My PPCM Story
In Sept. 2001 our first child was born and I had a great pregnancy, c-section delivery, without any complications. In March of 2004,our second child was born with no complications in the pregnancy,or following delivery (via c-section). In March of 2007 I was pregnant with our third child. At 13 weeks pregnant I started having lower abdominal pain. I went for an ultrasound and the baby had died. After the D&C, pathology notified my doctor that I had had a Molar pregnancy. For 1 year I had to go for blood work to make sure the mole was gone, and had not spread. I was told NOT get pregnant at all for 1 year. So we waited. After the year was up, I was cleared for pregnancy and got pregnant with our fourth child. During the last 2 months of pregnancy, I had a lot of pre-term contractions and visited the ER 3 times to receive terbutaline. I was sent home to wait. On the 3rd visit to the ER (36 weeks gestation) my contractions were getting closer, the terbutaline wasn't working and my doctor performed a c-section. About a week after delivery, I had severe swelling of hands, legs and feet. I went to see my OB. My blood pressure was elevated, my swelling was severe but my doctor told me to go home and rest. I did. After 3 months, I started feeling better. A few months later, I was pregnant again. It was an exhausting pregnancy, as I had 3 children to take care of and was still nursing my youngest. I weaned my youngest hoping to have more energy. The pregnancy was long and I was chronically tired. About 7 months into the pregnancy, my contractions started again. I visited the ER, was given terbutaline and sent home. I visited the ER when I was 35.5 weeks pregnant and I was dialated 4 cm so my doctor performed a c-section. During the c-section, the anesthesiologist asked my OB if I had any heart issues. My OB said no. The anesthesiologist said my HR was really high. Immediately following the c-section, I started shaking uncontrollably. They gave me something (I can't remember what) to calm me. I couldn't hold the baby for a while because I was still shaking a bit, even after a couple of hours. In the hospital, the swelling started again. The doctors and nurses said that they pumped me with a lot of fluid during the c-section, so it would take a while to get rid of it all. I went home. Four days after the c-section, I was still swollen and not going to the bathroom much at all to rid my body of the fluid. On the fifth day, I could barely breath and I noticed when my milk came in, it was not as plentiful as it had always been in the past. On the fifth night, I tried to go to sleep, but could not lay flat without feeling like I was choking and would wake every few minutes in a panic with my heart racing. On the morning of the 6th day, I had a strange girggle feeling in my throat, was very short of breath and my heart was beating fast! I told my husband to take me to the med center. I got to the med center and the doctor ordered a chest x-ray. He said I had a bilateral pneumonia and he started antibiotics immediately (through an IV). As I was sitting and waiting for him to write the scrip for antibiotics for home, a nurse came in my room an told me that my lips were blue! She ran out and came back to check my oxygen levels--they were at 94%. Next she wheeled in a EKG machine to check my heart. She ran to get the doctor--the doctor came in and told my husband that I was very sick and an ambulance was on the way to take me to the hospital. The nurse took the IV out of my arm and gave me a dose of Lasix and said it was to get rid of the extra fluid. They took me to the hospital to the cardiac ICU. They ordered an echo-cardiogram the next morning and my EF was 30%. I was told I was in heart failure, explaining that it was more then likely ppcm. They started me on a BB, Ace-I and Lasix. I lost 28 pounds of fluid that day. I went home 3 days later and recovered from ppcm 6 months later. And that is my ppcm story.