Kristin - posted on 02/11/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )
So, my first pregnancy was anything but uneventful. My story is long but until a few hours ago I thought there was just a lot of crazy things that happened to me last time. I’m breathing a sigh of relief because everything I went through 16 months ago now makes sense but I’m also starting to freak out because I’m pregnant again…
After making my way past several infertility issues I was finally able to conceive. My pregnancy started off normal. I started swelling up quite a bit around 6 months. At 7 months my blood pressure started to increase and I was put on bed rest at home. Month 8 rolled around and after a 24 hour urine test I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. Two weeks later I went into the hospital to return another 24 hour urine test and I couldn’t feel the baby moving as much so they put me on monitors to watch him. My blood pressure went sky high and after several rounds of meds, they weren’t able to get it down. I was sent in an ambulance to another hospital that had a NICU and was told I would deliver there.
When I arrived at the new hospital it was a Friday night. I saw a number of doctors over the course of the weekend and each time received a different response on my condition and the plan for when they were going to deliver. On Tuesday they started another 24 hour urine test. Wednesday they came in around noon and told me that my protein levels were dangerously high and they need to deliver my baby as soon as possible. He was breech so a c-section was planned for a few hours later. My son was born at 35 ½ weeks weighing 3 pounds 15 ounces. He was taken to the NICU and I went to recovery to let the spinal wear off. He was born at 6:30pm and I finally got to see him around 11:30pm. By then I was so tired I could barely sit up anymore. I went back to my room to go to bed and things went out of control from there…
I woke up the next day and couldn’t see. Everything was blurry. They tried feeding me toast and I would fall asleep while chewing. I was complaining about pain on my right side, especially when I would take a deep breath. They rushed me off for a CT Scan and said that I had a pulmonary embolism in my left lung. I was sent to ICU. After being in ICU for 24 hours (and not dying from the embolism) they decided to re-do the CT Scan. The next person said that I didn’t have a pulmonary embolism, the first person made a mistake. After continuing to complain about pain on my right side they finally did an ultrasound and said the pain was due to my gallbladder being irritated. After not seeing my baby for 2 days I was finally able to go to the NICU. They discharged me on Saturday and my son remained in the hospital to grow over the next two weeks.
No one ever told me I had HELLP. I’m now 15 ½ weeks pregnant with my second baby. This whole time I’ve thought that my bout with preeclampsia was just a one time thing that usually doesn’t happen on second pregnancies and that I was fine. I’ve been to two appointments over the last few week (1st OB with the nurse, 1st ultrasound with the perinatologist) – each time when reviewing my chart they say I delivered early due to HELLP – I tell them I had preeclampsia and no one has said anything else.
Today was my first real appointment with my OBGYN (he did not do my last c-section because I was sent to a different hospital). At the end of the exam today he make a quick comment about me having HELLPs last time and they would be watching me very closely this time. I stopped him and said – “what are you talking about – this is the 3rd time I’ve heard this and I have no idea what it is.” He briefly explained it and said not to worry, he’d take care of me.
I sat there thinking, something must be wrong with my chart. What he described didn’t match my issues after birth. I didn’t have hemorrhaging or issues with my blood clotting. No one diagnosed me with this in the hospital. No one followed up with me afterward. No one said there’s some things I should know and consider before I get pregnant again. I have an appointment with my perinatologist on Monday (the one that did do my c-section) and thought I’d just take up my questions with her. She made a mistake on my chart.
My guess is afterward all the doctors sat around and finally put the pieces together.
When I got home I started researching on the internet immediately. All of a sudden it hit me and everything made sense. It only took 16 months to figure it out. All of the signs and symptoms I had are associated with HELLP. All of the misdiagnosis’s I received are associated with HELLP.
I’m happy to finally be able to tie all the loose ends together and concerned that I’m pregnant again. Before embarking upon my 2nd pregnancy I would have at least asked some questions. This sounds really scary. Now I have to wait until Monday to learn more.
I’m new to this – just found out 5 hours ago. Any advise or suggestions you have would be great. I don’t see a lot out on the internet about this.
I’m so glad I found this group today!!!