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A HELLP Story
by Sharon
sub - 11/26/01

I felt helpless because I knew something was wrong but there wasn't anything I could do about it.  
 

Sharon's Story

My name is Sharon.  I am 22 and gave birth to a healthy baby boy on September 16th at 41 weeks via cesarean with HELLP syndrome.

My symptoms began at about three months.  I had upper quadrant pain on my right side.  I immediately told my doctor.  He told me that It was my falciform ligament.  My Mother-in law wasn't convinced (she's a nurse).  She was sure it was my gallbladder because my side would ache most after I ate.

As the months wore on I began to notice blotches on my hands and feet.  I showed my Mother-in-law because my doctor told me it was from the extra weight that I gained with normal pregnancy.  She asked me if I had high blood pressure.  I took my blood pressure at Rite Aid pharmacy and noticed that it 
was on the high end of normal.  It was one point away from the high range!  

At seven months I made my husband take me to the doctors because the baby wasn't moving that much.  The baby had a normal heart rate so I stayed at the hospital for about an hour and then they sent me home.  I think the doctor began to think I was a hypochondriac because I came in two times after that 
to the ER to have the baby monitored.

At eight and a half months we took a trip with my in-laws to northern California.  I had to lay down the whole time because my side hurt.  

Saturday, September 15th, My husband and I were on our way to a wedding (earlier, I had complained to my Mother-in-law that my right shoulder was hurting and that I felt sick to my stomach).  There were small bumps around my eyes where I had applied my make-up.  We turned the car around so I could 
wash the make-up off my face back at the house.  After we left the house the hives got worse until both eyes were swollen shut.  I began coughing and couldn't breathe.  Then we pulled over to the side of the road as I vomited out the window.  Around every turn I vomited.  So, we headed back home.  

Back at the house I jumped in the shower to wash my face and hands because I thought I was allergic to that make-up and just hadn't gotten it off good enough.  The hives had spread to my entire body.  I got dressed and then we left again.  This time to the ER.

In the emergency room the doctors and nurses kept asking me what I ate.  "Nothing unusual," I kept telling them.  The pain in my right shoulder became unbearable until I was yelling at the nurse to help me.  My Mother-in law  came.  She demanded that I be on a fetal monitor since I was past due.  They put me on the fetal monitor and I was having contractions 2 min. apart but I couldn't feel them because of the severe pain in my shoulder and side.  They gave me Benadryl which numbed the pain but the hives wouldn't go away.  They noticed that the baby began to stop breathing so they gave me oxygen.  

After five hours of labor the doctor decided to do an emergency c- section.  Elijah Jonathan Behringer was born at 12:12 am via cesarean.  He was healthy in every way.

It was later understood that I had HELLP syndrome. My baby and I are so very lucky.  I thank God that he is here with me today.          

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Updated 
6/2/01