"I am a nursing student, doula, breastfeeding counselor, IBCLC intern (international board certified lactation consultant), dancer, and mamma to Ivy Elizabeth, my 24 weeker."
"At 23w I was admitted to L&D showing signs of preeclampsia. Spilling proteins, high BP, vision changes, severe headaches, extreme edema. After ten days on mag, I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. My BP was 210/190 and stayed that way for six hours until I had an emergency classical cesarean to save both mine and my daughter's lives. I had never heard of HELLP, but after the excruciating pain I was in, I wondered how it could be so common and get so little attention. I was positive I was going to die.
Leading up to the HELLP, I felt "off" throughout the pregnancy. My body kept telling me something was wrong, but my doctor didn't believe me, being only eighteen at the time. I had gained about fifty pounds of water weight seemingly overnight, I had intense headaches daily, spots in my vision, and an overall feeling of dread. After ten blurry days of being on magnesium sulfate, I felt exponentially worse. I was mentally foggy, but frustrated and restless. Everything hurt. Moving hurt, talking hurt, light hurt. When I developed HELLP, I was in such excruciating pain, particularly in my liver, I was positive it was going to kill me. I was only 24w 5d pregnant, and my baby was no longer safe inside my body. The cesarean was partially pleasant because the spinal block stopped my liver from throbbing, but I still felt like I was on the fence between life and death."
I switched to a midwife, who wanted to take the time to get to know me, and encouraged me to trust my body. Doctors spend an average of three to five minutes with their patients, midwives spend thirty to fifty. It's a completely different experience. When she handed me over to an MFM high risk doctor, she made sure to check in on me during my hospital stay, and was still involved in my care. It was the best thing I could've done."