Save Little Lives

March 31, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I's for reals, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Putting on Baby Weight (Pregnancy), The Others | 3 Comments
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“We don’t have time to induce you.  We have to take the baby now.”

Those are the words that I heard 10 minutes before my son was born.  It wasn’t like a hospital drama or my favorite show, House.  They didn’t tell me that “We don’t have time” meant that I didn’t have time and that I might have a seizure and die before the medication to induce labor kicked in.  They didn’t pull Wayne aside to tell him how dire the situation was or how sick and drugged I would be for the next few days.  They didn’t explain what HELLP Syndrome was and they didn’t tell me the risks to our son.  They didn’t talk about the risk of bleeding out during the c-section due to my non-existent platelets nor did they tell us what to expect from our preemie son and how he would be wisked away immediately. 

“We don’t have time to induce you.  We have to take the baby now.”

We nodded while trying to get the million questions we had bombarding our brains in single file.  Before that could happen, Wayne was handed scrubs and told to get them on and I was prepped for surgery. 

Then a little baby was born.  4 lbs, 14 oz.  First apgars were low, the second ones were better.  He got some oxygen, he got an IV, he got a heart monitor.  But he was fine.  He was almost fully cooked.  I got to hold my baby right away even if I couldn’t room with him for four days.  He was well enough to go home before I was.

We were lucky.

Sometimes, a TINY baby is born.  1 lbs, 6 oz. First apgars non-existent, second ones are low.  ventilators and feeding tubes and monitors.  Incubators and unpronounceable drugs.  These babies are not fine.  Not cooked.  They can’t be held.  They can’t come home.  Some don’t ever make it home.

That’s not fair. 

I walk for March of Dimes every year because that thought takes my breath away.  Take a couple weeks of gestation away from Evan and that could have been him.  It could be any of our babies.

What would I do without this in my life?

The March of Dimes looks for ways to make sure all pregnancies are full-term pregnancies.  They support these preemies and their parents.  They research treatments for vision, heart and lung defects.  They support NICUs.  The March of Dimes started back in the day to find a cure for Polio.  Guess what they found?  That’s right, a cure for Polio.  And when that happened they didn’t celebrate and go about their merry ways… they found a new mission.

I found one too.

My family and I walk on April 25th, in Grand Blanc, MI.  Come walk with us!  We have a new person or two (!) walking with us this year and I am so excited!  There are walks all over the nation, go here to find one.

Donate.  Click the button below or click here and sponsor my family and our cause.  Every dollar brings tears to my eyes because I’m so thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful people.  I’ve been tearing up a lot.  I try to act hardcore about it but it’s not working.

Get learnt.  Be a voice.  Mention HELLP Syndrome to your pregnant friends and family.  Know for your wife or for yourself.  We all know of at least 3 pregnant people at a time.  It’s not as uncommon as you might think.  I know of two dear woman personally that had HELLP as well.

H (Hemolytic anemia) EL (Elevated Liver enzymes) LP (Low Platelet count).  Basically means your red blood cells are being destroyed and not regenerating, your liver is failing and the goop in your blood that clots your wounds is low.  All of this eventually shuts down your liver and kidneys.  Seizure.  Coma.  Death.  It can be related to pre-eclampsia but there is some debate on that.  Personally, I didn’t present with pre-eclampsia symptoms (high blood pressure, protein in urine) but most women do.  I was also much sicker after Evan was born.  The fact that I didn’t “look” like a “normal” HELLP patient makes me appreciate my doctors even more.

My symptoms were a pain above my pregnant belly which I associated with heartburn and a backache.  (It was my liver and kidneys).  I felt nauseous and had a headache.  Some women also have blurred vision and tingling in their hands and feet.

Walking. Donating. Being a little HELLP expert.  You’re saving lives.  THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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3 Comments »

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  1. […] are all sorts of normal now.  Getting prepared for the March for Babies walk.  Then 4 days later flying to Arizona and then 4 days after I get home from that flying to […]

  2. Glad to hear you and your son are both here after suffering from HELLP. I, too, am a HELLP survivor. My little one will be turning 7yo in a couple weeks, can’t imagine it.

    Best wishes to you!

    • Thank you! 7! I can’t imagine. A very happy birthday to her. 🙂


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