Diagnosed during first pregnancy
Im so thankful that i happened upon this site!! I wish I knew that PPCM was a sickness before I was pregnant. I thought all my symptomes were just a normal part of pregnancy, like so many other victoms. Most pregnant women dont appreciate it when you share your good news with somebody and they tell you their horror story of pregnancy/labor/delivery. I was one of these woman. I am a full time hair dresser and I heard every story you could think of about how so and so's delivery went so wrong.... but now, I wish that somebody sat in my chair who educated me about PPCM.
month 5. I start leaking breast milk a little. This increases as the months go on to the point where I need nursing pads. No big deal. I was actually excited about this because I knew I wouldnt have trouble with my milk coming in! (.....Hold on to this tidbit for later....)
week 34. feeling nausa and bad headaches with no relief from tylonol. feet starting to swell. feeling out of breath and heart pounding. came extreamly close to passing out at work when on my feet for too long or when arms were up for an extended time. ex. a blow dry or full highlight.
these feelings continued to get worse and worse over the next weeks.
week 37. cant walk from car to house with out stopping for a breath (a very short walk). pitting adeamia from the knees down. heart racing at all times. cannot recline without a drowning sounding cough. by this week, it was painful in my back and chest to cough. I could only find minimal, temporary relief by taking a burning hot shower till there was no more hot water left. It was also painful to stand and i was loosing feeling in my feet so I would put a yoga ball in the tub and get on my knees and let the water beat on my back. I would do this every 4 hours during the last 3 days before delivery. These last 3 days, I didnt sleep at all. day or night. I would try sitting on couch with pillows, sitting at kitchen table with my head resting on the table and the boppy around my belly. nothing worked. Also had trouble producing urine. At my last OB appt, I was told, by the nurse, that I didnt produce enough to test that day. "sit in waiting room and drink a full bottle of water and give another sample". I drank and waited till they were getting ready to close. No pee!! She tells me Im not drinking enough and sent me home. I was extreamly fustrated at this point and starting to think that, what im feeling CANNOT be normal. I wanted a natural delivery. no c section or induction however, now, I wanted to go to the hospital and didnt want to come home till the baby was out of me!! I didnt care how they did it!
Sep. 17th. Im in tears. husband calls my ob. we go to Virtua Hosp. to take bp. resting heart rate is in high 120's. bp is low. They tell my husband to quickly get changed because we are going to do c-sec. I remember them running me down the hall and feeling scared of whats going on (neither of us had any idea) but at the same time, didnt care because the breeze felt so good!... and i knew the baby was coming!
I dont know if its possible for a woman with this to withstand going through labor. I had so much fluid around my heart and in my lungs that it was very hard to lay on the operating table. I simply couldnt get any air in my lungs! When they tell you in surgery " youre going to feel a little pressure now"... oh man!! I was screaming and trying to sit up because I thought I was going to black out from lack of air. Thought I was dying. I remember my horrified, helpless husband lightly tapping my arm, saying, "Its almost over".
Next thing I remember, Im now in ICU. Havent held my daughter. EF was at 20%. I have more ports on me then I knew was possable for one person to have. By day 4, I remember holding my sophia! This was the Best day of my life! I was of course unable to breastfeed like I wanted to, due to the meds.
Was in ICU for 8 days and then moved to high risk OB for 2 more days. I was told that another pregnancy "isn't available to me". I was so thankful that I had a healthy little girl that was all mine!- but at the same time, so upset and dissapointed at how the way my whole pregnancy/birth experience had gone. I wanted skin-to-skin right after delivery! I wanted to walk my baby up and down the halls in her crib like all the moms do! And they are telling me this was my 'one and done' birth experience. Very sad for any woman to hear.
Today: Im feeling so much better! last echo was at 60%. I am starting cardiac rehab the week after Christmas and going back to work next month!! I strongly believe that I have recovered as far and as quickly as I have because I had so many people praying for me. people I dont even know! I know The Lord has me here for a reason.... and it may only be so I can inform any man or woman who sits in my chair at work, of my pregnancy/birth experience and refer them to this web site. woman and doctors must know the symptoms of PPCM and not brush it off as just 'this is just what 9 months along feels like'.
Ive read recently ( www.ncbi.nih.gov ) that there is a link between the hormone that produces breast milk and PPCM. Prolactin. It is a pro-inflammitory and increases blood flow. I wonder if I was producing too much of this hormone. It makes sence to me that a possable hormonal imbalance may play a part in PPCM.
Stay strong to anybody or any family member who is a victom of PPCM. WE NEED TO RAISE AWARENESS!