I don’t know why the memories of Ethan’s birth have come to the surface lately. Maybe it’s seeing family and friends pregnant and I want to shout out my HELLP spiel. Maybe it’s seeing more and more HELLP stories flood my Facebook feed. Whatever it is, those memories are there and I just hope that when sharing my story, I could possibly help save someone.
Long story short.
Ethan was born 5 weeks early because had developed HELLP. I was dismissed a few times at the doctors office with just having high blood pressure. That I needed to lay off the salty foods, drink plenty of water, and put my feet up. But I fought back. I knew something was wrong. And, unfortunately, there was. My body was shutting down. The only way to save me and the baby? Deliver early.
Thankfully, Ethan came into the world kicking and screaming. He was a fighter from day one. Being 5 weeks early, there were concerns that he would have problems breathing. My boy only needed a small hit of oxygen and he was good to go. His only problem was learning how to eat. Once that instinct kicked in (only 10 days in the NICU), we were sent home as a family.
As for me, all of my symptoms went away after delivery. The high blood pressure was almost back to normal while I was in recovery. A week after delivery, all of my blood work came back normal. Perfect, in fact. It’s scary how close to dying Ethan and I were and a week later, we were both “perfect.”
Not everyone is so lucky. There are many stories that I see of women or their babies or both dying because of HELLP.
One of the reasons that some are not as fortunate as Ethan and I are education. Have you ever heard of HELLP before? Why don’t the doctors talk to us about it being a possibility? Or test for it along with preeclampsia? A simple blood test would show the signs.
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