness, utter sadness along with denial washed over me as I was wheeled back to my hospital suite.

I was in the hospital for a total of 11 days. Maddox spent a total of 26 days in the NICU, coming home on what would been my 37th week of pregnancy.

My entire pregnancy/birth story has transformed how I view life. It prepared me for the trials we have experienced raising my HELLP syndrome baby. Every day I am grateful I am here to watch my son grow up. 

Previously published from www.raisingananomaly.com

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