I went to the specialist yesterday and found out that, contrary to what I had understood, I do not have HELLP. What I do have is "cholestasis of pregnancy"
What is this? By definition, cholestasis is any condition in which the flow of bile — a digestive fluid — from the liver is blocked. Extrahepatic cholestasis occurs outside the liver. Intrahepatic cholestasis occurs inside the liver. Pregnancy is one of many possible causes of intrahepatic cholestasis. Other names for cholestasis of pregnancy include obstetric cholestasis and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Cholestasis of pregnancy can be dangerous for a developing baby, however. Early delivery is usually recommended. (They are doing this for me)
The cause of cholestasis of pregnancy is unknown. However, the condition seems to be triggered by pregnancy hormones.
Bile — a digestive fluid that helps the body break down fats — is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Pregnancy hormones can affect how well the gallbladder functions. Sometimes, pregnancy hormones slow or even stop the flow of bile. Eventually, this excess bile may enter the bloodstream. This is cholestasis of pregnancy.
For mothers, cholestasis of pregnancy may temporarily hinder the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Itching usually resolves within a few days of delivery, and subsequent liver problems are uncommon — although cholestasis is likely to recur with other pregnancies.
For babies, the complications of cholestasis of pregnancy can be much more severe. For reasons not well understood, cholestasis of pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth and meconium — a substance that lines the baby's intestines during pregnancy — in the amniotic fluid. If a baby inhales meconium during delivery, he or she may have trouble breathing. There's also a risk of fetal death late in pregnancy. Because of the potentially severe complications, labor is typically induced early.
The specialist told me they have no clue why the higher infant deaths, but that is one of the reasons they are inducing early.
So what I am looking at is delivering in two weeks. It may be earlier if there is any sign of stress to the baby, or my levels sky rocket.