My journey

7 min read

Some of my story gets jumbled and fuzzy because I didn't understand what was happening. I will do my best to tell it the best I can remember. Thinking of this brings tears to my eyes and I have been putting this off for awhile now...I joined a couple of months ago and I can't bring myself to read people's stories because it is so near and dear to my hear litteraly....Phew... Here we go..

In September of 2011 my partner of 6 yrs at the time and I decieded to start trying for a baby again.(  We tried for a yr 2 yrs earlier with no success). I did not have insurance at the time because we both thought we had time untill the beginning of the year till a pregnancy occurred... Much to our suprise we were pregnant the 2nd month we tried.. WE found out we were expecting in November of 2011.... I was due July 23rd 2012. I was sooo excited and nervous( I had a miscarriage in 2004 and was ALWAYS worried about craming and signs of another one)

The pregnancy went smoothly untill my 7th month.. I started to swell bad in my legs, face, and ankles, and I was ALWAYS thirsty. I was also waking up gasping for air. When I talked to my OGYN about it he told me it was all apart of pregnancy and to take in more water because by this time it was summer in TN. I trucked along, my BP flucuating at times but they were not concerned. The Dr chalked it up to stress or the heat or dehydration. I had 2 24 hr urine tests done that came back normal. Everything goes smooth( or so I thought then) up untill my 37 week check up.

We  were so excited to start our weeky visits and to be nearing the end of this journey that we were going to celeebrate after my appointment at 1100 am on July 5th, 2012. I went in and urinated as usual for them and the nurse takes my BP. Leaves the room and then abrubtly comes back in, shuts the light off and tells me to rest and she will recheck my BP in 10 min. I no sooner than lay down to rest and she rushes back in and tells me they are sending me over to the hospital to be monitored for 4 hrs but, that I should be able to go home. Tara ( my partner) tried to talk me into going to get something to eat before I went to be monitored. I refused being hard headed and determined everything was ok. I made it to LDR and they got me settled.....

5 hrs passes and I will admit I was a smoker(cut down dramatically) at the time. I asked my OBGYN to please place a patch on me. We ended up in a heated arguement and he lectured me. I am thinking " I am 29 yrs old I know that it is bad for my health and my childs health but you people are scaring me". It ended up where he was going to send me home and do another 24 hr urine test on me. Then he walks over to the nurse and asks her how my BP's were and she tells him " 220/160 and flucuating.... His eyes get huge and he says" I am admitting you and we are inducing you tonight!" Sh*t Just got real for me... and for the record NO PATCH NO NICTONE at all.

They started cervadill and magnessium... I was stressed and tired but ok she is coming ready or not.... He broke my water at 6 am on July 6th 2012 after my cervix had thinned out. He then tells me that I can have my epidural whenever I was ready for it. Me being stubborn I tried to hold out as long as I could. Well it got to the point where I could not breath at all, so the nurses put Oxygen on me and that was that. It took over an hr to have my epidural placed because I could not breath and the anesthiaologist was concerned of the way my lungs sounded and my OBGYN said they are fine just place it. LEt me tell you 24 hrs with no food and nothing to drink that epidural changed the game for me. I could relax a little and that very uncomfortable bed became my best friend. I slept on and off given everytime I got comfy my baby would move and they would wake me up to readjust my monitors....

The time comes and it is time for me to push, mind you I have not ate or drank anythng in over 24 hrs, I was starving, irritated and dying of thirst. OUr beautiful baby girl Kaylyn Marie was born Juy 6th 2012 at 5:56 pm.  A  big 5. 12 pounds and 18 1/2 in long! I was so thrilled. She was gorgeous!!!

All my swelling had gone down expept in my left leg and my face. My OBGYN released me with a week BP check up. Kaylyn and I came home on July 8th 2012. She was jaundice and fussy and I was exhausted. I figured I just had a baby women are tired after giving birth! I slept more than my newborn baby did. She had to have check ups because of her jaundice the day after we were released. Her pedatrician said if her billiruben wasn't down in a week they were going to hospitalize her. I was a mess( hormones).

July 10th comes and Tara had gone to work and it was just me and Kaylyn and my mom at home. I was trying to do laundry.( Trying the key word) I couldn't catch my breath. I ended up standing beside my bed in tears gasping for air trying to call my mom to come in. WE called Tara and Baby Kaylyn, myself , and Tara headed to the ER. Mind you 4 days after my child was born. They admitted me for fluid on my lungs and didn't know why it was there. They also were concerned about the swelling in my left leg as it still had not gone down.

Kaylyn went home because she could not come up to the ICU where they put me. I was a mess. This isn't the way it is supposed to go.  I have a 4 day old baby at home and that is where I should be. I am 4 days post partum, still bleeding, and I had begun to lactate. While there I had 3 MRI's of my lungs, a nuclear stress test, IV antibiodics as much as they could pump into me, an echo, potassium horse pills because my potassuim was as cardiac arrest level, a ultrasound of all my veins looking for a clot, blood drawn 2 times a day, and 8 different BP meds daily( they could not get it regulated), and heprin injections 2 times a day into my belly. I was a mess. Tara had to work and take care of our new baby and I was alone. Friday July 13th comes and I was feeling better FINALLY I COULD Breath without gasping for air and I was off the oxygen. I asked the cardiologist when I was going to get to go home. He said he wanted to do a heart cath on me on Monday, he thought I had a 3% chance of a blockage and he thought that was what was causing the fuid on my lungs.... I freaked out. They couldn't tell me what was going on and they had run every test possible if not more than twice.  He thought it was pnemonia, then he thought it was a blockage.. He was clueless!! I signed myself out of the hospital that day in tears and totally freaked out and frustrated.

I followed up with a primary care Dr who had me see a different cardiologist who was very calm and said" Dear you were in postpartum heart failure and it will go away. You do NOT need a heart cath and we are going to reduce some of your blood pressure meds" I cried thanking him for some answers. I was to take my BP twice a day and report back in a month. Well that month came and I had to reschedule and then they rescheduled and then I lost my insurance( medicad) IN tn you are only entitled to it for 6 weeks post partum.... Deep breath......

I went in to see my OBGY( a diff one than the one I had)  for my 6 week check and she had no idea what had happened. So I told her and then her next statement killed me... " I will tie your tubes if you like! No more children for you" I was crushed!! What??? I am 30 yrs old this was my first child and I can't have anymore children??? My sister has 3 kids no trouble during pregnancy why me?!!!

Sorry I was rambling.. I was told by 2 cardio Dr's my ob and my primary care not to have anymore children. I still stuggle with that and it has been over a yr now.. I now have severe anxiety that causes chest pains, so I in turn freak out and go to the ER ( no insurance still). Last time was about 3 weeks ago and no heart failure signs all labs look good. Before I got preganant I was a generally healthy 29 yr old adult. Now I have unexplained vertigo, chest pains that they can't explain except that it's anxiety or heartburn( rolling my eyes), and I am more tired now... I am no longer on meds and my BP is pretty good. I am working on getting medical insurance so I can be rechecked and then  maybe my anxiety will be better.... I wish that I would of known my heart failing was a possiblity because then I would of known that I was not at all having a "normal" pregnancy.

For the record I never once had a headache or chest pains while my BP was in the high 200's. I cannot think about this situation much because it scares the life out of me and the thought of me not being around for my daughter brings me to tears. I know that it could of been worse, I could of needed a heart transplant( I know I don't need one because I wouldn't be typing this if I did a yr later). I wish that DR's were more infomed of this and maybe could prevent it from getting this far...I am left with no answers except that it is highly recommended that I do not reproduce anymore. I am thankfull for everyday that I am given and hope that when I return to the cardio Dr that he can provide some relief for my anxiety.

I hope in some way this helps other women know they are not alone and that they were not the only ones in the dark when it came to the most precious time of your life as a woman. I mourn everyday that I cannot have anymore children and it is still a work in progress. I have made a decision to have my tubes tied that way it doesn't cross my mind anymore. I wish you all well and hope that in some way this helps.

When I get more answers after I am back on the insured train I will post a blog updating what I am told. Untill then take care of yourselves!!

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 18/07/2012
  • Child: 1
  • Initial EF: Unkown
  • Current EF: unkown

Story By Carol Wolf

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