Hours after Bella was born, I became very ill. My body developed something called HELLP Syndrome and I almost died. This is a post about why I celebrate Mother’s Day so intensely…
Pictures by: MARelly from Happy Thoughts Studios
HELLP Syndrome is:
H Hemolysis ( which is the breaking down of red blood cells)
EL ( elevated liver enzymes)
LP ( low platelet count)
I became very very ill. In fact, it’s considered to be of very rare occurrence. I remember being asked if student Doctors could come in and see me, because it might be the only opportunity they got to see a case like mine. So scary right!! Anyways…
All I remember from the entire ordeal was an intense pain on the upper right corner of my back. It was so intense that I asked the nurse for a heating pad. I specifically remember her asking me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 and 10. I was like 10! This is a 10! She taps me on the shoulder, places the heating pad on my back and tells me – sweetie it’s not a 10, a 10 means you are dying. Just take a nap you will feel better.
And I did, I took a nap.
I woke up only because the pediatrician came to check in on Bella. She was getting a wellness check-up. At that point, the pain was so intense. I was so desperately trying to explain to anyone that I wasn’t feeling well ( Clyde said I didn’t make sense, I was just pleading for help), but that I was looking green at that point. The pediatrician was actually the one who alerted the nursing staff… and that began the process… the nurses called the Doctor.
and Bloodwork was ordered…
What happened next is a whirlwind -as soon as the results from the bloodwork came in, My OBGYN calls my room to tells Clyde the news. I didn’t hear the conversation. All I saw was my husband’s face as he broke down and began to cry.
Then the rush of nurses into my room.
Clyde explained a little bit of the conversation, I was basically dying. I could bleed to death because my blood platelets where so messed up. He couldn’t tell me without his voice breaking down. It was a very hard conversation to say and to hear. As he broken down, I remember telling him No! You don’t get to be the one who breaks down- you have to be the brave one and let me deal with this.
What followed was blood work after good work. I was wheeled down to imagining, so they could scan my liver and other organs. Student Doctors asked to come in and observe me all the time. Honestly, it was a zoo.
The moment I broke down came after a male nurse came into my room, to put another IV on me. He was making small talk and mentioned “wow magnesium sulfate, this is serious. I was given this once because I was basically dying, must be serious.” I mean, I had heard the words Clyde said, but in that moment, when this random stranger said this to me, it all sunk it.
As he left I was lost in thought…
I remember looking out from the tiny window I had in my room, looking up at the tiny piece of the sky and praying to the Lord, begging Him to allow me to raise my baby girl. My tiny 4 lbs baby! I still remember how my heart cried out to Jesus at that moment.
Her delivery was a good one. I was 37 weeks ( to the day), I remember Clyde, who was in the Coast Guard at the time, was standing duty that night down in the San Francisco Bay Area. We lived up North, in the Walnut Creek/Concord area. So he had a good 45 min commute that early morning. Since contractions were 10 mins apart he came home. By the time he was home my contractions were 8 minutes apart and the pain was getting stronger.
He drove me to the hospital, like a madman. I was wheeled up and admitted. Contractions were 6 minutes apart. I quickly received my epidural and was basically waiting for the doctor to come in
My doctor was on vacay at Cabo San Lucas that weekend. And to my surprise this hot, young doctor comes in to deliver Bella. I was asked to pushed when I felt it and I did. And just like that Bella was born.
She shot out. The doctor was surprised at how quickly she came out of the birth canal. She was tiny. They worried instantly. I remember reaching out my arms to grab my baby and a wave of doctors and nurses flooded my room and were all over Bella. My heart sunk. It was such a horrible feeling to reach out for your baby and to just see her getting examined by so many people.
Here I was legs wide open and what felt like the entire nursing staff of the hospital coming in and out of my room.
After carefully examine her. Bella passes all the baby exams, she was perfect.. just a tiny, healthy 4lbs 9 oz baby girl!!
And she was finally in my arms. Y’all she was so little. Oh my gosh the first time I held her I could barely believe it. She opened her eyes as she was placed in my arms. And I feel in love. We were deeply connected from that point forward.
She tore me pretty good. I had to get stitched up and that was the only discomfort. My lady parts were on fire! We were both wheeled to our recovery room to rest. The next morning I would wake up to my HELLP Syndrome nightmare.
Fast forward to looking out my window, IVs in every arm. My pads had to be monitored every hour because I could bleed to death. It was all like a bad dream. I would just see the hours on the clock in front of me spin, around so quickly. I was just focused on feeding Bella. Y’all throughout all that I was determined to breast feed her… except when I was given Magnesium Sulfate. At that point I was just too weak and too tired and Clyde fed her formula. And I slept!
After a week at the hospital, I was sent home. I was home monitored by nurses, who would come to my home to check on me. I was also told to rush to the hospital if I got any cuts. It was a very surreal time in my life. The nurses warned we against, shaving, or cutting anything with a knife. I had to carefully drive home…but I survived. I was weak for about 2 weeks and then recovered.
Any time after that prayer has felt like borrowed time. I have felt like I have been blessed to have had Bella and survive such a life threatening disorder. It taught me to live and love intensely.
So on this Mother’s Day…two kids later I feel beyond blessed to be standing here holding them. And though motherhood can be very difficult at times, it has also been one of biggest answered prayers. I get to stand here and witness them and see them grow!
I guess you can say that is the reason why I love them so intensely, I know how fragile life is. It is also one of the reasons why I started writing A LOVE JOURNAL TO MY CHILD” . In it I write special messages to them, special memories that they will treasure forever. Click the link to read the post.
I know that every single day with them is a blessing that God has gifted me and I pray that I may continue to see them grow and guide them in His ways and keep teaching them how He saved my life. Keep teaching them that love wins, to never give up and to live life to its fullest! Everyday matters!
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