PPCM in a first time mom

2 min read


My name is Trina and I was diagnosed with PPCM in April 2015. I was 33 years old and 9 months pregnant. In the mid of my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with bronchitis and pnemonia. I was given an antibiotic and an inhaler. I got better rather quickly and continued my pregnancy. By 7 months, I was always told how swollen I was, more than I should be but my doctor kept dismissing my concerns.

By the time I was 8 months pregnant, the list of symptoms kept growing. Neither my intended delivery hospital or doctor would take the time to listen to what I had to say. Finally at 9 months, I had enough. It was 2 days before my due date and I needed to find out WHY I was unable to breathe laying down, very swollen, and this nasty cough that wouldn't go away. Initially I suspected the bronchitis had returned.

My hubby was taking me to the hospital but instead of going to my intended delivery hospital, we instead went to a different one just to see if they could figure this out. On the way to the hospital, it became impossible for me to breathe and an ambulance had to pick me up at the grocery store parking lot. The ER doctor said he thought I had a blood clot in the lungs and took me to get a scan. The results showed no blood clot but something must have caught his eye as he admitted me to L&D. Now shockingly, L&D must've heard something from the ER doc because they ordered an echo and sure enough, results came back that I had PPCM. The dr said I would need a c-section the following morning.

Now somehow, someone disagreed with that dr and was told to get me out of there and to a hospital more equipped. St Joseph's ended up responding to that and said paramedics would be sent over to pick me up. Instead of just paramedics, they sent flight for life. I was taken over to St Joseph's and once again told they would do a c-section the next morning. Well the next morning comes and a high risk dr wouldn't do it. He said he wanted to get my heart rate back down as it was initally in the 150's. The next day was my due date and I was given cervadil which came out later that night. On April 13, they slowly administered pitocin and gave me an epidural. 7 hours, 51 minutes, lots of screaming, begging, and cussing - I gave birth to a healthy 7 pound 3 ounce crying baby in the operating room (no c-section needed). I was later moved to the cardiac unit and 3 days later, sent home.

Now my ppcm has never fully recovered but I'll be going in on August 3 for an S-ICD. My story is far from over.

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 10/04/2015
  • Child: 1
  • Initial EF: 20
  • Current EF: 30

Story By Trina Hattell

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