I read online that headaches in the third trimester...especially really bad ones, could be a sign of pre-ecclampsia. After having the same headache for 3-4 days, I finally went into triage at the birth center. Once there, they checked my BP. It was 140/90, but went down slightly while I laid in the hospital bed. I remember one doctor coming in and asking point blank what type of pain killer I wanted. I told her I didn't want any pain killers. I just wanted to know if I was going to be alright. They didn't draw blood, or even check my urine. They just sent me home with an anti-anxiety pill that I never took.
The last few weeks of pregnancy I kept a close eye on my BP myself by checking daily at a local pharmacy. It stayed pretty consistently in the 130's over 90's. My hands and feet also swelled up and I couldn't fit any of my rings on my fingers anymore. My midwife was concerned, and finally checked my urine ONCE (no protein), and took a blood sample which turned up nothing concerning.
My water broke on its own at 39 weeks. We went straight to the birth center in the hospital, and got directly into a room. They checked my BP, it was 150/100. My midwife ordered another blood panel for Pre-e. In the meantime, I gave birth quickly and naturally to my beautiful baby boy. He was born full term and completely healthy. I remember them putting him on my chest, and I remember holding him for a while and staring at him....then my memory gets fuzzy.
The next morning they came back with the results from my blood panel. My platelets were only 80,000. I had Class II HELLP syndrome. They wanted to put me on magnesium to keep me from seizing. I felt fine other than very tired and sore, and I almost fainted every time I tried to get out of bed. I agreed to the magnesium and spent 5 days in the hospital recovering. They took my blood every hour to monitor my levels. When I went home I had 4 blown veins in my arms and hands. My little guy got to stay right by my side the whole time. Other than having slight jaundice, he was happy and healthy.
Now, 10 months later, I feel totally normal. Looking back on it now it seems terrifying that I was that sick, but in the moment, I didn't even feel that bad. I'm thankful that I didn't google HELLP in the hospital or else I would have been a lot more scared (rightly so), but I was pretty oblivious to the danger. I'm so thankful that everything worked out for the best.