When I was pregnant with the twins, I expected them to come early, but figured that meant a month, not six weeks. So, at my weekly check up, I was more than shocked when my doctor told me I was going to be a mom that day. I had HELLP Syndrome for which the only cure is immediate delivery.
My doctor knew me pretty well. His decision to not explain HELLP Syndrome to me was a wise one. If I’d known my life was in danger, I’d have freaked out. HELLP Syndrome, which stands for hemolysis (the destruction of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count, is a rare complication of preeclampsia, but often occurs before symptoms of preeclampsia appear. That’s what happened to me. I had no idea my organs were shutting down. In fact, I’d just gone for an ultrasound and the twins had passed all their tests, so I was ecstatic. Not to mention, I felt FINE.
I wasn’t fine though. My blood pressure was high, so the nurse had me lay on my side. When it didn’t return to normal, I was instructed to go to the lab for urine and blood tests. At this point, I still had no idea there was a problem. It wasn’t until the doctor came into my room announcing it was the twins’ birthday that everything started to unravel. Because I live in a small town that isn’t properly equipped to handle premature babies, I was rushed by ambulance to the nearest large city, an hour away.
I’m thanking my lucky stars that I had an appointment that day. Otherwise, I would’ve died. Kind of scary. Even writing about it years later still affects me.