Other than achy shoulders and some nausea and dark urine, I felt fine. I didn't have the "normal" symptoms. Absolutely no upper right quadrant pain what so ever! No swelling. In fact, I was constantly being told how tiny I was! Mentally, I was exhausted! I'd be in and out of the hospitals observation unit for weeks due to high blood pressure. I knew that my daughter may come early, but I begged God to keep her in and some small part of me thought I could make it until 40 weeks.
At 20 weeks, my blood pressure was climbing, even though it was supposed to get lower at that point. I was in and out of the hospital on bed rest constantly until at 34.5 weeks, my mom came banging on my door. She told me and my husband that I was being sent to Fletcher Allen, the largest hospital in the state with a top notch nicu. For some reason, it still didn't hit me how sick I was. We called my Doctor to tell him we were leaving. He insisted an ambulance take me. I insisted that I felt fine and actually drove (!!!) myself with my mom and husband in tow! Upon arrival, I was met by at least 3 different doctors and several nurses. More labs were drawn and I was hooked up to many machines. I told a nurse that mentally I was exhausted. No more than two minutes passed and the room door burst open and doctors were having my husband Steve and I (this is where things get fuzzy!) sign consent forms for an emergency c-section and blood transfusions. It finally hit me then. I was gravely ill and I needed to fight this!
At 4:06 am, July 2, 2009 Sophie Jean-Elizabeth Aruzza came in to the world weighing 4lbs even. I didn't see her for 2 days, as I was on massive amounts of meds to keep me sedated so my body could heal. I had 3 platelet transfusions but don't remember any of them. I was finally brought to Sophie on July 4. I don't remember holding her. It's a thought that still haunts me. I always had a picture of how it'd be, cuddling up with my baby the first time. I ended up in the Maternal Fetal Medicine ward for a week. Sophie in the nicu for two long and hellish weeks. I look back on my experience now with mixed emotions. HELLP stole so much from me-carrying to term and going through labor and holding my girl. But I also learned that I am a fighter, capable of making it through what was supposed to kill me. I'm a survivor, as is my beautiful girl who thankfully suffered no long term side effects. I'm a true believer that miracles do exist. My family is proof!