Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

This section is for discussions with other women who have probably been through the same signs/symptoms that you may be experiencing. Please note, we cannot offer medical advice and encourage members to discuss their concerns with their doctors. New members, come on in and introduce yourself!
samm1991
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby samm1991 » Sun Oct 15, 2006 00:34 am

Lalam17 ~

I just wanted to say how sorry I am for the losses you've endured. I also wish you the best of luck in a happy, healthy, successful pregnancy!!

~ Sonja

samm1991
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby samm1991 » Sun Oct 15, 2006 00:22 am

Hi there ~

This is my first post here, but I’ve been reading here regularly since I gave birth a year ago. I also went into congestive heart failure after I had my son. I did not have cardiomyopathy, but they did, however, find a problem with one of my heart valves (moderate mitral valve regurgitation). I was told that it was a number of factors that pushed me into heart failure: postpartum hypertension, all the fluid from the c-section, plus my heart was a bit compromised anyway due to the valve regurgitation, which made me more susceptible to these factors causing me trouble.

My cardiologist seemed relatively sure that the problems I mentioned above were what caused my heart to fail and said I could have another pregnancy with closer supervision, but my OB and the high-risk OB I saw advised against another pregnancy because they weren’t convinced that I did not have peripartum cardiomyopathy. So to ease my mind and to convince them, I sought another opinion from a heart failure specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. She reviewed all my records and agreed with my cardiologist and said I should have less than a 1% chance of it happening again in a subsequent pregnancy since I would be being watched more closely this time around.

Cupcake, it sounds as if you’ve had a very thorough workup, which did not show any type of cardiomyopathy. It may ease your mind a bit if you did seek a second opinion from a large teaching hospital or someone who specializes in heart failure, if you have one relatively close to you. For my second opinion, I took in the actual tape of the echocardiogram (not just the typed report) I had done while in heart failure so the doctor could see how my heart was pumping at the time. This is the only thing that made me feel really confident and assured that I could safely go through with another pregnancy.

I wish you the very best of luck!!

~ Sonja

cupcake
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby cupcake » Sat Oct 14, 2006 09:08 pm

Thanks for your input lalam17. Good luck to you in having your own child. We are lucky that we have a beautiful daughter. I hope you are blessed to have that too. ( and safely with no health issues.)


lalam17
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby lalam17 » Sat Oct 14, 2006 04:25 pm

One thing to think about--especially in the context that it appears you have been given a clean bill of health, is that PE/HELLP, can come on abruptly and severely, or mildly and progress to severe. However, to get to the stage of pulmonary edema/CHF, often times, treatment (ie delivery of the baby was delayed--sometimes only a short while, sometimes longer). This is not a treatment delay due to a medical error, but rather doctors and the mom playing a delicate balancing act between how long the mom can safely continue the pregnancy and how much more time the baby needs in the womb. It is not always an easy or obvious choice, and sometimes in the process of holding out for the baby, bad things happen to mom. That given, in a future pregnancy, you and your doctors will be even more vigilent in looking for serious problems, and may be even more proactive in stepping in and taking action sooner. The trend (although it is only a trend and plenty of us have not followed it) is for PE to be less severe, and come on later with subsequent pregnancies. If you were to follow that trend, then maybe the baby would be at a later gestational age and able to be delivered much sooner. Thus, helping Mom avoid becoming sicker. But, as far as decision making, just like anything else in life, there are risks and benefits. How much risk are you willing to accept for the chance to have a baby? That answer is different for everyone. I know that my husband and I have decided that we are definitely going to try again-as many times as it takes. It's scary, but we really want children of our own, and this is something I would risk my life for again and again--especially since we have no current children that I would be leaving behind motherless. We all have to die of something. I've seen friends, relatives, and strangers pass away. Some people have more regrets than others. I know that if I passed away many years from now, without having tried everything to have my own children, I would have regrets. I would rather die trying. HOwever, these are my beliefs, and many other people may feel very differently. Do what is in your heart. Become as educated as possible, weigh the pros and cons, and make a decision that is true to your beliefs and values. You can't go wrong.

cupcake
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby cupcake » Sat Oct 14, 2006 02:35 pm

Laura, I actuall did see my Cardiologist. The first thing he did was Echo cardio gram, echo stress test, ekg, blood work, etc. Everything luckily came back fine. So now I'm in the process of getting myself into the best physical shape I can before we even consider anything. I have heard of the underlying problem theory and it does make sense. Which is probably why my cardiologist put me on such a strick low sodium diet. He told me low salt is how I'll have to eat for the rest of my life. It can be hard sometimes but I can deal with that - I'm getting use to tracking every mg.

Sometimes it's hard to get a direct answer from a doctor - I would love it if one would just say Yes you can have another baby no problem or no we don't recommend it... that way I can say ok that's that. That's why I figure I'd log on here and see what info I can get from you all. Sometimes my DH would love to have a second baby but after what I went through I know I don't want to go through that again - it was so scarey not knowing if I was going to make it outta the hospital and knowing I had a week old daughter at home. Believe me I did alot of praying.

It's very hard though when I see my friends having second and third babies and not knowing if that will be possible for me. I am truely grateful for my daughter and I just adore her. But when I see how others can have it so easy all the way through their pregnancy and I had such a hard time I will admit the green eyed monster comes out -although I really try not to be that way. It's really nice to be able to talk to you all and know that you can understand how I feel. Thanks!

laura
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby laura » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:07 pm

It seems like I recall a stat that the vast majority of women who end up in ICU after preeclampsia have some combination of pulmonary edema/CHF, although the pulmonary edema seems a little more common. I have to agree with Caryn- after three years of watching these boards and talking to members it sure seems to support what some of our docs have said- if you get really, severely sick, it is often a sign that something underlying is triggering it. It has shown true often enough that when someone is the sickest their doctor/hospital/town/region has ever seen, it is best to do as much digging as you can before diving in again.

How's about a cardiologist? It might go a long way into making you feel make you feel a little more comfortable going into another pregnancy if you have your ticker evaluated completely. Good luck getting to the bottom of it all!

cupcake
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby cupcake » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:35 pm

Thank you all so very much! Your stories and advice have really helped. The second baby issue has been one that has weighed on my mind alot. You know you want one but are scared to death of the consequences that may or may not happen. I have about 10 lbs to go until I'm at my goal weight. I think once I hit goal and am good condition from execise I'm going to find a good doctor and hopefully get a direct answer on this matter.

I guess the only way to leave this now is by saying I am blessed for the child I do have.

Hope to hear more from ya. Thanks again


nikki716
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby nikki716 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 09:50 pm

I didn't read your last post before I posted, but I do want to add this. My Dr also recomended that I loose all of my baby weight before I considered another pregnancy. I did that and also got my heart in the best shape I could by exercising 5 days a week. Good luck!

nikki716
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby nikki716 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 09:10 pm

I had CHF with my first daughter. In my case, I had a postpardom hemmorage that caused the pulmonary edema and CHF. I was under the care of an internist for 1 yr after my PE experience, with 2 ecocardiograms(U/S of the heart). I was released from his care with a clean bill of health. I then was referred to a Perinatologist for a preconception consultation. That consisted of lots of bloodwork, an EKG, and another ecocardiogram. I luckily passed all of my tests and am 38 wks pregnant with #2. I have had BP issues this time and am on bedrest, but luckily no PE or HELLP so far. I am scheduled for induction Monday. I am terrified and excited at the same time, so I know exactly how you feel. Go to an internist, and he/she can refer you to a perinatologist. Good luck! I hope you are able to have a second blessing!

cupcake
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Re : Preeclampsia causing Congestive Heart Failure

Postby cupcake » Fri Oct 13, 2006 09:07 pm

Thank you all so much for your input.

Basically what had happend after my daughter was born I went down to 60% oxygen ended up in the emergency room and then soon afer admitted. Before that day was over I was taken down to ICU for about 4 days. After that 3 more days in a regular room before they sent me home. I remember they did give me a diaretic along with heart medication, blood pressure pills, potassium and what ever else they gave me along with all that. I passed about 45 lbs worth of fluid by the time my stay was done. They never really new what was going on but thank God treated me correctly. When I looked in my records I did see the pulmonary edema, congestive heart failure and all that kinda stuff. WHen we moved back home (we were outta state for a few years) I did see my regular doctor who did every test you can think of and fortunately my heart is good. As I said he did tell me to loose weight and eat a low sodium diet. Basically he wants me in "olympic shape" to reduce any risk - before even considering another baby. I did see a high risk speicalist and unfortunatley she wasn't a very good one. She made me feel as if i imagined the whole thing - can you imagine going through all that and then have someone making your feel like you imagined the whole thing? My cardiologist, after seeing all my records, had told me I'm lucky to be here, which really made me appreciate the second chance I have gotten.

I really do appreciate all your input and if anyone has more input I'm always open to hear it. My DH and I are probably going to see another speicalist at some point. But it's always nice to know as much info from people who have gone through it or know someone who went through it.

Thanks!


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