Counting our blessings

3 min read

I got pregnant after nine months of trying back in 2010 with no fertility drugs – a win for someone with PCOS - but I had a very difficult pregnancy.  I was bed rested with preeclampsia at the end of my second tri, but I was told that nothing besides the high BP was wrong with me or with our son.  I had gained very little weight due to morning (really, all day and all night) sickness that didn’t let up for 7 months, so I was worried when I gained 5 lbs of water weight just in my last two weeks.  At a routine dr appt, my BP skyrocketed, and so my OBGYN told me to go straight to the hospital to be induced.  After three days and very little dilation, I woke to nurses telling me that my baby had just gone into respiratory distress, so I was to have an emergency C-section.  Despite complications with the surgery (anesthesia), my son and I were doing fine and were discharged three days later.  However, I wasn’t sure why I hadn’t lost any weight with the delivery.  As an explanation, I was told that being on an IV for so long could have waterlogged my body, so I accepted that, and hoped that the swelling would go down sooner rather than later.

After two days at home, my ankles had swelled so much that I was putting ice packs on them.  By the next day, I was telling my OBGYN that I was having trouble breathing.  She was concerned and told me to go to the ER, but after the past week, I had had quite enough of hospitals, thank you very much. Since it felt like asthma, I had my husband pick me up an inhaler, and I decided to give it a little time and watchful waiting.  Well, that night I couldn’t sleep without choking no matter how many pillows I used, and I accepted defeat – I went to the hospital at 7 am exactly one week after having my son and begged for oxygen.  After they ran blood gases, did a lung x-ray, and a myriad of other tests, they admitted me to the hospital with an IV full of Lasix and a diagnosis of CHF.  Never in a million years would I have expected that – I mean, I thought I was having an especially bad asthma attack!!  That night, using paid databases that I have access to (did I mention that I’m a medical librarian?) I self-diagnosed myself with PPCM. However, it took me nearly a year to find the right cardiologist who understood the condition and didn’t scare me with stories about an ICD and/or a heart transplant in my future.

Two years after having my son back in August of 2011, I was considered fully recovered.  However, I will have to remain on a BP med probably for the rest of my life.  I was told by both my cardiologist and my OBGYN that we could consider having another child after passing a 3D echo and a cardiac stress test.  After a lot of soul searching, we decided to give it a go.  Well, we weren’t so lucky the second time around and ended up having a chemical pregnancy in May 2014.  We tried to conceive for about 8 mos last year to no avail, and we stopped when I ended up having a bad reaction to Aldomet, which I had been told to take while trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy.  Since I had had problems with beta blockers already, my BP med choices during pregnancy were now very limited.  After another drug I tried gave me migraines, I was out of the safest options, so I’m currently back on Lasix.  Although my OBGYN and cardio reluctantly said with fetal monitoring we could keep on trying for a second child, we’ve decided as a couple to count our blessings and accept our little family as it is.

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 19/08/2011
  • Child: 1
  • Initial EF: 40
  • Current EF: >55

Story By Anne Marie Clift Colletti

Related Articles

Woke up confused.

I have a hard time finding another story quite like mine no matter how hard I look. I was 26 and pregnant with my second

Help Support my work

Money goes towards my writing, advocacy work, hosting and web development.

Support me

Subscribe to My Heart Sisters

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox