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HELLP the First Pregnancy, Aspirin the Second

January 05, 2023 By Sarah Foster

HELLP the First Pregnancy, Aspirin the Second

When I found out I was pregnant, I was so excited. I found out in July of 2022 and my due date was extra special as it was supposed to be my dad's birthday. He passed in 2017 and I knew he was definitely with me based on the due date.

I had a normal pregnancy for most of the time, labs, urine dips, ultrasounds etc. Toward the end of December I noticed sudden swelling, but was told that it was normal to be swollen toward the end of pregnancy. In early February I went in for a routine prenatal appointment and had a high blood pressure reading. They weren't too concerned as it was the first one and said it was gestational hypertension, but that they'd have me come in the following week for another check. The next week it was still high, so they sent me to the hospital to me monitored for a few hours and to have a urine culture and labs done. Those all came back normal, but just to be safe they gave me betamethasone injections to help with my daughter's lung development.

A week went by and I had my baby shower and I was just going with the flow. The following week on 02/20, I woke up around 2am in pain. I wasn't sure if I was in labor and my husband was at work. I called him and told him I couldn't get comfortable. He left work, came home and took me to the hospital. I was in labor, but also showing signs of severe preeclampsia. After having an epidural placed more labs showed I was going into HELLP syndrome and subsequent kidney failure. I had a wonderful MFM specialist who helped my OB deliver my daughter without complications, and helped me avoid short term dialysis with conservative treatment. I spent 10 days in the hospital from 02/20 to 03/02. My team allowed my daughter to stay with me during my recovery and I owe so much to the MFM and my OB for being wonderful advocates for my care. I'm pregnant again and am seeing both regularly along with taking aspirin daily. I'm hoping to not have complications like before. But if I do, I know my son and I will be in great hands.