What the heck is PPCM? Part 4 

You can read Part 1Part 2 and Part 3 here.

So after a visit from the baby I was feeling very low. I really wanted to get home ASAP. It was Thursday night and I was hopefully the doctor would let me go home Friday. At this point I was on very low oxygen and feeling a lot better. The next day my doctor came early to meet with me. I’m not sure he was thrilled with the idea of me going home but I had been monitored over night and he wasn’t seeing anything concerning. He said I could leave as long as my Oyygen levels didn’t drop to much while going for a walk. I remember slowly walking around the unit with a nurse helping me. It all felt kind of funny because I felt fine but I understand why they were concerned. I did fine and was ok’d to go home. My husband asked if there was anything I could do to help improve my condition. The doctor was very honest and said unfortunately not much. Of course keep my salt intake low and lose weight as soon as possible. But non of that could guarantee my heart would recover any faster or at all.  That’s still something I struggle with. I want and hope that my life style changes will help. But truthfully since there is no exact cause, the only thing PPCM patients can do is take their medicine and lead a healthy lifestyle. 

Before I left, the doctor wanted to make sure they had my exact weight. Obesity is thought to be a possible factor in PPCM but is not present in all patients. But with any heart condition and for good health in general, it’s important to be a healthy weight. I was not. I entered the hospital at 317. A lot of that was fluid, and of course 9 lbs of awesomeness lol. I weighed in at 279 when I left the hospital. Which was only about 9 pounds heavier then when I got pregnant. Obviously I knew what I had to do. 

I was sent home with 6 new meds and told to follow up in a few weeks.  That was it. It’s kind of a surreal thing to be in the ICU and two days later just go home. I mean of course I wanted to but the scary reality was, there wasn’t much else they could do for me. 

I finally got to go home to my parent’s . For the first week I wasn’t able to carry the baby up and down the steps and I limited my trips up stairs to once a day when I could.  I continued to lose weight quickly( probably more excess fluid). My mom kept me on a low salt diet and I adjusted to my meds and life as a new mom. I had terrible anxiety about sleeping and thinking I wouldn’t wake up. Thankfully newborns sleep a lot so I got plenty of rest and when I slept I had help with her.  We took some short walks. I remember my first trip out of the house to clothes shop for my mom. I lasted about 20 minutes before I was exhausted. I often forgot I was also recovering from a c section. My scar was having some trouble healing so I was at the doctor several times. 

After a week I wanted to head home. I felt better and wanted to start being a mom on my own. I know my family was sad the baby was leaving lol. But it was important I move on
Today

As of today I have lost 60 pounds since I left the hospital. I’m still on all of my medicine. I have had a follow up echocardiogram in January and my EF had improved from about 30% to 40%. It was disappointing to my doctor and to myself that it had not improved further since I have been symptom free since leaving the hospital. I have another follow up appointment in August and will have another echo in January again. I’m hoping with continued weight loss and the exercise I have been getting that my number will improve. I still deal with the anxiety of having a heart condition. Even though I had a stress test and was cleared to work out, I still get nervous. I also still retain excess fluid easily which could mean my heart is still not working as well as it should. I forgot to take my meds one day and gained 6 lbs in one day. It was scary. 

Emotionally I have been through so much since my diagnoses. I am still in therapy and it helps along with anxiety meds. I am now separated and living with my daughter with my parents. I work 32 hours a week instead of 40 and I do feel it has helped my stress level. 

I wish I could say I’m a strong person but I don’t always feel that way. I often wonder why this happened to me. I admire those dealing with on going illness who don’t do that. I hope and pray to have more children some day. But it’s difficult knowing the risks. It’s something I admit I obsess over to much.  Anytime I see someone having their second or third child I get a little pain. I’m so thankful for my daughter. I went through years of trying to have her. It’s hard to explain to people why I would ever risk having more. I’m not sure I even understand my feelings at this point. But again, it’s an issue I recognize and I’m working on.

Thank you all so much for reading my story. It’s still on going. I will blog with updates as I have them. For now please follow my weight loss journey on Instagram

  

My Peanut and I. She is worth it all and if I was given the chance to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat ❤️
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional or doctor. I am just writing about my experience and what happened to me and how my doctors decided to treat me. Everyone is different. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel something is wrong. It saved my life! 

First Time Moms (My Rant) 

We aren’t dumb

We DO appreciate your advice

We DON’T have to listen to it

We do want to raise our children the best way we know how

We will make mistakes

We will do things right 
First time moms are just like any other moms. We want what’s best for our children. We are learning just like the babies are. It’s not easy to never get a full night sleep. It’s not easy for people to always question your actions ( family, friends,strangers). 

I read every article on breast feeding, sleeping, baby safety, etc. I was prepared for motherhood. What I was not prepared for was to face a devasting health diagnosis and a divorce all within 6 months of having my first child. 

I missed my daughter’s first doctor’s appointment. I missed dressing her in her cute new outfits. It was only a few days but it will haunt me forever ( and yes I am in therapy to deal with these feelings).

It seems people confuse sadness with gratefulness. I am grateful for the help I have received but that doesn’t erase the sadness I feel everyday. Sadness for my daughter that she won’t grow up with a mother and father who live together. Sadness that she may never have a brother or sister to grow up with like I did. 

Many first time moms never will have to face what I went through. Sadly some will face things far far worse then what I went through. I guess my point is before you offer advice remember that sometimes experience is the best teacher and making mistakes is how we learn to grow and move forward. And cut us a break. Every mom was a new mom once. We may not be perfect but no one loves their child more then we do 💕 

  

30lbs…. Gone

I knew when I walked into Weight Watchers tonight that I had hit my 30 pound mark. As I was driving there I reflected on how I’ve been doing so well sticking to plan since January. It also made me think of how much has changed during those 30 lbs. I started Weight Watchers while I was on maternity leave. I was living in my townhouse with my 3 month old and my husband. I was feeling good. My husband and I were getting along pretty well and the baby was starting to sleep through the night. I wasn’t dealing with the stress of work. Life wasn’t bad. 

And for a while I pretended things would stay that way. But eventually I returned to work and began to feel the stress of being a working mom. My husband and I fell back in to our old patterns of horrible blow out fights (I’m sure our neighbor doesn’t miss us much). And eventually we separated and moved. 

I guess through it all I knew I had to make sure I was staying on track. Life was not going in the direction I had hoped or planned but that didn’t mean I had to give up on my health and weight loss goals. In fact it was one of the few things I could control. I could decide to stay on plan. I could decide to exercise or not. 

And now, here I am, 30 plus pounds down. My town home sits empty waiting for its new tenant. My daughter is almost 7 months old. My husband and I don’t fight because we don’t really speak. I sit in my parent’s living room each night planning for a new future. Going back to college in the fall. Thinking ahead to the fun summer I want to have with my daughter. 

I left the weigh in and there was such a bittersweet feeling. I have a long way to go in my weight loss journey but I’ve come a long way to. I wanted to pick up the phone and tell my husband about how well I did and I realized we don’t talk like that anymore. Of course my family is so supportive. Even the baby seemed excited for me ( or she was just watching the Chicka Show and was happy lol).  

I decided to do a little walk on the treadmill and felt much better afterwards. Life sure it’s what I thought it would be but I’m proud of the hard work I’ve put into WW. I guess the bittersweet feeling will eventually fade and small victories will just be sweet again. But for now I’m just going to live a healthy lifestyle and spend time with the ones I love. 

Bye bye 30 pounds!!! Onto the next 30 😀