At the age of 37 , following a healthy and happy pregnancy i delivered a gorgeous baby boy, sebastian 9lbs 1oz.I delivered at 38 weeks and was induced due to polyhydramnious , i was huge bump measuring 46 weeks at 38 weeks.
Following a long labour and eventual forcep delivery we met our gorgeous son, however a few short hours later i was being rushed into surgery following a large post partum haemorrhage, i recieved 6 unit blood transfusion and was kept in hospital for 1 week.I soon recovered as did my blood results. We embarked on what i thought would be the best time of our lives.
11 Weeks later i became very unwell , very suddenly, i had been lethargic and had a cough but put this down to my blood loss and a common cold. On 13th January 2011 shortly after the night time feed, i couldnt breathe, was experiencing palpitations and knew i was unwell. i developed pink frothy sputum and as a RN knew that this meant i had pulmonary odema and needed to get to hospital straight away. Im so thankful that i had some knoweldge and acted on my symptoms as i would dread to think, how and where i would be today if i had remained at home.
Once at hospital i was rushed straight to Resus room annd after a short 30 mins was diagnosed as having acute heart failure.I had an abnormal ECG, very high BP and my EF on echocardiogram was 33%. with a dilated and impaired left ventricle,
I spent the next 9 days in CCU recieving aggressive drug therapy, coronary angiograms and intravenous infusions.a Cardiac MRI was also performed.
I was broken hearted, terrified that i would not make it and disappointed beyond belief that i could no longer nurse my baby .
I was discharged home with an EF of 42 % and was closely monitored at home by a specialist heart failure nurse who visited regularly and kept an eye on me and my symptoms, i struggled with symptoms initally but gradually improved and returned to work full time 10 months after diagnosis.
My latest ECHO shows an EF of 71% (yay) no signs of any impairment and a normally functioning heart.I feel great, asymptomatic and desperate for a 2nd baby.My husband and i decided to go for pre conception counselling where we were strongly advised against this with very high reoccurence rates and mortality rates quoted, we have ,however been referred to regional cardiac centre for a further opnion. We remain hopefull
I am no longer on Beta blockers, ACE inhivitors or diurectics and remain asymptomatic, currently waiting for an echo without drugs on board to see if this effects heart function.
I would love to hear from those who have gone onto have further pregnancies.
I hope my story of great improvement gives hope to other PPCM survivors , my friend told me when i was ill ' your mummys heart is strong , it beats for 2 '
Prayers and best wishes