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A HELLP Story
by Sam
sub - 7/6/01

I will never forget starting to black out and looking up in my husbands face telling him very calmly "I am dying".  He swears I blacked out, but I remember everything in that room - I even saw myself getting an ephedrine shot, the concerned look on everyones face, the machines going off, I recall everything 
- I felt like I had a choice to fight and stay - or peacefully drift off into darkness.  

 

Sam's Story

Hi, My name is Sam and I am from Orlando. 

First, my pregancy began kind of funny because I was giving
false-negative  urine tests for the first eight weeks.  I had morning sickness, breast  tenderness, etc. and went to the doctor only to be told I was not pregnant.   

At eight weeks I finally had a positive home pregnancy test. 

I was so excited - I ate healthy, did yoga.   I found a nurse-midwife who  worked under the supervision of a physician.  

Around the seventh month I  started to get puffy - it was 95 degrees in Orlando and I was still working  so I attributed the swelling to the heat.   

At the beginning of my eighth month I started feeling "funny".  I was having  headaches and fuzziness - not thinking clearly.  My nose would bleed to the  point that I would cough blood.  My gums bled at the slightest brushing.

My BP became slightly elevated. Then one night, seven weeks before my due date,    I woke around 1am with terrible pain in my chest.  I thought that I was having a heart attack or contractions - I took a warm shower, rocked in a chair, talked to the baby and paced for two hours until I could barely
stand the pain - I crawled into the bedroom to wake my husband who rushed me to the hospital - I was practically hunched on the floor of the passenger seat because the pain was so bad.  

We were admitted to L&D through the ER and I was placed on a machine to measure the contractions.  My BP was 140/70. I 
only had two contractions until the morning when my doctor arrived.  He told me that "the baby was growing" and I would be feeling uncomfortable.  I told  him how terrible I felt and that I did not want to back to work.  He ordered 1 day of bedrest!!!  And sent me home with no lab work. 

The next night the pain haunted me again - but, I didn't want to be a big baby and go back to the hospital to be told I was a wimp.   I cried all night long.  The next day I was fine and was scared to death of nightfall for fear of the stabbing pain returning in my upper abdomen.  

Around 1am I was awoken and did all I could to stop from screaming "Get me to the hospital - something is wrong".  I would try to be so quiet and considerate because my 
husband had to work - but he woke to my sobs and rushed me to the hospital again.  This time I was panting because I couldn't take a deep breath because of the pain.  

The doctor came the next morning - he told me I probably
had indigestion.  His orders were plenty of fluids and 1 day of bedrest and 2 days off of work (I am in outside sales!).  I told him that I didn't feel well enough to go back to work - he blew me off. 

The pains came and went over the next 3 weeks - there were many nights where I lay writhing in pain.  Finally, at my eight month checkup (thank the Lord it was the nurse midwife and not the ignorant physician) - my  eyes were starting to look yellow, and I had so much fluid retention I could barely
put on shoes. 

My BP was 146/90. I was rushed to the hospital where a
sonogram was taken to see if the babies lungs were functioning.  It was Thursday and I was put on a pit drip and mag sulphate so I didn't seize as my BP was quickly 
elevating.  My ALT was 92, AST 5.5, WBC 12.5, RBC 4, protime 8.7, fibrinogen 504.  

By Friday night I still had not started to dilate and I was beginning to halucinate.  They were placing a medicine on my cervix to speed up the delivery but it didn't help.  Saturday came and went and I was getting worse - no visitors but my husband in a dark room.  I was so doped up I couldn't 
even  communicate.   

Saturday night at midnight - a nurse, was checking my cervix, when she "accidentally" broke my water.  Things progressed rapidly from there and I was given an epidural.  I had a reaction to the epidural and my blood pressure started dropping from extreme highs to 70/40 range.  The babies heart rate was lost several times and I thought we were both dying.  

I looked in my husbands eyes and felt as if I was having a
direct conversation with God.  I was begging for the  my life and the life of my new son.  I couldn't imagine the impact our deaths would have on the rest of Torreys life.   

Two hours later, with the OR standing by for an emergency C, Chase Jonathan Boomer came into this world naturally weighing 6Ibs.  He wasn't crying, nor  was he a pretty pink - he had the cord wrapped tightly around his neck and  was a blue purple color.  They pediatric team quickly got him up to
speed and handed him to his proud daddy, who then brought him over to me.  I must add  that I have no recollection of the delivery or anything thereafter.   

My BP didn't drop - even after a complete day of rest.  On Sunday evening,  Torrey had greeted all the well wishers and taken them over to the nursery to  see our healthy son.  I was still not allowed visitors except for immediate  family.  I remember about 12 hours after the birth asking my mother if I
was  supposed to bleed this much.  I was soaking towels every 15 minutes.

They said it was fine and my husband was told to go home and get sleep - he had  been there for four days. He went home not realizing the ordeal was not over. 

Sunday night was hell!  I bled all night long - I was exhausted from the delivery and here I was about to bleed to death.  My uterus had not clamped as it was supposed so there was awful clotting and cramping.  I was also  having terrible bleeding from my nose.  I was afraid to go to sleep for fear that I would bleed to death.  I was massaged and pummeled all night
long with high doses of pit to stop the bleeding.  Thank God it worked! 

Chase is now nearly 2 - he is doing great.  It took me a year to feel myself  again.   I suffered from panic attacks, depression, and terrible joint pain problems.  I was never diagnosed and did not know what was wrong with me until I found this website.   

I am now pregnant and suffering from terrible anxiety.  My urine test was negative, but the pregnancy was just confirmed with blood work.  I have a  high risk physician - but, my question is are they educated on this disorder? 

I still feel alot of anger towards the physician who neglected this serious condition and made me feel like a complainer.  At the hospital he admitted to  me that I was the worst case of toxemia he had in 16 years.  Thanks, Doc! 

Thank you for making me feel like I am not alone.  I wish I would have found  this site two years ago! 

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Updated 
6/2/01