My PPCM Story

3 min read


In Sept. 2001 our first child was born and I had a great pregnancy, c-section delivery, without any complications. In March of 2004,our second child was born with no complications in the pregnancy,or following delivery (via c-section). In March of 2007 I was pregnant with our third child. At 13 weeks pregnant  I started having lower abdominal pain. I went for an ultrasound and the baby had died. After the D&C, pathology notified my doctor  that I had had a Molar pregnancy. For 1 year I had to go for blood work to make sure the mole was gone, and had not spread. I was told NOT get pregnant at all for 1 year. So we waited. After the year was up, I was cleared for pregnancy and got pregnant with our fourth child. During the last 2 months of pregnancy, I had a lot of pre-term contractions and visited the ER 3 times to receive terbutaline. I was sent home to wait. On the 3rd visit to the ER (36 weeks gestation) my contractions were getting closer, the terbutaline wasn't working and my doctor performed a c-section. About a week after delivery, I had severe swelling of hands, legs and feet. I went to see my OB. My blood pressure was elevated, my swelling was severe but my doctor told me to go home and rest. I did. After 3 months, I started feeling better. A few months later, I was pregnant again. It was an exhausting pregnancy, as I had 3 children to take care of and was still nursing my youngest. I weaned my youngest hoping to have more energy. The pregnancy was long and I was chronically tired. About 7 months into the pregnancy, my contractions started again. I visited the ER, was given terbutaline and sent home. I visited the ER when I was 35.5 weeks pregnant and I was dialated 4 cm so my doctor performed a c-section. During the c-section, the anesthesiologist asked my OB if I had any heart issues. My OB said no. The anesthesiologist said my HR was really high. Immediately following the c-section, I started shaking uncontrollably. They gave me something (I can't remember what) to calm me. I couldn't hold the baby for a while because I was still shaking a bit, even after a couple of hours. In the hospital, the swelling started again. The doctors and nurses said that they pumped me with a lot of fluid during the c-section, so it would take a while to get rid of it all. I went home. Four days after the c-section, I was still swollen and not going to the bathroom much at all to rid my body of the fluid. On the fifth day, I could barely breath and I noticed when my milk came in, it was not as plentiful as it had always been in the past. On the fifth night, I tried to go to sleep, but could not lay flat without feeling like I was choking and would wake every few minutes in a panic with my heart racing. On the morning of the 6th day, I had a strange girggle feeling in my throat, was very short of breath and my heart was beating fast!  I told my husband to take me to the med center. I got to the med center and  the doctor ordered a chest x-ray. He said I had a bilateral pneumonia and he started antibiotics immediately (through an IV). As I was sitting and waiting for him to write the scrip for antibiotics for home, a nurse came in my room an told me that my lips were blue! She ran out and came back to check my oxygen levels--they were at 94%. Next she wheeled in a EKG machine to check my heart. She ran to get the doctor--the doctor came in and told my husband that I was very sick and an ambulance was on the way to take me to the hospital. The nurse took the IV out of my arm and gave me a dose of Lasix and said it was to get rid of the extra fluid. They took me to the hospital to the cardiac ICU. They ordered an echo-cardiogram the next morning and my EF was 30%. I was told I was in heart failure, explaining that it was more then likely ppcm. They started me on a BB, Ace-I and Lasix. I lost 28 pounds of fluid that day. I went home 3 days later and recovered from ppcm 6 months later.  And that is my ppcm story.

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 30/06/2010
  • Child: 5
  • Initial EF: 30
  • Current EF: 60

Story By Sandi Eisenmann

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