HELLP – I am in High Dependancy

London Eye

After a restless sleep, where I am awoken many times by two little babies looking to be fed, a new day has dawned on the maternity ward.

London Eye at dawn, my view from the high dependancy ward.

London Eye at dawn, my view from the high dependancy ward. salah7 al-martah via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND



I am feeling better today.  Stronger.  I am able to sit up in bed.

My husband hands me too little bundles of joy; it is very early in the morning and these are the first cuddles I remember with my beautiful twin boys.  I can’t believe they are really here and in this moment everything stops.   Tiny faces look up at me.  Tiny fingers.  Tiny toes.  I know then that everything has been worth it, no matter what happens to me.  This belief has never faltered.

The move

The midwife comes in.  I have never seen her before.  It’s another new midwife.  I ask if I am going to be moved to the post-natal ward today.  She looks at me with shock and barks: “absolutely not you are far too ill”.  With that, she is gone.

I am sat with my thoughts.  I wonder what is going on.  I am feeling better, albeit only slightly.

I look to the hubby who shakes is head in disbelief.  Bedside manner has clearly escaped this midwife.  She is definitely NOT one of the guardian angels on my HELLP journey.

An hour later, a Canadian doctor breezes into the hospital ward, with a handful of trainee doctors.  This is to become the norm over the next few days.  I am a special case.  They are all interested in reviewing my notes.

He introduces himself.  He tells us he is a Specialist.  In what, we have no idea.  He looks at my notes, asks a few questions and disappears.

Then, the midwife is back.  “Pack her stuff up,” she tells the hubby.  “We are moving you to the 24-hour observation ward”.

This is the first we have heard of this.  The hubby demands to know why.  She mutters words like: “risk of stroke, liver failure, kidney failure”.  Then as quick as she can, she has left the room.

The tears come now.  What is wrong with me.  My head is swirling with thoughts.  Confusion, fear and anxiety grips like a vice.  A dark fear creeps into my mind.  Cancer?  I say nothing.  I keep it all in.  If I don’t say it, it won’t be real.

We are moved to the 24-hour care ward and I am in tears the whole time, unable to articulate how I am feeling.  I look like an absolute emotional mess.  Thank goodness my parents and hubby are here for support.  And don’t judge me.

There are two other ladies in this small ward.

There was one lady whom I had not seen before.  She is unconscious.  She remains that way for the duration of my stay. Her family sit by her side, hoping her condition will improve.  Meanwhile, they tend to her baby.  Midwifes take over in the evening.

The other lady, however, I instantly recognise.

The lady from the post-natal ward, Mum A.  The one that I feared for.  The one who moaned and groaned the whole time she was there.

She is bed-ridden.  She is unable to sit up.  She is awake and moaning constantly.  My heart skips a beat; where is her baby?

Eventually, I ask the new midwife allocated to me, if she is ok.  She quietly explains she is very ill and her baby is in the special care unit.  She gave birth and hasn’t seen her baby since.  They don’t think they will be reunited any time soon.

I suddenly feel overwhelmed with sadness for her.  I realise how lucky I am.  My boys never left my side, even when I was out for the count.

I look at these other ladies and fear tightens its hold .  I must be ill.  Seriously ill.  Otherwise, why would I be here?

That day is a long one and nighttime is even longer.  I am lucky the midwife sits by my bed, helping me with the boys in the evening.  I need her because the hubby is not allowed to stay with me.

This is the midwife who realises the boys are jaundiced.  After a few hours in her care, she remarks on their skin colour and says that we need to get it looked at.  Once more, I feel like I have let the boys down.  I didn’t see it.  Blood tests are taken and we await the results.

Day two of my boys life comes to a close.

I am in 24 hour care.  I don’t know what is wrong with me.

The doctors now know I have HELLP Syndrome.  The specialist who was brought in has diagnosed me.

No one has told me or my family this.  I continue to think the worst….

Do you want to know more about HELLP Syndrome?  Check out this post.

Want to know more about Preeclampsia Awareness Month?  Visit here.

Visit the Preeclampsia Foundation website here.


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  1. May 22, 2016 / 11:54 am

    I can’t even imagine this- or fathom why no one was forthcoming with information for you. Those first moments with our little ones are so precious and to have yours overshadowed with fear and uncertainty breaks my heart. I applaud your commitment to raising much needed awareness. xx

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 22, 2016 / 12:02 pm

      Thank you Hun, we are convinced it was because the staff changed over every 12 hours. I think each time they presumed that the previous person had filled us in xx

  2. May 22, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    To hear that you were in so much pain and physical and emotional distress is heartbreaking. That midwife sounded like an arse and so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. How are you coping xx

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 5:01 pm

      All ok now, I was very lucky to make a full recovery. I know other ladies who have not been so lucky x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 5:01 pm

      Thank you 🙂 x

  3. May 22, 2016 / 6:39 pm

    First I must say that I trained and work for many years as a nurse. Reading this post horrifies me – we are not all like this! You must have felt so frightened and alone, I cant start to imagine how traumatic this time must have been for you and your family – I hope that your posts are read by the units in question and they review their procedures xxx

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 3:19 pm

      Thank you. There were a lot of incredible people who looked after me in the hospital. The not so great ones were definitely in the minority. I think we had so many different midwifes due to the changes in shifts, that I think they just didn’t realise we had not been told what was wrong. And they are so busy. Still it was a very frustrating time for us all xxx

  4. May 22, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    This must be hard. I hope you get some information soon. Good you are talking about this. Sending your virtual hugs xo

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 3:17 pm

      thanks for reading x

  5. May 22, 2016 / 10:18 pm

    Oh my goodness. My heart is in my mouth. This is the side of birth you don’t hear about very often. To think that one mum hadn’t yet seen her baby! It doesn’t bode thinking about. This must have been so traumatic. Sending so many hugs. What a horrible experience. They definitely needed to be more communicative with you. xx

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 5:00 pm

      It is incredible when I think back on it, I just wish we had been less shocked and more able to ask the questions when we needed answers x

  6. Kerry Norris
    May 23, 2016 / 8:01 am

    This is written so well. A great way to raise awareness. I know how you felt about being moved to a special ward with no idea why. Both baby and I were moved and told we had infections. We had to stay in for a week but u still to this day don’t actually know what those infections were x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 5:00 pm

      So incredibly frustrating, as if it isn’t a frightening enough time. Hope you are both recovered fully now x

  7. May 23, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    Sounds like a really scary time, giving birth is tough enough never mind giving birth to twins and then ending up in 24 hour care unsure of that is wrong. Hope everything was OK in the end.

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 4:59 pm

      yes I was very lucky, everything worked out in the end. thank you x

  8. May 23, 2016 / 1:40 pm

    Like Sarah (Craft Invaders) reading this horrifies me. As a nurse I feel bad for the profession reading this, what a scary time with poor care compounding it all. I’m so sorry x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 4:58 pm

      Thank you. It wasnt all bad, just terrible communication, which was incredibly frustrating. x

  9. May 23, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    Sounds so worrying and scary, it must be hard for you… luckily you have your twins beside you giving you the inspiration, strength and motivation to keep going and to feel better. Wish you well… Beautifully written post! #AnythingGoes

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 4:57 pm

      Thank you and thanks for commenting x

  10. May 23, 2016 / 8:14 pm

    So scary. I was in hospital for five weeks with pre-eclampsia before the birth but thankfully didn’t continue to suffer after giving birth at 37 weeks. The twins are lucky to have a mummy that is clearly a strong lady to not crack under the pressure of not only just having two babies, but also feeling this way and being told next to nothing – I know this was definitely the hardest part of what I called my incarceration – the lack of information! You’re fab 🙂
    Lisa (BadMammy.com) recently posted…Mental Health Monday: Anxiety & Love of LivingMy Profile

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 4:54 pm

      Incarceration, yes that is the perfect word! x

  11. May 23, 2016 / 8:22 pm

    I have never heard of this condition until now and I can only imagine how terrified you must have been at such an emotionally challenging and vulnerable time. The fact that you were attended to by a “scientist”? Would have been enough to send me into a frenzy. Thank you for sharing the next part of your story and I’m looking forward to reading more.
    Thanks for linking up with #fartglitter x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 4:54 pm

      thanks for reading. It was a really frustrating time! x

  12. May 24, 2016 / 8:29 am

    Oh gosh, I have never heard of this either but how utterly terrifying!! Thank you for sharing this, much love to you all!! #fartglitter

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 3:17 pm

      thanks for reading hun x

  13. May 26, 2016 / 1:04 am

    Woah. I wish I could say I can’t believe the lack of information your received but I experienced something similar. Has it put you off having more kids? The birth of my son wasn’t anything like as traumatic as this sounds and I still couldn’t stomach the idea of giving birth again.


    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 3:14 pm

      Definitely put me off, I won’t be going there again. Twins are more than a handful anyway ha ha! xxx

  14. May 26, 2016 / 5:50 pm

    God, what an absolutely awful time you’ve had you poor thing. I had preeclampsia and that was bad enough but you’ve been through so much more! It’s not good that you felt so confused and nobody was able to explain to you what was going on – I know they are short staffed but I think that is inexcusable. You must have been so worried. I hope you got through it all and are ok now? Thanks for writing this, raising awareness and sharing your journey with us on #fortheloveofBLOG x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 3:12 pm

      I was very lucky and came out the whole thing healthy as did the boys. Thanks for reading xxx

  15. May 27, 2016 / 10:18 am

    This is the second post I’ve read recently about the shocking lack of care given in postnatal wards. I’m heading over to read your other post as have no idea what HELLP Syndrome is but want to find out. I hope you are all well and BIG HUGE congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous twins! Such a miracle! xxx

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 3:09 pm

      Thank you, they were very much worth it! Thankfully we all came out of it healthy and happy xx

  16. May 27, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    Oh my goodness I am so angry at the poor treatment from some of the hospital staff. Communication often seems to be so poor in hospitals and it is such a simple thing to get right! I hope that you are doing ok today and huge congratulations on your twins 🙂 Take care and big hugs xxx #fabfridaypost

    • Double the Monkey Business
      May 27, 2016 / 3:08 pm

      We were all in too much shock to properly take it all in. I am all good now, I was very lucky 🙂 x

  17. May 27, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    I can only imagine how you are feeling supposedly enjoying motherhood but is experiencing or needs to pay attention on somehting else. Sending you hugs and I will look into what HELLP is. #FabFriday
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  18. May 31, 2016 / 3:09 pm

    Beautifully written, it must have been so frightening. I hate it when doctors are so secretive and don’t tell you what is going on. Bless you. Sarah #FabFridayPost
    Sarah Stockley recently posted…#ExplorerKids – Round-up #10My Profile

    • Double the Monkey Business
      June 1, 2016 / 12:54 pm

      Thank you, it was very frustrating at the time. x

  19. June 1, 2016 / 1:46 pm

    This must be really hard for you to write. It is very eye opening. I have not heard of HELLP before. I can’t imagine what you are going through. The fear is so immerse. I am glad that you are in good hands and that you had help with the boys. I hope you’ll find the strength to get better each day. Big hugs to you my dear. Xxx

    Thank you very much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost
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    • Double the Monkey Business
      June 16, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      Thank you hunni, I am lucky to say that I feel back to normal now 🙂 x

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