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Pampered Chef: Anyone else survive HELLP Syndrome (Pregnancy related)?

  1. AJPratt

    AJPratt Legend Member Silver Member

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    I was wondering if anyone here has ever had HELLP Syndrome? Or know someone who had it? Its rare, it occurs in less than 1% of pregnancies. And it can be deadly to Mom and/or baby. I was diagnosed with it with Mary and I also had severe Pre-eclampsia.
     
    Sep 26, 2009
    #1
  2. Pedey

    Pedey Member

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    One of my good friends had it - also with severe preeclampsia. She ended up delivering her daughter at 28 weeks & the baby spent a few months in the hospital - but both Mom & Baby came through OK. It was a scary, rocky start to little Raychel's life but now she's a happy, healthy 5 year old. And Mom went on to have another pregnancy, twins - and she carried them to 35 weeks & the HELLP never returned. Her preeclampsia started to show up near the end so they just watched her but all went great.

    I'm sorry it's not a great experience.... but the ending was the best you could hope for. I really, really hope they can keep you from having to deliver too early.
     
    Sep 26, 2009
    #2
  3. MLinAZ

    MLinAZ Member Gold Member

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    I did not have HELLP but something very similar - cholestasis - basically a pregnancy-induced liver condition.

    It developed early for me (gosh, probably 24 weeks or so and it's typically a last trimester condition) and the itching was hideous and balancing the medications along with my gestational diabetes proved difficult. I did end up hospitalized at 31 weeks when my liver levels got worse and I failed the 24 hour urine test (indicating pre-eclampsia, which btw I never actually had). They did a c-section at 34 weeks because at that point the babies were safer out than in.

    Yes it can be dangerous and a friend of mine who was actually my charge delivery nurse said I was primarily in there for observation. They "thought" something was going to happen, even though it never really did.

    My liver tested normal within 1-2 days of delivering! They have told me that it's very likely I would develop cholestasis again if I got pregnant and have discouraged me from getting pregnant again.
     
    Sep 27, 2009
    #3
  4. jbondr

    jbondr Member Gold Member

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    I had HELLP Syndrome with my 3rd child. I was 38 weeks when my son was born. It was a scary experience. I was nervous when I was pregnant with my 4th child but no HELLP Syndrome. Thank God!
     
    Sep 27, 2009
    #4
  5. AJPratt

    AJPratt Legend Member Silver Member

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    I am glad to hear that the HELLP didn't return, I had a severe case of it.

    To be honest, a lot of the labor and delivery is a blur. Initially, I went to the hospital Sunday (July 27th) because I was having a pain under my ribs and vomiting. They ran a million tests on me, and figured I had a gall bladder attack, so they treated the pain and wanted to admit me. I had so much to do to prepare for the baby and a business to prepare to run without me so they gave me the option to go home. I felt better Monday and then Tuesday night it was back again. I tried to just lay down and rest, but it progressively got worse. I went back to the hospital early (4am) Wednesday morning in the worst pain imaginable. I couldn't stop vomiting and I could hardly move, the pain was so bad. They tried to treat my pain with demerol, but it did nothing. I had to wait 3 hours for it to leave my system before they could give me morphine, which worked for the pain. So, there I was for 3 hours on the verge of screaming. My husband Dave was beside himself, not expecting to have to make decisions like what he faced. Luckily, my Mom was there to help. After a while, they had me undergo another series of tests (blood, ultrasound, MRI, non-stress) again. They found that on was on the verge of stroking out because of my blood pressure, which has never been a problem. They also learned that my liver enzymes were very high, and the liver itself was distended, my kidneys were also swollen and not functioning like the should, I had a problem with my gall bladder as well as my spleen. I had had the dream pregnancy and in week 38 all hell broke loose. Through all of this, the baby was fine. I was the one closer to being dead than alive. They didn't tell me how bad I was. I knew bits and pieces of info, but not the full story. They called in a number of different specialists to see my case. The diagnosis was that I was toxic; had preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome, which is a rare, but life threatening disorder, occuring in less than 1% of all pregnancies. Due to the HELLP, I also had a low platelet count; which means my blood wouldn't clot. A normal platelet count is 150-400 and mine, at the lowest, was 31. They couldn't do an epidural or a c-section if I needed it because I would have bled out on the table. So, the team of doctors all agreed that the best treatment, the only treatment for my illness was delivery, but since I wasn't due for 2 more weeks, they had to induce labor with NO pain medication. I cannot say I would recommend that to anyone. My advice to anyone having a baby: Don't be a hero! Take the meds! The one doctor couldn't believe I was not only still alive, but communicating. They called my family to come in to see me just in case "things didn't go well". So, here I am, laying on a table, and my Dad is coming in, my Step-Dad, my best friend and they all look freaked out. I knew when my brother came in, and I saw the look on his face that something was really wrong. They had 2 or 3 IV's in each arm and they drew blood from me for transfusions, if I needed them. I had been stuck a total of 28 times between bloodwork and IV's. I was so dehydrated and tired from not being able to eat or sleep for 2 days, that I would pass out between contractions and a nurse or my Mom would have to wake me up. Then, the baby developed complications and was in distress. The NICU team was in the delivery room with us, waiting. As soon as she came out, she wasn't breathing. She just looked like this little gray rag doll. I started to freak out and my doctor had to hold me down. The whisked her away, bagged her and that was all I knew. I didn't get to hold her and Dave didn't get to cut the cord. I didn't get to see her until later that night, and only for a few minutes. They wheeled my bed into the NICU so I could see her. I didn't hold her until the next day; a small price to pay. I was induced at 11:30pm Wednesday night and had her at 12:45pm Thursday afternoon (July 31st), with two hours of really hard pushing. As they were working on me after the delivery, someone came in and told me that she was 5lbs, 9oz and 19.5" long. With their help, she started to breathe on her own. She was in NICU for 7 days, but she is doing great now. It was an unbelievable experience. I still wake up at night with nightmares about what happened. I started to bounce back quickly after the delivery and I was like a celebrity. All kinds of different nurses and doctors were coming in just to meet me and couldn't believe what I had done and that I had survived. I had one nurse tell me that she had requested to be my nurse because she had heard the story and that everyone was talking about me and my case. After the rough part was over, I have to admit, it was flattering to get that kind of attention. So, I was discharged on Monday (Aug 4th) and Mary was discharged from NICU on Tuesday (Aug 5th). I have to be careful because I still have the problem with my liver. They said I needed to take it really easy for quite some time due to a risk of my liver rupturing. It was scary, but thank God for the team I had working on me!
     
    Sep 27, 2009
    #5
  6. KaryCam

    KaryCam Member Gold Member

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    Michelle
    I also had cholestasis and my doctor discouraged me from getting pregnant again. And oh YES, that itching was horrible.
    I have met a woman who had it and did have another child. She is now waiting for a liver donor and her child was born with something wrong with him.
    My husband and I are very happy with our one healthy son.
     
    Sep 27, 2009
    #6
  7. cathyskitchen

    cathyskitchen Senior Member Gold Member

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    OMG, Anne, what an ordeal you had!! I'm so sorry you had to go through that, but I'm so glad you and Mary ended up okay after everything. I did not experience anything like what you described, but I agree with you on not trying to be a hero when you're induced - I had wanted to go natural, but as soon as the pitocin kicked in, I was begging for an epidural. I can't believe you had to go through that with no meds!! My sister was pre-eclamptic with her first son (and it was VERY scary), but she and her son ended up fine and she had a healthy baby girl 2 years later (with no complications at all), but her experience sounds different from yours, so I would definitely listen to your dr. regarding any other kids. ((HUGS)) to you and for all you went through!!
     
    Sep 27, 2009
    #7
  8. AJPratt

    AJPratt Legend Member Silver Member

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    Thanks, Kathy! I thank God every day that I am here, and that I am here with Mary.
     
    Sep 27, 2009
    #8
  9. MLinAZ

    MLinAZ Member Gold Member

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    Oh wow! That is scary.

    I'm not willing to say we'll never have more kids but that is a factor...and I guess in a way fortunately it's not really a "easy" option for us since we'd have to do IVF. I wonder sometimes if I'd even be able to get the doctor to do IVF again but since it's a moot point until I win the lottery, I don't spend much time contemplating it all.
     
    Sep 28, 2009
    #9
  10. AJPratt

    AJPratt Legend Member Silver Member

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    I am scared to have a second. It took us 5 years to conceive, so I don't know if we'll be able to have another any time soon.
     
    Oct 3, 2009
    #10
  11. Sheila

    Sheila Legend Member Gold Member

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    Oh, Anne! Just seeing the "back story" to your sleep post. You definitely had a rough time!!! (((hugs)))

    I had pre-eclampsia with both children, but nothing to that extent.

    Infertility is no fun at all!!! It took us 22 cycles to get DD. I know that's just a drop in the bucket for you and some other people I know who have been trying for 5-7 years to get pregnant, but any length of time is still an eternity when you are living it from day to day. I wouldn't wish infertility on my worst enemy!!!

    I was "advanced maternal age" with both of mine, so I was labeled "high risk" and had an amniocentesis with both. The only upside to being high risk is that you get more ultrasounds! LOL I ended up with 13 of them (including a 4D) when I was pregnant with my daughter.

    I had a horrible 1st trimester with spotting, bleeding & passing clots. I was labeled "threatened miscarriage" the whole first trimester. And hubby was not here on the island, so I was making all the ER trips alone. Morning sickness kicked in for the 2nd trimester & then I did well in the beginning of the 3rd trimester, but started having pre-eclampsia issues around week 36. At week 38, I convinced the Dr's that this was not normal. My blood pressure was up & down, but not considered to be in the "danger" zone to them. My normal pressure is 110/60, but my new pregnancy normal had hit the 120/80 range (which to them was normal) but I was having higher spikes here & there which was a drastic change for me, but still not considered to be too high by the Dr.'s. They FINALLY believed me about the swelling issues & tested my protein count, they freaked out that the level was over 800 and induced me. After a 33 hour failed induction, they took her by c-section. She was 38 weeks 3 days so she came out healthy with no NICU time.

    Our 2nd pregnancy ended in a first trimester miscarriage.

    With my son, they suggested a c-section from the beginning. I went in 4 days before the scheduled c-section for my regular non-stress test and he was having decels in his heart rate. They took me over to L&D where I was told that it was going to be an emergency c-section and that he would be out in 20 min's. I frantically started trying to get in touch with my husband who was only about 20 min's away, but was in a meeting and no one was answering the phone in his office!!! While they were preparing for the c-section, they hooked me up to monitors & saw that my son was doing better with his heart rate. They still wanted him OUT, but the urgency was not as crucial as it had been 5 min's before. So they waited a little longer until I could find my husband & he could get there. He was there about 15 min's when they threw scrubs at him and took me back. They weren't kidding when they said that they wanted him out! They had to use the vacuum during my c-section to get him out - very uncommon. As a result, he had a huge whelp on his head that we had to watch closely, but by the time we left the hospital 3 days later, it was almost completely gone. We did have a scare the first night where he wouldn't wake up, scared the Nurse & the Pediatrician too ... but all ended well with no NICU time.

    I have several friends who had to deal with NICU time and have listened to details on how scary that is with all the "2 steps forward, 1 step back" issues that normally happen in there. I'm so glad to hear that your NICU time was short and went well. Not all families get to say that including a friend of mine who was doing NICU visits for one twin, while planning the funeral for the other twin. :(

    I actually joined an infertility web board to get pregnant with my daughter. There are LOTS of women on that board with various infertility and pregnancy backgrounds. It's a great source for information! If you want more info, just PM me. You have to pay to join, but I just keep the minimum "mommy" membership to chat on the forums which is $10 for 300 days. Well worth it to me for the constant availability to mommy info! :D
     
    Oct 3, 2009
    #11
  12. AJPratt

    AJPratt Legend Member Silver Member

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    Thanks for sharing, Sheila! You had a tough time for sure!
     
    Oct 3, 2009
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  13. pampchefrhondab

    pampchefrhondab Senior Member

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    Wow Anne, I had never heard of this before, but my sister's DIL just had it this week! They delivered the baby 3 weeks early because of it. Her weight was 5 lbs. She had some blood sugar problems at first, but I think everything is okay right now.
     
  14. AJPratt

    AJPratt Legend Member Silver Member

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    Rhonda, I am sooo glad to hear everything worked out. It is scary and they are still studying it. I would suggest a visit to Preeclampsia Foundation | Home to your sister's DIL to keep up on what's going on with HELLP and repercussions. They have a section on HELLP.
     
    Oct 5, 2009
    #14
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