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HELLP syndrome birth
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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:11 PM
Hi all, I'm doing this as a debrief for myself to get it all out as I still think about what could have happened 3 weeks later.
At 37 weeks I was due to have my scheduled caesar the next morning and had to get a blood test done, so at 3pm they called me to say my platelets were low and to come in for another blood test. So I drove myself to hospital 5 minutes away but as soon as I got there they were ready to hook me up and not let me go but the doctor who called didn't tell me this so hubby was at home. Turned out my platelets were down to 30 which meant I could bleed to death, and I had HELLP syndrome, a severe type of pre-eclampsia I believe. I think my liver was starting to go as well.
They made the decision to deliver me that night. I had to have a platelet transfusion in the operating theatre before they would do the caesar. I was put under a general anaesthetic and my ds2 was born at 7.35pm. He needed a bit of help in the beginning (so I've been told) and he went to the special care nursery but is fine. I didn't bleed as much as they thought, but I still recovered in the Intensive Care Unit where I spent 5 days and had 3 blood transfusions to get my haemaglobin back up. I ended up with internal bruising in my bladder muscles.
I didn't see my baby for at least 36 hours after the birth and that was for about 10 minutes when they brought him down to me, then once a day until I managed to go up to the maternity ward on the Saturday when he then got to be with me finally. Hubby had visited him daily though. In that time I also wasn't able to see my other 2 children who are 2 and 5 as ICU wasn't really a place to visit. They also couldn't see their baby brother as he was in special care. So finally we could all be together on the Saturday and after a couple more days of monitoring I got to go home with ds2 on Tuesday.
I did have a history of high blood pressure and was on meds for this for the whole pregnancy and I was also injecting insulin for GD 4 times a day. This probably could have led to ds being only 2.550 kilos when he was born. I did have symptoms of HELLP syndrome in the days leading up to the birth but maybe I didn't speak up enough - I had back pain and pain in my upper abdomen and towards the end in my shoulder and I was feeling pretty horrible. But when I went to the hospital for foetal monitoring on the Sunday as scheduled I don't think they even took my blood pressure that day so if I hadn't had the blood test on Monday I'm not sure what would have happened really. I hadn't had a blood test for at least a month before that, just the monitoring and twice weekly ultrasounds to make sure baby was ok.
I am very grateful for all the hospital did for me. It was my third pregnancy and I decided to go public but they were just amazing, and probably saved both our lives. No more babies for me though. But I have a beautiful little boy now
Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:20 PM
Fantastic story Fizzy!
It is a great example of the importance of speaking up if you're not feeling quite right.
You were certainly blessed with the timing and circumstances of it all.
Congratulations and bouquets on the safe delivery of your dear little boy - and you!
Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:31 PM
Congratulations on the birth of your little boy.
I had HELLP with my second baby. I didn't have all components of it with my 3rd but my liver was failing so it was fast approaching. They took him out before it started and like you I also went to ICU.
I was aware of it this time round but with my second I had no idea what was going on. I read a lot of stories on the AAPEC website afterwards and some are really really sad with not such great outcomes. It's a very serious illness. I am glad they noticed it in time for you. Try not to think about the what if's... the fact is you were in the great hands of some wonderful medical professionals and you now have your precious baby bundle.
I hope things are well for you now recovery wise and I'm glad to hear your baby is well too.
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