HELLP syndrome at 16 weeks pregnant! giving birth to our baby girl
Posted On Monday, May 07, 2012 by kelly
Before my case I hadn't even heard of HELLP syndrome, and I didn't know much about pre-eclampsia. Since developing HELLP and giving birth at 16 weeks I have started to raise as much awareness about the condition as I can. I have created a Facebook page (hellpsyndromeangels) and posted on the pregnancy and baby forums to warn others of what happened to me, and the signs and symptoms to look for. It seems the majority of people are like I was and have never heard of it let a lone know what to look out for. Â NHS UK state on their website that HELLP and pre-eclampsia can't happen until at least week 20 of pregnancy, I am proof this isn't true and I've written to the chief executive telling him it needs changing! It looks as though my case could be the earliest recorded and I 'd like to know if this is true. Our hospital liaised with others 'that' dreadful night as I was showing all the signs but they were baffled it was happening at 16 weeks!
There needs to be more awareness, even the nurse taking my blood pressure a few weeks ago said "what syndrome, I've never heard of that I'll have to look it up!"
On Thursday, 1st March 2012, I was exactly 15 weeks pregnant, I finished work and started to experience what felt like indigestion and heartburn, later on I found it very difficult to get comfortable and barely touched my meal as I felt very full and still had the indigestion like pain and bloating. I put this down to simple pregnancy symptoms.Â That night I couldnâ€™t sleep I was in too much pain, same feeling as earlier but stronger (the middle of my lower chest between my ribcage; I was also experiencing upper and lower back pain, mainly between my shoulders). I was up most of the night and took paracetamol to try and ease the pain.
The next day I didnâ€™t go to work! Over the weekend these symptoms came and went. That Sunday evening the same happened again. I called the out of hours doctor who sent an ambulance as I was describing chest pains. When at A&E I was told I had a urine infection and was given antibiotics, they didnâ€™t even imagine it could be HELLP that early.
The rest of the week I began to worsen, experiencing headaches, more pain in my chest and between my shoulders, and generally feeling very unwell, I felt terrible!! i gained weight very quickly and looked awful. Â I went back to the doctors on the Friday and a had blood test as A&E told me I had an abnormal liver function,Â the nurse also tested my urine which was showing high levels of protein, I was called back and by which point my blood pressure was dangerously high and so I was immediately referred to the gynecology ward at hospital. Where I had my bp checked every 15 minutes through the night, put on a drip for fluids and had my urine collected each time I went. I also had my blood taken several times. At this stage I was feeling very alone, scared and vulnerable. The next morning Saturday 10th March I was told by 2 different doctors that they needed to distinguish whether this was a medical problem that would have happened anyway or whether it was a pregnancy related issue. Later that morning, a female doctor came to break the heartbreaking news that they were pretty sure I had HELLP syndrome and that I was very poorly and the only way to save my life would be to give birth to my baby, my organs were failing and it had to be done. She told me that the whole department were talking about me and they couldn't believe what was happening so early.
I was taken down to a delivery suite where I was fitted with a catheter, they gave me magnesium sulphate to prevent me from fitting, medication to control my blood pressure and it was then a waiting game.Â I gave birth at 7.32pm after about 3 hours, gas and air and morphine for the pain. The placenta was huge and the same size as a full term pregnancy, at that point the doctors realised not only had I had HELLP but also a partial molar pregnancy which probably caused the HELLP. The midwives and doctors couldnâ€™t get all of the placenta out manually so I then had to go for a D&C where I also had a blood transfusion after losing 3.5 pints of blood!
I then spent a further 3 days on the delivery ward as I was still poorly, I was positioned closest to theater, Â if anything went wrong. I was on oxygen for the first night, I had flotrons around both legs to prevent clots and I couldnâ€™t move for 2 days. My face and legs had swollen up. But I was lucky to be alive!Â After 5 days I was allowed home, with no pregnancy and no baby, but I was alive, I was very weak but thankful for that!
Since coming home Iâ€™ve been taking medication to control my blood pressure, iron tablets for anemia. and I had daily checks from the midwife and Iâ€™ve been going for regular check ups at the doctors. Our baby girl Ellissia went to Manchester to have a post mortem and was cremated Wednesday 18th April.
Awareness is the key in saving lives here and I feel very strongly that It was a lot down to luck that I am still here and In Ellissia's memory I can help others!
Posted On Wednesday, June 13, 2012 by Leeanne
I also lost my baby girl Ashley Rose to HELLP and pre-eclampsia. I have done lots of fundraising and have tried to create as much awareness for HELLP. As like you I had never heard of HELLP I had heard of pre eclampsia. If you ever want to chat I Have just joined this site and hope to visit again. Good on you for wanting to create awarness. I also feel very lucky to have walked away with my life but the heartbreak of loosing a baby has been hard. I was 22 weeks, Ashley was born 2009. Take care and lots of love to you.
Posted On Sunday, August 05, 2012 by kelly
Hi Leeanne, sorry, I've only just seen your message, thank you so much for replying and your for kind words, It means Â a lot to hear from others in the same situation, you don't feel so alone. I am sorry for your loss, you'l know exactly how I feel! I have a facebook page if you have a facebook account, It's called hellpsyndromeangels. xxx
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 ...