I developed preeclampsia during my 30th week of pregnancy. I was admitted to the hospital for five days and then discharged. Two days later I had an appointment with perinatology. Everything was "normal" (besides the preeclampsia symptoms of high blood pressure and protein in urine). The doctor ordered labs and told me to get the blood work done before I went home. I was home for an hour before I got the call from my perinatologist that I was going to delivery today because I developed HELLP syndrome. I will never forget that phone call. I was unfamiliar with the term HELLP. I Googled it when I was in labor in the delivery room...which was not a good idea.
One of the main reason I knew I had preeclampsia was because of one of my concerned coworkers who use to work in labor and delivery. She noticed that I was extremely swollen in my face. My feet had edema but I attributed it to normal pregnancy swelling. She asked me if I had my blood pressure taken recently and I told her no. She harassed/nagged me until I finally took my blood pressure at work when I took it was 160/90. I took it a few times and still got high readings.
When I told her this she asked if I had epigastric pain and I did. I knew at that point things were not good so I called labor and delivery triage and I told them my blood pressure readings and they told me to come upstairs right away. I felt fine which was more ironic and hard for me to grasp how serious preeclampsia can be.
When I developed HELLP I didn't feel any different than from preeclampsia just really swollen and epigastric pain. I was very upset that I developed HELLP. It is and was unfair and I did everything right during my pregnancy. I didn't get to maternity pictures I wanted or have my baby shower. I felt robbed of a typical pregnancy everyone else gets. I only had one predisposing factor, which was it was my first pregnancy....I didn't deserve this.
When I was in the delivery room I felt nothing was in my control which was one of the scariest things for me. I am unfamiliar with labor and delivery but knew enough to scare myself. As soon as I was brought to the delivery room I was started on magnesium sulfate. I did remember from nursing school that magnesium sulfate was a nasty drug and was used only in serious cases. Many people in the hospital told me that I developed HELLP because I had the nurse curse.....I never want to hear those words again.
I felt bad for my husband because people were constantly in and out of my room (controlled chaos and I was used to it from working in the operating room) He was afraid I was going to die and our baby. I was only concerned about our baby and not worried about myself. I delivered vaginally with about 20 people in the room which was essential due to the fact my platelets were low.
When my son was delivered the rushed him to the NICU. My husband stayed by my side when they tried to rush him to NICU with our son, but he was still worried about me staying alive. Everything calmed down for a few days until we found out our son Gannon had grade 4 bilateral interventricular hemorrhage. That was by far the worst day of my life. 31 weeks old babies aren't supposed to get brain hemorrhage. He is doing everything a premature baby is supposed to do, so our journey will continue on the rollercoaster. Only time will tell how the brain hemorrhage will affect him. My husband and I both want more than one child but with this traumatic experience it is hard to even think about it at this point.