To whomever is reading this letter,
My name is Jordan Carrino, I am a HELLP syndrome and postpartum-preeclampsia survivor. Now you probably have heard of pre-eclampsia, but you may not know what that is. I can almost guarantee that you have never heard of HELLP syndrome. THAT is why I am writing this letter. On June 7, 2017 my life changed forever. I am going to try to keep this as to -the-point as I can but I need to share my story and I would hope you stay with me throughout this letter. I was pregnant..my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I celebrated my 23 weeks with a baby shower. We were having a baby girl, Bailey Marie Carrino. All my scans and tests looked perfect, she was just measuring a little small.
Little did I know that three days later I would be diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. I spent the entire day on the 6th with shoulder pain, like the kind you get when you have slept funny. That night I couldn't sleep, so I took a hot bath. By 6AM I was lying on the floor in excruciating pain, and my husband rushed me to the hospital. There the doctors ran numerous labs, thinking my gallbladder was the issue. It wasn't. I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, early onset (as it commonly occurs in the third trimester, not the second). Let me briefly (kind of) explain. My liver was shutting down, my platelets which clot your blood were dangerously low, I had protein in my urine and my blood pressure was so high I was showing neurological signs. Now the only cure for this disorder is delivery. So within 24 hours, I was dying and my little girl was dying too.
I was transferred to another hospital, one with an excellent NICU and many specialists to give my daughter and me the best chance we could to survive. As I said before the only cure is delivery, and I was dying. There was no choice, and I was forced to have my daughter..too early. At 23 weeks and 4 days I was induced, after 17 hours of labor my little girl arrived. There was nothing they could do. She was too small. That was the day my life, and my husbands changed forever. I was in the hospital for approximately 7 days, with a few being spend in the ICU. My daughter didn't make it, I fortunately did.
Now I am not saying that this could have been prevented, because it happened so quickly. But often times (not my case, of course) HELLP syndrome occurs AFTER pre-eclampsia, and that is something that women need to be aware of. Doctors and many baby books don't teach you about the signs of pre-eclampsia, they don't tell how just how serious it can be. After the first trimester of pregnancy, women are told that everything is wonderful, that after your scans show perfect development nothing bad can ever happen. I am here to tell you that isn't true. As women we need to become educated about our bodies, our pregnancies, advocate for our unborn children. If my story, my daughter Bailey's life can educate one person on pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, then her life wasn't for nothing. I want her very short life to touch people, to educate people, I want it to have meaning.
Below are some signs of pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome:
swelling, high blood pressure, pain in your right shoulder, pain in your ribs on the right side, headache, nausea, visual disturbances, anxiety (caused by high bp), rapid weight gain, general sick feeling (exhaustion, flu-like).
Pre-eclampsia occurs in as little as 5-8 percent of pregnancies. HELLP syndrome occurs in less than 1 percent of pregnancies.
If you are still here with me, reading this thank you for staying. Thank you for letting me have a few minutes out of your day to tell you about my beautiful baby girl Bailey, for letting me educate you on something that I believe every woman should know about.
Did you know that the US has the most maternal deaths in the "developed" world?
Please do some research for yourself. Please become educated.
With love, Jordan Carrino
Ok, so now that we have made it this far! My husband and I have arranged this team to raise awareness and honor our little girl. Please feel free to "join my team". We are 100% planning to walk this year, unless there are circumstances that prevent us from doing so.
I will also be selling shirts and all the proceeds will be going to the Pre-eclampsia foundation as a donation in our daughter's name.
Thank you for visiting my 2018 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia fundraising page.
I am grateful for your donations and for your help in spreading the word about preeclampsia. My goal is to help our community raise funds and awareness and save the lives of moms and babies!
Please make a donation to support our efforts to fund education and research into this life-threatening disorder of pregnancy.