2015 = Our Gift and a Curse

2 min read

I am a 35 year old African American woman, whom gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (my 4th pregnancy and my husband and I's 5th child between us - last child) in February of this year. I had no real issues during my pregnancy outside of constant blood in my urine. For that, I was sent to a urologist to have my kidneys tested for any issues, in which the test came back negative. The day before my due date, Valentine's Day, I began feeling terrible but could not put my finger on exactly what did not feel right out side of I had excruciating back pain. My husband and I went over to labor and delivery and told it wasn't labor but my blood pressure had began creeping up which bothered my doctors since I had some preeclamptic/hypertensive issues in a pregnancy 10 years prior. Since my due date was the next day the gave us the option to leave or stay and be induced in the morning. We opted to stay and over time my blood pressure kept advancing. I was induced as discussed and during labor my blood pressure continued to skyrocket. There was a mention of possibly needing magnesium if I didn't deliver soon. I pressed on and had my son naturally. One week after giving birth I was admitted to the ER for shortness of breath; what I thought was a very bad respiratory infection and serve leg swelling that I associated with my pregnancy. I was told that I was suffering from peripartum cardiomyopathy and was experiencing heart failure. I was immediately admitted into the hospital. At that point I had an EF of 45 but they were able to get me medically stablized enough to go home to my newborn. Since then I've been taking medicines to continue to regulate my blood pressure and help shrink my heart back to normal size. Through countless visits to our hospital's heart failure clinic and a cardiologist it has been determined that my heart has shrank as much as possible however due to the stretching my mitral valve is unable to fully close. I am able to move around a lot better since diagnosis and I do go to work daily but I still have a substantial amount of shortness of breath. I am now scheduled to have robotically assisted heart surgery on Monday, October 19, 2015 and prayerfully everything will significantly improve for my family and myself from there. I will update when I am able. For all women experiencing this and/or something similar you are not alone we are all in your corner! (:

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 22/02/2015
  • Child: 1
  • Initial EF: 45
  • Current EF: 50

Story By Kami Brown

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