My story begins as many regular women, my husband and I decided to try for a baby and 8 months later were thrilled with a positive pregnancy test. Around 7-9 weeks I started having heart palpitations. I called my doctors office and the ruled them as normal because of the extra blood running through your body while pregnant.
Around 25 weeks I began to swell. A lot of pregnant women do this, I thought it was normal, as did my doctor. At 30 weeks my face was so swollen I couldn't close my lips, my feet were swelling, my arms, my fingers, even my stomach was swollen. I had a High blood pressure reading and an excessive amount of protein in my urine so my doctor sent me immediately to the hospital, thinking I had preeclampsia. They started a 24 hour urine and began prepping me to send me to a bigger hospital (university of Kentucky) for delivery.
My 24 hour urine came back as not preeclampsia, but extremely close. My doctor sent me home on strict bed rest. I was told to limit my showers and only get up to use the bathroom. My blood pressure was still very high (170's-180's/90's). They began to monitor me closely with weekly ultrasounds, fetal NST's, and weekly 24 hour urine tests.
My doctor couldn't rule that I had preeclampsia but was so close she knew something was up, so right at 37 weeks I was induced.
I was swelling even more, my legs were swollen way up to my thighs.
My induction lasted about 4 days. My doctor didn't want to push my body too hard and raise my blood pressure even more. After pitocin, folly bulb catheters, and other failed methods, my doctor decided on a c Section. I gave birth to an amazing 8 pound baby girl with so much hair!
After my c section, my blood pressure dropped back to a normal range for the duration of my hospital stay. Things were really looking up!
After they sent me home, I was so ill it was scary. I completely lost my appetite. I wanted to eat, but I just couldn't. It didn't make sense. Simple tasks such as changing a diaper completely exhausted me. I would have to take a break to catch my breath. When I laid down to sleep, I felt as if I was drowning. I would have to sleep propped up on pillows in order to breathe. The real kicker came when I went to check my mail. My mail box isn't far at all from my front door, I had to take so many breaks just to get there and back. When I finally got back, my chest hurt so bad I really did think it was possible I was having a heart attack.
I blew off all my symptoms as being in pain from my c section, and the fact that I was on bed rest for so long and was simply weak.
Finally, 6 days after giving birth (2 after coming home from the hospital), I called my mom to take me to the emergency room. She even mentioned the possibility that I could be having panic attacks when I get short of breath, and possibly the post partum depression was why I couldn't eat. It was a possibility, but I honestly had no idea what was wrong.
Shortly after arriving at the hospital, I was taken back. My blood pressure was 210/120, I was so dehydrated that getting an IV was almost
Impossible. They sent me for chest X-rays, urine samples, blood work, an echo cardio gram, and a CT scan.
Then the doctor came back and explained that there was fluid all in my lungs and around my heart, which caused my heart to fail.
I didn't understand and I didn't know much about what was going on. All I knew was they told me I would have to stay. I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my 6 day old daughter.
They started me on a medium dose of lasiks. They wanted to give me a higher dose but my potassium was dangerously low and I would lose more potassium through my urine so they didn't want that to happen. I was also but on a beta blocker, ace inhibitor, potassium pills, iron pills (my iron was also very low), and a few more medicines that I couldn't remember if I wanted to.
After being sent home from the hospital, I was still very sick. I begged and begged to be sent home to be with my daughter. Truthfully I should have stayed, but they sent me home with the same medicines and I had several appointments in the next few days and weeks for them to keep a close eye on me. I would vomit constantly. Probably 20 times in a 24 hour period. I couldn't keep anything down, even tiny sips of water would come right back up. I would vomit up black stuff, mucus, blood, and stomach acid. Since I couldn't eat I was really confused as so why I was vomiting constantly. I lost over 50 pounds in 2 weeks.
Slowly my health began to get better. The medicines were (and still are) tweaked to suit my blood pressure, heart rate, and excess fluid around my heart. I am not 100%, but I definitely am a lot better than I was. After getting 4 opinions of doctors (a mix of obgyn's and cardiologist), I decided to get my tubes tied to ensure no further pregnancies. Since my heart isn't back to 100%, another pregnancy would more than likely kill me or put me in the position that I could not care for my children. It's a very hard pill to swallow but I try to count my blessings daily. I have a beautiful daughter and she was and still is healthy. I am alive to watch her grow up.