I am now 5 weeks post-partum and enjoying being home with my sweet daughter and amazing husband! Prior to this, I worked full time as a social worker, and was pursuing my Master’s Degree at the University of Texas in Social Work. I am taking the fall semester off to be a mom, and will return to work/school in January if my health permits it! My Instagram is @kerrie_ann – I would love to connect with other HELLP moms! I did not know I had HELLP Syndrome until after my C-Section delivery of my daughter, Charlie Jane. I had never heard of HELLP syndrome prior to my diagnosis. In fact, I knew very little about preeclampsia prior to my diagnosis. However, in hindsight I did show symptoms.
At about 34 weeks, my feet began to swell. This continued and only got worse throughout my pregnancy. Looking back at pictures, it appears that my whole body was swollen as well. My blood pressure was slightly high (between 120-130 over 80-90), but still within the “normal” range. However, I ran low prior to my pregnancy, so I think this was high for me. From about week 36 or 37 weeks on, I had pain my upper right quadrant. I attributed this to my baby’s position, but know now that it was my liver. I was nauseous during my last month of pregnancy, and eating was like a chore. I had horrible heartburn. Even though I only gained about 30 pounds throughout my pregnancy, I gained most of that in my last 3 weeks. I gained 3-4 pounds a week at the end of my pregnancy. Finally, during the last weeks of my pregnancy, I felt like I had to urinate constantly. However, when I would go to the bathroom, hardly any urine would come out. Also, my urine was always very dark in color. Unfortunately, the protein in my urine was not tested after my 34th week. I know now that these were all signs of HELLP, but did not realize it until after my very complicated delivery.
I am a school psychologist in Minnesota. I am married to my husband of three years and we have a wonderful 15 month old son with baby #2 due in December 2015.
My HELLP story starts out similar to many of you! I was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome at 34 weeks, 2 days. I first heard of HELLP Syndrome the day before I delivered, when the doctor told me he wanted to check my blood and urine. He stated, "I don't think you have HELLP Syndrome, but I would like to check to make sure". I was nauseated throughout my whole pregnancy, often vomited, and was overall pretty miserable (heartburn, carpel tunnel etc.). I work in a school, so on the last day of school (June 10), I attributed my rapid swelling to over-doing it. My main symptoms were liver pain (I thought it was stomach pain) and vomiting.
I went home from work on the last day of school and slept from 4pm-the next morning. When I woke up, I couldn't stop throwing up. I called my husband (he works 24 hour shifts as a Fire Fighter) and he brought me home the basics - 7-up, chicken broth. After 24 hours of throwing up and keeping nothing down, I called my doctor. He asked if I was having pain in my right upper quadrant; however, the pain I was feeling felt more like my mid-upper stomach area, so I said no, and he concluded I might have the flu and it will run it's course.
I am a stay at home mom , have been married for almost 3 years now. We live in Puerto Rico , wich is a small island in the caribbean.
I had HELLP during my pregnancy I was 33 weeks when symptoms started and was diagnosed at 34 weeks , delivered my baby via emergency C section at 34 weeks 1 day. I had never heard of HELLP before being diagnosed , the doctor told me I had Preeclampsia and had me admitted to the hospital a week before because of my very high Blood pressure and extremely high increase in urine protein.
I did not recognize the symptoms at the moment because I had never heard of HELLP and since I was already hospitalized with Preeclampsia I thought it was related to that . My symptoms started at 9am I had severe pain in my chest area ,back and upper stomach they thought it was a mussle spasm and so did I since hospital beds are not that comfortable , so they gave me a medication for that and I slept for maybe 1 hour and started feeling better. My second symptom was blood in my urine , I went to the bathroom and when I looked at the toilet it looked like soda I, since in the hospital the bathroom is shared with another room I thought it was a mother who had nust give birth and was bleeding. My final symptom was an extremly high spike in blood pressure and a terrible headache, they took me down to get my baby monitored and my blood pressure went sky high , my head felt like it was going to explode and I was very red and felt like I was on fire.
I am the extremely proud mama to our handsome, humble, rock-star preemie son, Nicholas! After a long battle in the NICU and many post-hospital appointments, I've gone back to work where I serve as the head of a science supply company's Marketing & Branding division. You can read about our story of love, hope, & hellp at our site lovenotesfornicholas.com or by following us on instagram @mrsszapacs.
I was 28 weeks and 2 days pregnant with our 1st child when our lives changes drastically. I'd had a normal pregnancy up until 28w2d. My husband & I left just 2 days earlier for a brief vacation to visit my parents in SW Florida (we live in NC) - which our OB cleared us for.
Once we checked into the hospital we were diagnosed with HELLP syndrome within 1 hour. I was transported to Cape Corral Hospital to Golisano Children's Hospital in Fort Myers, FL where they would best be able to care for my small premature son.
I am married to my wonderful husband of 4 years. We live in a suburb on the south shore of Massachusetts. At the time I developed hellp syndrome I was working full-time on the telemetry unit at a Boston orthopedic hospital & currently working just weekends at the same hospital on a general orthopedic unit, which gives me 5 days/week to spend with my special little guy, Liam, who just turned 2 on August 3rd (also Tom Brady's birthday).
The biggest thing I want to share with other pregnant women & their families is that you need to trust yourself. You know when something is not right with your body & you need to advocate for yourself & your baby even if you are initially dismissed by a healthcare professional. Be persistent. As a nurse I know the importance of listening to a patient & their family's concerns because they know themselves & when something is wrong.
This is my HELLP story.
I developed pain around my waist at about 32 weeks gestation. Initially, I thought maybe I was having heartburn, I took a tums & eventually went to sleep the next morning the pain was gone & I took it easy that weekend. I went to work on Tuesday that week and was fine until later in my shift the pain returned. I felt as if I was being strangled around my waist & I remember saying "Is this normal pregnancy stretching abdominal pain?Am I just being a baby?" I had been working on my feet all day that day. I called my ob's office because of my concern. They sent me into the birthing triage unit. They were focused on ruling me out for preterm labor, but did not seem to be concerned with finding any other reason for my abdominal pain. My blood pressure was normal at rest. A urine sample was normal & showed no protein.
I was instructed to go home & take it easy the next day, but no restrictions & I could continue working full time as a nurse. That night when I got home my abdominal pain continued to get worse (I should have went to the ER) & I vommited bile because the pain was so severe. I called my OB office first thing that morning (I never had an actual physician, just saw whoever in the group was available, which I wish I had a specific physician to take responsibility for my care in hindsight) the nurse told me "you were seen at birthing triage last night, so we do not think what your experiencing is baby related & there is nothing we can do for you. You can go see your primary care physician if you want, sorry." I thought it was actually reassuring that they didn't think it was baby related. I thought well maybe it's my gallbladder because I had increased my intake of fatty foods because I had been measuring small & had only gained about 13 pounds at 32 weeks.
I saw my primary physician that day & they were surprised my OB's office sent me to them, but the nurse practitioner was great & took labs for liver function tests & told me they would do a gallbladder ultrasound if the pain continued the next week, but if the next day the pain was better & I felt okay then I could go to work. The next morning the pain was gone & I felt like I could work, so I went. One of my favorite nurse practitioners was on that day & I told her what I had been experiencing. She took my blood pressure after I had been up & about & it was 150/90. She told me to call for the results of my lab tests & I did. Initially, they would not give me my results because the nurse practitioner I saw the day before was not working that day, but I pushed them to have someone else give me my results because I was 8 months pregnant & needed to know.
My liver function tests were slightly elevated. I called my OB office to let them know & they said I could go back to birthing triage. I left work early & went there. The nurse was on who, I had seen the first time I had gone & she said "what are you doing back here" I said, "I know it's probably me just worrying, but I need to make sure" They hooked me back up to the monitor, my blood pressure was just slightly elevated. They checked labs including a CBC this time.
Proud mother of three from Sandnes, Norway. I am a kindergarten teacher, and I work with children ages 1-2. I'm married to the chef of my dreams, and we'll be celebrating our 10 year aniversary next year (2016). We are on Instagram @anneknud.
I was a happy go lucky mother of two when lightening struck in the form of a positive pregnancy test. My first thought was panic. I'd had two high risk pregnancies before. My daughter (born 2003) was a preeclampsia baby, and my son (born 2008) was a SUA baby (singe umbillical artery). We thought we were done. But after a few days of panic, we started looking forward to another baby.
My pregnancy was rough from day 1. I was on sick leave from 14 weeks due to exhaustion. My blood pressure and urine was perfect the entire time, and I tried to keep calm. My due date was september 26th 2014, but I said early on that I would never be pregnant as long as until september. On may 30th i felt a pressure like pain in my upper abdomen. This was a friday, and the weekend was spent lying on the couch trying to sleep it of. I had extra check ups due to my previous high risk pregnancies, and I was sceduled for one on june 4th. I decided it was just indegestion or acid reflux gone bad, and tried to wait it out. On June 1st the pain was so bad I called L&D (which is the routine after 22 weeks here in Norway). They took me in for a check up, and my blood pressure was 160/103. The nurse told me I was just stressed, and had me relax in a dark room for half an hour. After this, my pressure was normal, and she told me that my pains were just an irritated stomach, and to take plenty of anti acids. Call back if it doesn't let up in a couple of days. If she had just taken the blood test then and there, I would have been admitted immediately...
I'm a healthy gal, had a fabulous healthy, uncomplicated 1st pregnancy - my first at age 31. I'd already been in practice as a PA in OB/GYN for the previous 9 years. I went to work - like any other day - and had commented at lunch that I felt unusually rested because I'd actually slept the entire night the night before. I was 36 weeks gestation and in that stage of pregnancy where sleep was interrupted by uncomfortable hips and my ever-shrinking bladder. I'd felt great, had no complications and, in usual form, hadn't done much preparation for our first child. I had a crib and a changing table - that's it. By the afternoon of that fateful Tuesday, I began having an internal banter with myself, arguing about symptoms I was beginning to experience. By my 2:30 patient, I was feeling right upper quadrant pain. By my 3:00 patient, I felt nauseous. By the end of my work day, I felt light headed and foggy but no headache. With each symptom, my internal dialogue was argumentative and dismissive. I kept telling myself I was being intolerant of "typical" late pregnancy symptoms. Denial is a place patients live all the time in my world as a health care provider - but its an unfortunate and dangerous place for a HELLP patient to live.
From my many years experience providing obstetric care to pregnant women, I know all about HELLP, its signs and symptoms, how to medically manage it and that it is one of the few things that pregnant women die from in the US. I'd medically recognized HELLP in many of my patients and diagnosed this syndrome myself many times over the years. Yet even I, with all of my medical knowledge, was unaware just how sick was was becoming with each passing hour. My symptoms were subtle, arguably caused and justified by other things and deceivingly minor in comparison to how sick I was getting.
I'm Alisha, and my big sister and best friend died of HELLP Syndrome in August 2013. Share your story with us. Stay updated by subscribing to our blog below: