The Day it went down!

4 min read

From the begining of my pregnancy I wanted to do everything natural. Have a natural child birth, no pain meds or anything, and breast feed! I was so mentally ready for all of that. The begining of my pregnancy was normal... morning sickness, cravings, you know, all that good stuff. Then around month five or six I began to feel my ankles and feet get swollen... nothing shocking it was summer after all. I was checked for diabetes and that was negative and through my whole pregnancy I only gained about 20 lbs. I worked up until my 7th month of pregnancy, then I felt like I was just SO tired I couldn't work anymore. I would sleep 14 hours a day and wake up feeling tired still. Couldnt do too much with out feeling exhausted. So they put me out of work early. I was still so swollen all the time, no matter how long I put my feet up like my mother told me to, and was so tired no matter how much rest I got. In the 9th month they noticed in ultrasound my baby girl was not growing normally anymore. It was a good thing I was already seeing a high risk OBGYN. So I was sent for fetal monitoring and they kept an eye on things. Adelayne was supposed to deliver at around 8 to 9 pounds. So on my due date week I go into the office to get checked. Im not dropped nor am I at all dilated. I thought "well this really sucks it will be forever til she is here." My Dr. asks me if I want to be induced. I say no I'm trying to go all natural, but he keeps saying oh but you will get to see your baby sooner and maybe its a good idea to be safe she might get too big.... yada yada so I say ok. Little do I know that he thinks something is wrong and he just really wants to get the baby out! Hes trying to make it seem like my idea and not freak me out, I have known this Dr. almost my whole life he is amazing! So I go in on my induction date and get all hooked up and ready mentally to do this with no pain meds! Well as soon as they gave me pitocin (to start my labor) and I have a few contractions Addys heart rate drops super low. So they stop the pitocin and say they will wait a while to start it again. So we wait. About an hour later we start it again. Again her heart rate drops no matter what position I am in its super low. They stop the pitocin and call my dr. They tell me I am being sent for C-section. I was like what?! No. My dr will tell them differently.

He then arrives what seems like seconds later and says lets go do this and see your little girl. Note: I am FREAKING OUT! This was not my plan. In no way does this even look like something I would go through with! I work in a hospital and i got to the operating room frequently. I know what your body looks like when its all cut open!! That thought was going through my head. Edric (my husband) walks next to me as they wheel me down to the O.R.. I get in there and they stick me on the table and shoot me up with the epidural. CRAP! Im thinking is this really happening?! Edric then gets to come in the room and sit beside me. Then like 3 seconds later I hear my Dr. say happy birthday Adelayne!!! My thoughts: What just happened!? Is it seriously that fast!? Yes. Yes it was. Then I don't get to see her they take her over and start to examine her. My Dr. said she is so small that maybe he left some of her inside me. Edric took a picture of her and showed it to me. She was tiny and not fat!! Only 6lbs 2oz. What happened to the fatty 8-9 pounder?!

So after they stitch me up and I transfer to my recovery bed they give me my little Adelyane. :) I was happy. I didn't care that my birth plans got thrown under the buss. We bonded so nicely. We are now in recovery and I am being monitored like any after surgery victim... uh I mean patient. haha.

They have me on a heart monitor and all that good stuff. The nurse says "oh I think this monitor is broken", she switches me to another, "Hmmm maybe the cord is broken", switches the cord. No luck. She says "your heart rhythm looks a little abnormal." So she says she will have someone look at it. Didn't hear anything about that until I get to my room and a Dr. comes in later that night.

Cue Cardiologist: "I am sorry to tell you, you have heart failure."

Me:.... "Excuse me?!"

Cardiologist: You have Peripartum Caridomyopathy. It is heart failure cause by pregnancy. It is rare. We need to take action immediately so you can be around for your daughter.


Soooooo then I am transferred to the heart floor. Adelayne is in the nursery I can only see her every 2 hours for about 10 minutes. Really!!! I was breast feeding, because I want to do everything naturally!!! This was the only thing I had left that was natural to do!!!! They put me on a GRIP of meds and I could no longer breast feed. SERIOUSLY!!?

So I am in the hospital for 6 days. Edric was the one to take Addy home for the first time on night 4 and then again on night 5. He took care of her by himself. He brought her back everyday so I could see her. They eventually changed my meds to something different so I could breastfeed. I was extremely happy about that! :)

So they finally released me. I finally got to go home with my baby. I now follow up with a cardiologist every other month or so to check on my heart and its improvement. So far it is still beating. I can only pray that it will be normal again one day. Til then I am to take the same meds an old person 3 times my age takes.

My EF (the efficiency of how your heart pumps basically) was 37% in the hospital. It should be 55-70 It is now still only 43. I have an enlarged heart and my mitral valve and atrial valve do not work correctly.

Addy didn't put on the last month of baby wieght due to that fact my heart was not up to par. She is a big girl now and she is so smart, I am so thankful for my miracle baby and wonderfully supportive husband and family who walk this journey with me.

I am currently still surviving PPCM (peripartum cardiomyopathy)

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 22/09/2010
  • Child: 1
  • Initial EF: 37
  • Current EF: 42

Story By Kelly Ramirez

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