I developed HELLP Syndrome quite early in my pregnancy at 25 weeks and 5 days! I had heard of Pre-E and Eclampsia and knew exactly what they were. I had only vaguely heard of HELLP in passing when I was doing research during pregnancy.
My symptoms started with swelling. I wrote that off as being pregnant during the middle of the summer in Texas. I then started having severe rib pain. I tried to sleep it off, but I could not get comfortable under any circumstance. I finally found that if I sat in the shower with burning hot water for 30-45 minutes it would numb the pain long enough to get a few minutes of sleep. I alternated that pattern for several hours. The rib pain became so severe that I felt that I couldn't breathe. I felt like I was dying, but in my mind I felt like I was overreacting as a first time mother.
My OB walked in and manually took it twice. She then got out the fetal doppler to check for Lexi's heartbeat. It was loud and clear. She immediately sent me to the hospital next door and said she would get there as soon as possible. When I got to Labor and Delivery they had me give another urine sample. It was maybe 1/3 ounce at the most and amber. They got me into a room and hooked up to an IV when my mother-in-law showed up. Might I add that my mother in law is a L&D nurse at that very hospital and saw my blood pressures on the screen before my name was even attached to it.
She got back to the unit and asked whose numbers those were, and they brought her in to see me. I knew she started praying non-stop from that point. They recieved the results from the protein strip while my OB was on the phone with every hospital with a Level 1 NICU in Texas. THP Presby Plano came to the rescue. They were able to take both me and my 25 weeker immediately. We were shipping via ambulance down to Plano. (45min-75min away) Her Daddy drove down there and got there after I had been admitted, made it to my room, and had my first set of labs done. I met with the wonderful OB that would be stepping in for my OB in my delivery. She reviewed my charts and said that she would be delivering me within 24 hours (8 pm the next day).
My 3am labs came back: the OB walked in and told me that she was taking the baby at 6 am and not a moment later. She pushed the delivery schedule around, and I went back to get prepped at 530am. While I was getting prepped she was informing Lexi's Daddy of the full situation. She told him that my levels scared her, and that she was not confident in my chances of pulling through. He told me later (much later) that she had such a heavy heart and truly believed she was going to deliver Lexi to a single father. He was prepped and met me in the OR. He never let my hand go.
Going into the delivery, I knew that hearing her cry or scream would not happen even with the two rounds of steroids. They delivered all 1 pound 13 ounces and 13 inches of her at 0619am. Screaming. It was nowhere near a newborn scream, but for her size it was a scream. My miracle. My 25 week 6 day miracle. 100 days before my due date. They evaluated her and took her to the NICU with her Daddy and her Nana (who had gotten there with a moment to spare) by her side.
As the OR doors closed, I flatlined. Twice. I still haven't had the heart to tell her Daddy that tidbit. She spent 134 days in the NICU. She was born on 7.24.14 and came home on 12.2.14 just in time for Christmas. She is now a 10 month/6.5 adjusted beautiful little girl who is ahead of her adjusted milestones! HELLP definitely threw us off track, but the track we ended up is pretty darn awesome.