There are so many issues I had
to come to grips with, it took a while to feel a connection to my baby,
to realize how grateful I was to have survived a gravely dangerous situation,
not being able to nurse my baby as I had planned (my preemie simply wouldn't),
and being afraid for the future well-being of my baby.
My name is Leah and I am a survivor of HELLP
syndrome who is now contemplating having another child. It's been almost
3 years since my ordeal. I came across your site because I am trying to
educate myself as much as possible before I go down that road again!
Unlike many of the HELLP syndrome stories I've
read, my pregnancy was blissfully easy up until my son's fateful birthday.
I experienced no morning sickness, very little
weight gain, no headaches or blurred vision. Well, I wear contacts and
my vision is always a little blurry! I really had no complaints.
Most of my neighbors did not even know I was
pregnant at 32 weeks along.
However, my blood pressure had been borderline
140/90 for the past month and my OB had recommended that I start medication,
which I reluctantly had just started.
I began to feel some nausea and stomach pain
on a Friday and went home from work early. I went to bed with what I thought
was the flu. After sleeping all afternoon I felt much better. I didn't
take my blood pressure medication for fear that it would cause more nausea.
I felt pretty good until Sunday night when
the stomach pain started up again. I told my husband that on Monday I'd
go see my OB "just in case."
Monday at work several of my coworkers reported
having the flu over the weekend, and I felt much better and decided that
I had recovered from my "flu" and didn't go to the doctor. Big mistake!
By 11pm Monday night the pain finally got so
bad that I reluctantly told my husband to take me to the emergency room.
The internist on duty that night in ER was convinced that it was my gall
bladder. My blood pressure was 210/114.
When my OB's answering service finally contacted
her (2 hours after I called them) she rushed to the ER and knew immediately
what the problem was. Amazing that nobody in ER knew anything about the
symptoms of preeclampsia.
She informed me that she would be delivering
my baby emergency C-section immediately and I was transported to her hospital
(after some ranting and raving at the medical staff in the ER I had chosen
to go to).
With my husband by my side, my son Gavin was
delivered at 4am on October 27, 1998, weighing in at just under 4 lbs.
He didn't make a sound as they carried him to NICU. He was placed on a
ventilator but managed to pull through his ordeal with flying colors and
came home 3 weeks later with no health problems.
I spent 9 days in a different hospital a short
distance away, in various stages of intensive care. My liver had actually
cracked, but fortunately the bleeding was contained in a hematoma that
never ruptured and I was spared the risk of OR. The excruciating pain and
confusion I experienced far overshadowed any birth experience. I wasn't
able to hold my son until he was 7 days old.
When I finally took him home, it was as if
I had been in the hospital for all these other horrible issues
and as I left, "oh by the way, here's this baby you can take with you!"
Also feelings of jealously that my husband
was there with my baby everyday and bonded with him before I did, while
I just held Polaroids.
The happy outcome is that I developed an extremely
close bond with my child, who has proved to be a charming, bright and easy
toddler. In stead of being developmentally behind other kids his age, he
is far ahead in his verbal skills and is able to sing songs, recite the
alphabet and count to 20 in two languages.
So here I am again, wondering if I should take
my chances on another pregnancy. I take permanent medication for high-blood
pressure now, and my OB is not exactly enthusiastically encouraging me
to conceive again. I am looking for more information to validate my decisions
to have another child!
Looking for more information?Go
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or medical care.
If you are looking for medical care please consult your
The information provided on these pages are not intended
to make a
diagnosis of a particular problem nor provide a cure.
Your health and the the health of your baby should be
by a qualified professional