After a devastating loss in December of 2011 we were very happy and surprised to find out in the summer of 2012 that we were expecting.
I hadn't been feeling well but I just chalked it up to the fact I was home myself (hubby was working out west) taking care of a 3 year old, 2 dogs, the household chores and maintenance as well as working full time. My doctor had said he could take me off work at any time but with October/November being the busiest months at work I said I would try to stick it out a little bit longer!
On the 22nd of November, I was on my lunch and decided to use a portable blood pressure tester to see how mine was as I was feeling a little puffy. The monitor read 168/98 and on the advice of my doctor I headed to the Hospital. After being given I.V fluids I was sent home for a few days to chart my blood pressure. It continued to slowly rise.
On November 25th, close to 25 weeks into my pregnancy, I was admitted to the hospital for what I thought was going to be my home for the next 3.5 months. I was put on labatelol to keep my blood pressure down and also given a 24/hr urine test and had blood drawn frequently. They had also done ultrasounds and informed me that my baby was measuring more then 3 weeks behind and had severe IUGR. I was given 2 rounds of steroids injections but was told that it was just precautionary measures. By that Thursday night I started feeling nauseous and having pain in my right shoulder and chest area. (I honestly wanted to believe it was the McDonalds my father-in-law had brought me to eat that night)
Friday morning I was told to contact my husband and family. They would be putting me on 4 hours of magnesium and then expected to take me in for a c-section. The original plan was for me to stay awake, but once again things did not go as planned.
2 hours into my magnesium I was told they need to deliver the baby ASAP as my condition was deteriorating. I had developed SEVERE HELLP SYNDROME and the only way to save myself and my baby was an immediate emergency c-section. For someone who had never even had stitches (other then from my first childbirth experience) this was extremely terrifying!
My daughter came into this world on November 30th 2012 weighing 500grams (1lb1.8oz's) and was 29cm long. She was intubated at 7 mins of life.
The next day or so was a real blurr, due to the magnesium and morphine they had me on. I got wheeled through to see my tiny daughter but barely remember.
Alexis Lily (LEXI) spent the next 109 days in the NICU. She battled CLD,BPD, pneumonia, sepsis, stage 2 ROP, PDA,ASD, multiple infections, reflux, anemia and pulmonary hypertension to name a few. On March 19th 2013, 10 days after her due date, we finally got to bring our precious miracle home. Lexi now weighed 7lb11oz and was oxygen and monitor free!! Lexi is now a happy healthy 4 year old and started junior kindergarten last fall. We worked with the amazing team at Thames Valley Children Center (O.T, P.T and SLP) to make sure she was ready.
I struggle with anxiety and PTSD, but find it very helpful to share my daughters story and hopefully inspire other parents of itty bitty babies. Miracles happen every day and my little Lexi is living proof! Always listen to your body and don't be afraid to be checked if you think something is wrong!
Massive appreciation to Nicole for sharing her story of HELLP to raise awareness. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of HELLP, please seek medical attention immediately!