HELLP – what is wrong with me?

HELLP – what is wrong with me?

I have been under 24-hour observation one day now. Yet I still have no idea what is wrong with me.

The specialist is saying I am making good progress and can go back to the high-dependancy ward now.

When we are moved to yet another room, it all becomes to much for me.  I burst into tears and finally reveal my worst fears to the hubby.  This is when I tell him: “I think I am really ill.  I fear it is Cancer”.

I can’t keep anything in when it comes to the hubby.  It was inevitable that my anxiety was going to reveal itself eventually.  I was scared, confused and worried.

My hubby decided that enough was enough.  He buzzed the buzzer on the wall.  He was not happy and wanted answers.

When the midwife entered the room, my hubby doesn’t beat around the bush: “Is someone going to tell us what is going on.  What the hell is wrong with my wife???”

The midwife says: “She has HELLP syndrome, of course”

Just like that, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

As if she was telling us I had the common cold.

Absolutely not like she was breaking the news to us, that I had something with a 25% mortality rate.

That my life was at risk.

Then, the penny drops.  The midwife realises that no-one has told us this before.  After turning a shade of grey, the midwife makes her excuses and leaves the room.

We were left wondering what HELLP Syndrome is.

It wasn’t long before the specialist returned. We are finally told what is going on.

  • I had definitely had preeclampsia prior to giving birth.  It was likely I had this for a while.
  • I now had HELLP syndrome, and all test results indicated I was getting worse instead of better.
  • My platelets were low, and continuing to drop after birth.  The doctor told me this was unusual and as far as they were aware, giving birth should cure HELLP syndrome.
  • My blood pressure was dangerously high.
  • The rash on my stomach, the supposed stretch marks according to my midwife, was actually a sign that my liver was failing.
  • I was at a very high risk from having a stroke
  • There was a high risk of my liver rupturing.
  • I carried a risk of kidney damage.
  • I had a very high risk of haemorrhaging.
  • There was a risk of lung failure
  • We were told that I was very lucky that I managed to deliver two, healthy babies.  I had run a high risk of placenta abruption.
  • I was told repeatedly that HELLP syndrome was difficult to diagnose.

Finally, we had some answers.

They were not what we wanted to hear, but somehow after fearing the C word, it was a relief.

There was still a long fight ahead for me.  The doctor said I would not be going home any time soon.

In the meantime, Bob L was put on a bilirubin machine.

His jaundice was a huge concern.  He was only allowed out of plastic cot to be fed and changed.  He had to stay in there as much as possible.

It was heartbreaking to see him lying there, unable to cuddle him.  After missing that contact in the first 24-hours, I found this so very difficult.  I knew it was for the best though.  We – by which I mean the hubby, grandparents, aunts, uncles and me – took turns holding his hand.  He was never without someone holding his tiny fingers.  He would clutch onto us like his life depended on it.


Uncle Ant (AKA Daddy Dee Dee) holds Bob L’s hand

Photo 18-09-2012 16 04 00

Our little fighter gives the world the finger.



  1. 30th August 2016 / 1:10 pm

    How scary to have something wrong and have nobody communicating to you and your husband what is going on! I’ve never even heard of HELLP Syndrome before this, so thank you for taking the time to talk about it.

    • Double the Monkey Business
      6th September 2016 / 7:13 pm

      It was incredibly frightening and frustrating, thanks hun x

  2. 14th June 2016 / 9:50 am

    omg .. you must have been so frightened.. the hospital staff made such a mess of telling you.. but loving your little man sticking up his finger to the world

    • Double the Monkey Business
      16th June 2016 / 8:00 pm

      That is one of my favourite photos! xxx

  3. 7th June 2016 / 9:44 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this! What a brave & difficult story to tell. I read another blog recent about hellp syndrome. It really is wonderful that you are sharing your story as it will help so many other women. I hope you are stable & feeling better really soon. Thanks so much for linking up with us at #BloggerClubUK

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th June 2016 / 12:32 pm

      Thanks hun, nearly at the end of this series now. The worst is definitely behind me now xxx

  4. 4th June 2016 / 5:50 pm

    I cannot believe that the midwife drop that bombshell on you, that should’ve been in your notes that you were/why not told yet! Its bloody disgraceful! I can’t believe you went through all of that! Your poor husband and family, I can’t imagine what they must of been going through having to just watch you and not be able to do anything about it! Big love to you xxx

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th June 2016 / 12:34 pm

      At the time I was just glad to know the truth. However now when I think about it it makes me mad! xx

  5. 3rd June 2016 / 12:31 am

    That is so crazy. Ca t believe it took so long to get an explanation. Thank goodness your husband insisted on one.


    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th June 2016 / 12:37 pm

      I know, I am glad he was there to fight on my behalf! x

  6. 2nd June 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Oh God that must have been heartbreaking not being able to hold your baby 🙁 You really did have an awful time of it you poor thing! I hope everything worked out ok for you all. Thanks for sharing your story on #fortheloveofBLOG x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th June 2016 / 9:42 pm

      nearing the end of the story now and glad to say it was all ok in the end 🙂 x

  7. 1st June 2016 / 8:03 pm

    Wow. What a story. I’m so pleased to read in your last comment reply that everything worked out ok. But what a worrying time for you all! I’d never even heard of HELLP before today.
    I’m glad you have some cheeky 3.5 year olds to keep you busy – and don’t they just – I only have one and he keeps me on my toes. I hope you continue to keep well and healthy. #fartglitter

    • Double the Monkey Business
      16th June 2016 / 8:36 pm

      thank you, yes they certainly dont allow for me to overthink things which is a good thing 🙂 x

  8. Becky@EducatingRoversi
    1st June 2016 / 9:35 pm

    I really hope that you start to improve soon. I’ve heard of HELLP but never really know what it is. Lots of love to you and your family.#BloggerClubUK

    • Double the Monkey Business
      16th June 2016 / 8:35 pm

      thank you much appreciated. I am fully recovered now thankfully, I feel very lucky! x

  9. 1st June 2016 / 12:51 pm

    You must be in shock right now. I hope everything works out for you and your gorgeous little boy. Keep strong x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      1st June 2016 / 12:52 pm

      Thank you, this was a little while ago now. Boys are cheeky and troublesome 3.5 year olds now. Everything worked out ok in the end 🙂 xx

  10. 30th May 2016 / 9:23 am

    This sounds horrendous – I hope things are improving all the time. #fortheloveofBLOG x

  11. 29th May 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Oh my days, this brings back sooo many memories for me. And without turning a comment in your blogpost around to me, I too had HELLP. And that is the single reason that we are stopping at one. We were due for a planned section due to a low placenta which hadn’t quite moved enough, ended up with acute pre-e and HELLP at 37+1 and an emergency section. I was ‘fortunate’ to be out of it for the couple of hours leading up to the emergency c-section but my poor hubby was left holding my wedding rings. Still brings a lump to my throat when I think of that. I wrote a book to raise awareness because thankfully, we trusted our gut instinct that something was seriously wrong and boy oh boy, it was… So glad that you also survived, along with your amazing babies. Myself and our beautiful little girl also survived (she’s now 6!) and I never, ever, ever want to go through anything like that again. Thanks for posting this x #Fortheloveofblog

    • Double the Monkey Business
      1st June 2016 / 12:59 pm

      I am with you on this one, we are not having any more either. That must have been a truly horrible wait for your hubby…so glad you and your daughter were ok. HELLP Syndrome is so frightening and so many people don’t know that it even exists. Even some health professionals have looked at me blankly when I have mentioned it. x

  12. 29th May 2016 / 7:39 pm

    I know someone who had this, she was fobbed off by her doctor when she said she felt ill and she had a stroke. Thankfully she’s fine now. Bless you, I hope you’re all ok now x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      1st June 2016 / 1:00 pm

      yes we are thank you hun. I am glad your friend is ok now x

  13. 29th May 2016 / 5:10 pm

    Oh god hunny get better soon, I can’t imagine how much pain you must be in right now. I have my fingers crossed for both of you, hang in there we are all rooting for you and if you ever need a virtual hug I am here xxx

    • Double the Monkey Business
      1st June 2016 / 1:01 pm

      Thank you hun, we are all 100% through it now thankfully xx

  14. Leah Miller
    29th May 2016 / 11:57 am

    I can’t believe that all the signs were missed right up to the point of you actually having given birth.

    It really does shock me that you could have been put in this situation, I am just so absolutely happy and relieved that the outcome for you was a great one.

    Love xxx

    • Double the Monkey Business
      1st June 2016 / 1:02 pm

      Thank you hun, my medical notes were an interesting read but that is for another post. x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      1st June 2016 / 1:03 pm

      It is incredible really, I think they all thought we had already been told x

  15. 28th May 2016 / 2:13 pm

    Oh wow. How terrifying. Major cock-up to not tell you what was going on 🙁

    • Double the Monkey Business
      1st June 2016 / 3:32 pm

      Very much so, if we had been of sounder mind we would have complained. We meant to but newborn twins got in the way of sanity xxx

  16. 28th May 2016 / 10:40 am

    OMG! i have no idea what to even comment on this. For starters I think you are so brave being able to blog your way through this and i can’t wait for updates!! Secondly I can’t even imagine what you are going through. I think i have it hard sometimes then i read something like this and its just all so real!!

    I hope you get better real soon and your little one too!

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