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He Was Our First Son: What Preeclampsia & Hellp Syndrome Took From Us

October 21, 2021 By Jade Hunter

He Was Our First Son: What Preeclampsia & Hellp Syndrome Took From Us

On Monday November 5, 2018 I had turned 20 weeks pregnant! My husband and entire family were anxiously awaiting to meet our son, on March 24, 2019. Jayden was to be our first son for my husband and I. Jayden was going to be another grandson for my parents to spoil. I was high risk going into the pregnancy because I had a history of Lupus (was and had been in remission), a Black female, and I was considered “geriatric” due to being in my 30’s.

The evening of November 5, 2018, I started feeling 'off'. I started to get shakes that evening, I felt so cold, I couldn't sleep. Tough it out I told myself, you're strong, and it’s just food poisoning. The next day on November 6, my husband, Terrance, took me to the hospital for what we thought was a severe case of food poisoning. I felt so sick, my whole abdomen area hurt. Sadly, that day we learned that our sweet Juju Bean, Baby Boy Hunter, had no heartbeat.

Our whole world shattered with those two words "I'm sorry". It was like our world stopped in that moment. I remember seeing my baby boy hunched over and not moving. "Why isn't he moving" I asked even though I knew the answer. Our world literally turned upside down in that moment.

After being checked into the hospital that day and having several tests performed, we learned I had developed HELLP Syndrome and my blood pressure was rising dangerously. The hospital team luckily knew about HELLP Syndrome and immediately sprang into action to save my life, because just that quickly my organs were beginning to fail. So much happened in that hospital, some moments I remember, other moments I do not.

I remember being terrified of having to deliver my dead son. What will he look like? Why is this happening to me? Why did he have to die? Could this have been prevented? Did I do something wrong? Why was his life taken and not mine? Will I survive? These were just some of the thoughts that ran through my head.

The morning of November 8, 2018, my water broke and I delivered my unborn son. Jayden, became a statistic at 20 weeks gestation. He was one of 500,000 babies to die from Preeclampsia and HELLP (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes, low platelet count) Syndrome in 2018. I almost became a statistic as one of the 76,000 mothers who die each year from Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome.

My life and my family’s life changed forever on that November day. There were warning signs around week 18 of Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome but I was not educated by doctor about these warning signs. My blood pressure started dangerously rising and I had been to the ER a few times due to upper abdomen pain (some signs of HELLP Syndrome). Also, my doctor took me off my blood pressure medicine without replacing it with a pregnancy safe option.

Needing to understand my tragedy and wanting to prevent my tragedy from happening to other families, I began working with the Preeclampsia Foundation to fund research and raise awareness.

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