Thank you so much for replying, taradt.
It is incredibly encouraging to know that someone else out there experienced HELLP (such a terrible, frightening experience and I'm sorry you had to go through it) and was able to have a normal, healthy VBAC the second time around. Of course, I realize there are no guarantees! I made it to 40 weeks with DD, at which time mild HELLP syndrome was diagnosed (moderately high blood pressure and weight gain were the initial indicators that something was amiss). I guess I still haven't come to terms with the c-section yet. I felt terrific going into the hospital and had a hard time believing anything was actually wrong with me. I didn't realize how serious HELLP was until I read about it months after the birth. Does the medical establishment always treat HELLP aggressively?
What did you do to prevent HELLP from returning a second time? I was (supposedly) incredibly healthy before and during pregancy -- maintained a great diet, excellent level of fitness, positive attitude towards birth, etc. I think there is a genetic component in my case. My sister developed Pre-E with both her pregnancies (the first ending in emergency c-section, the second a scheduled c-section). I've read that HELLP is less likely to occur in subsequent pregnancies, especially if one's case is mild. Still scary, though!