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A HELLP Story
by Vicky
sub - 9/17/01


Thank you for giving me the chance to tell my story, a lot of people do not understand what it is to go through this condition and how it affects your whole life.

 

Vicky's Story

Hi there, My name is Vicky, i am 27 and i live in Kent, England. I fell pregnant in autumn 2000 after spending 2 years trying and 6 months on fertility drugs. I was naturally scared but also so happy and felt so lucky! 

I started my pregnancy with very bad morning sickness and in the first 3 months i lost 21 pounds. In spring 2001  I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and proteinurea. I spent a lot of time having daycare visits to the hospital and doctors.  
My doctor was excellent although i couldn't always get to see her. 

I was beginning to feel more poorly, i was getting bad headaches and my body was beginning to show signs of bad edema. 

I was signed off of work at 24 weeks and given medication for my blood pressure and told to take plenty of rest. By 28 weeks i called my midwife who came out to see me after i had a particularly bad night of pain in my back, severe headaches and nausea. She took my blood pressure and tested my urine but said that i had a mild case of PIH and that i would be fine. 

By the end of the week i was much worse so i went to see my doctor, she sent to the daycare centre at the hospital were they decided to immediately admit me. By then i was 29 weeks pregnant i had a blood pressure averaging at about 190 over 95 and 3+ protein. I was under constant supervision  and had numerous medication. 

They gave me steroid injections to help the development of my baby's lungs. As the days went on i was getting worse and my bp raised to 200 over 150, i was so swollen i couldn't walk. i was hooked up to Hydralazine drip, a Mag Sulphate drip, catheter, pulse monitor and administed Niphpedepine, methyldopa and had to have daily tinzaparin jabs to prevent clots in my legs. 

They also suspected that i may have a tumor on my kidney, but after waiting 4 days for the results they found that i hadn't.

After a total of 2 weeks in hospital they  decided to operate an emergency c section on me as the baby had apparently stopped growing at 29 weeks. 

I was so scared, before i went in hospital i was phobic of needles, hospitals and certainly operations. I was administered the epidural and at 31 weeks thought i was finally going to have my baby. I could feel that my body was shutting down, but there was a problem, i had to wait as another emergency c section came in with a breech baby and there was not enough staff to cope with both births. 

By 7 am 27 April 2001 i was finally on my way down to theatre, but i was not fully aware of what was going on.  By 8.03 am my baby girl ELIZABETH MARY WOOD "LIBBY" was born weighing 2lb 9 oz, she gave a cry and i was allowed to kiss her and she was  then taken to special care. 

I took me a long time to recover and i was 8.4 anemic. I was offered a transfusion, but turned it down i didn't want any more needles. It wasn't until after the birth that i was actually diagnosed as having HELLP!

I had had over 90 blood test, my blood pressure was taken every 15 mins and i just wanted to rest. i eventually got to meet Libby 2 days later and she was beautiful. She spent a total of 6 weeks in care. 

She is now 5 months old but still only weighs 7lb 12. I on the other hand still have high blood pressure and i am on medication. I have been told that for future pregnancies  i will have a 20% chance of having HELLP again but a high risk of having PIH , placental failure and another Prem baby.
 
 


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Updated 
12/2/01