My family has many heart problems. I was told that this was not related. I had my son December 19th, 1994. I was VERY Swollen and thirsty all the time. I saw a cardiologist when I was around 3 months pregnant since I had previously had heart surgery as a child for an ASD. I was told I should be fine to go through labor. A few weeks before childbirth since I was so swollen, they told me that I was Toxemic, all though there were no other signs except the swelling.
I went into labor and had a normal childbirth. Right after he was delivered I told the nurse my heart feels funny. She said "Oh Honey, You just had a baby". I was in the hospital for 3 days (because I was supposedly Toxemic). In that time I felt like I was having a hard time breathing. Another nurse listened to my back and told me I was probably getting a cold. I was released form the hospital, but my son was not because his oxygen was low.
A day later we brought our son home and thought we could start our little family together, just one small problem, my son was Jaundice so we had to go to the hospital each day to do bloodwork to see if it was clearing up and while at home we had him under a light they provided. By this time I was having such a hard time breathing that I had to sit in the hallway at the hospital while my husband took my son to get his bloodwork. I just couldn't make it.
On Christmas Eve I went back to the hospital because of the breathing. They diagnosed me with pneumonia and gave me an inhaler and other medications. Meanwhile, I could not even lay down to sleep. Christmas day I called a medical office and they offered me sleeping pills so I can sleep. I refused. Christmas Night I sat up, propped with pillows and tried to sleep. I could not sleep that night hardly at all.
We got up the next morning and headed to the hospital. I stopped on the way to the hospital to get a huge cup of water because I was so thirsty. They admitted me to the hospital, thinking I might have a blood clot in my lung. Later that night I collapsed and they had to do a code blue on me. I had not quit breathing, but my breathing was extremely shallow. They did not know what was wrong, but my family physician told them to check my heart.
I ended up on a ventalator for several days and could not see my new baby. I was in the hospital for around 2 weeks. They drained quite a bit of water out of my body. It was kind of like I was drowning. While in intensive care my cardiologist told me not to have any more kids. It was devistating.
I was placed on a medication called zestril with many, many visits to the cardiologist. My heart enlargement is pretty much back to normal. I have developed an irregular heartbeat whch I am on medication for. I asked my doctor if my heart was normal one time, he said it is normal for you. I am able to exercise, just not over exert myself. I beleive I am here because I had many family members and friends praying for me. After reading what can happen to women with PPCM I am thankful my doctor told them to check my heart.
I am glad Myheartsisters is here raising awareness, because I feel like it is still not well known.