Heart Failure at 35?!!?
We had tried to have kids for 13 years, finally in 1995 I finally got pregnant with AI. He was born 7 weeks early and was only 3.5 lbs. The second preganancy was a fluke. We weren't trying but we weren't trying not too either. That was 1998. My husband was in the military and was gone for a few weeks. I'd had my regular appt right before he left and my bp was starting to elevate but nothing to worry about yet. He was gone for 2 days and I was shopping with my mom and sister, I got very dizzy and almost fell. They rushed me over to the bp machine in the store and it was definately high. My Dr put me on total bed rest at that point and told me I would probably not make it through the weekend, I should call and get my husband home. The military was awsome about getting him home and he was there the next day. On June 22, 1999 they induced and I had a healthy 5.5 lb boy, 4 weeks early. The next day my feet and ankles started swelling. When I mentioned it to the nurses they kept saying it was normal from the IVs. They kept the baby 5 days because he was early. I kept complaining to the Dr and nurses that something was not right. I kept getting bigger and now I was short of breath and was coughing a lot. Again they kept saying it was normal. On day 6 the hospital sent a home health nurse to check on the baby. My husband met her at the door and told her the baby is fine but my wife is not. She finally got around to checking my bp, it was 220/120. She started freaking out. Told me to lay down grabbed the phone and called 911. I started hyperventilating because she was freaking out. My poor husband!!! My OB met us at the hospital with a cardiologist. He just kept saying, "Ive never seen this before". He is not a young man, he had been practicing for years. So I just kept wondering how he could not know what is going on. I peed 25 lbs in less than 24 hours. It was amazing how well you can breath when your lungs aren't full of fluid. I was never told I had PPCM or what my EF was. I am curious to know when PPCM was initially named, since my case was 15 years ago.
My hope is that more Drs are educated about this. If he had known more about it, maybe my case wouldn't have gotten so bad. I spent 3 days in ICU and 4 more days on the floor. My poor husband and mother in law had the kids. I took bp meds for a year after that. All the Dr kept telling us that we should not have any more babies. Since I was 35 I wasn't planning on having any more anyway. My body just didn't seem to like being pregnant. I have learned to speak up more if I think there is a problem. We know more about our own bodies than anyone else. I feel very lucky to have made it through with minimal damage. My son is 15 now and we are both fine.
I was so suprised when I saw a story on our local news station about PPCM, I told my husband, "this is what I had". I am so thankful to find other women that have gone through the some thing. I am not alone anymore. Thank you MyHeartSisters.