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On April 4, 2013 I gave birth to boy/girl twins as a gestational surrogate.

I had been sick with upper resp infection/sinus infection/allergies for many weeks starting with my 29th week of pregnancy and ending around my 34th. I also had low potassium as well. Then around 33 weeks my BP's started elevating but not bad enough for BP meds. My doctor requested weekly labs and they were great. I had weekly 24 hour urine tests and they were over the limit but way below 300 (the number my OB said it would need to be for pre-e). On 4/3/2013, I had an appt and my BP was high. I went straight to L&D and was put on mag and other meds. I had an exceptional vaginal/breach delivery and babies were perfect at 7.6 and 6.2 for 36 weeks. My bp's stayed elevated in the hospital during labor/delivery and post partum. I was released on 4/7/2013  and by the following day I was back at the OB having my meds increased.

I started having a burning sensation under my breasts a few days ago that hasn't gone away. Then two nights in a row I had a strange choking sensation where I had to catch my breath while sleeping.

On 4/13/13,  I was advised to come to ER and from there a series of tests, labs, u/s, ct scan, xrays, and an echo were performed. Then the cardiologist came in and I knew it wasn't good news. He said I have PPCM but its mild and my EF is 45% and I will be on a low sodium and liquid restriction. I will need to weigh daily and keep a log.I have also been put on Coreg and Lisinopril.

I am just in shock. I just feel its so unfair that I gave the gift of life to a beautiful couple and my life was compromised. I am very emotional and know I need to stay strong. The doctor expects a full recovery and is optimistic but I am very scared. I feel like I am starting to experience anxiety over this and have so many questions and not enough answers.

On, 4/15/2013 I ended back up in the ER. My BP's were dipping into the mid 80's and I was extremely worried about taking the medications. I had an amazing ER doctor that explained so much to me and eased alot of my fears. I was also fortunate enough to have the same cardiologist at the ER that night who had originally diagnosed me. They decided to half my dosages and I am to keep a log of my readings. In addition. I was diagnosed with acid reflux and given medication for this. I also found out the pain in my left ribs was due to cartlidge inflammation from the breach baby and possibly from the doctor having to straddle me and push down several times after delivery to get the rest of the blood clots out.

I am having a hard time coming to grips with all of this and I am trying to stay positive. But a part of me fears the worse and I cant help but to reflect on that...

I have my first cardiologist appt on 4/19/13 and will meet with a new doctor. I am trying to remain positive.

update to my story

Cardiologist or the first time on 4/19/13. He has has been practicing for 30 years and said he has treated several cases (he referred to as the worse of the worse and they survived). He is optimistic I will recover. My EF is 45% and I have been cleared for any blocked arteries. He wants me to start walking (no running yet, I used to run 3-4 miles a day) and gradually increase walking to running. He said I need to remember I wouldn't be cleared post partum until 6 weeks to run so I need to take care of my healing too...

I am on the lowest possible medication 2.5 coreg (2x daily) and 1.75 of lisinopril(1x daily). If my bp drops below a certain point (which it has) I am to skip a dose. He wants me to lose another 5 lbs and he will increase my fluids. I am on a low sodium diet 2000 mg or less and 32 ounces of fluid a day. I weigh myself daily and keep a log in case I need lasix. He said if I want to lose more great. He also said he will follow up in two weeks by phone and 4 months with an echo. He is hoping that in the 4 months I am back to normal but said it could take longer. He said he would stop one medication if its normal and then 6 months later stop the another.

He did tell me to avoid alcohol and I should avoid more babies. I was done having my own but I really wanted to do one more surrogacy. So I am struggling with that as well. I saw my primary doctor on Monday and she said she sees several of these cases. She asked if I planed on anymore babies and I just nodded no. I cant wrap my mind around it though. I am thankful it was caught early but struggling with getting past possibly not being pregnant again.


Had a followup echo and its at 73% now. I was told I have no issues.

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 13/04/2013
  • Child: 8
  • Initial EF: 45%
  • Current EF: 73%

Story By Darla Chayrez

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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

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