maternal heart problems

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2005
maternal heart problems
5
Wed, 05-30-2007 - 2:27pm

I had an echocardiagram last week and it showed my ejection fraction was down to 45%. This means my heart efficiency is down to 45% from 55% in August (55% or more is normal).

My internist was very concerned and my OB has made an appointment to see me next Tues. I see the perionatolgist tomorrow, so maybe somebody will give me a clue what to expect. Other than being extremely tired, I have no other symptoms and the baby seems to be moving and growing ok. My internist's nurse, who is a friend of mine, told me off the record that my internist and OB are planning for me to go on bedrest at 26 wks. I am only 23 wks, so thats a long time in bed, but I will do what I have to do.

All my internist told me was that this makes my pregnancy extremely high risk. He's become a good friend, too, and I could tell he was surprised by the results and concerned and did not want to scare me, which of course scares me even more. I have looked online and there is not a lot of information about pregnancy and low ef.

Has anyone heard of this? I'm pretty sure that I will get referred to a cardiolgist, but the waiting is stressful. I think its going to be a long summer.

Carole

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2007
Thu, 05-31-2007 - 7:39am

Hi Carole:

I don't know anything about your situation medically but just wanted to say, "hang in there". It must be difficult not knowing for sure what's going on but I'm sure you will find out soon. If you do have to go on bed rest, I hope you have lots of people that will stop by to keep you company. Lots of women have been put on bed rest and gone on to deliver very healthy babies so try not to worry too much:.)

Keep us posted and best luck, Julie

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2007
Thu, 05-31-2007 - 10:24am

Carole,

I don't have much advice to offer either, but I wanted to wish you the best of luck AND let you know that one of my friends was on bedrest for half of her pregnancy, and she was only in her 30's at the time! Her baby was healthy and she had a wonderful delivery. She said she was bored, but spent the time reading, catching up on her soaps and writing actual LETTERS to her friends rather than just emailing them. She also spent the time in bed to do the things she didn't have time for (like putting scrapbooks together and organizing photos) before.

I knew another woman (through a friend) who had to have COMPLETE bedrest for all three of her pregnancies for the entire 40 weeks. Her mother had to come over to help with the other children 'cause she had COMPLETE bedrest, actually in bed. Not the kind of bedrest where you can walk around the house and sit on the sofa etc. and do a few minor things. Oh, that's one thing, you need to ask your doc what he means by bedrest 'cause they have all different kinds of definitions for it, ranging from laying in bed 24/7 to being able to do non-straining things in the home like going into the kitchen to get something to eat and then sitting on the sofa reading a book or what not).

Anyhow, I'm keeping you and your baby in my thoughts.

xxoo
Lois

  

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2007
Thu, 05-31-2007 - 6:00pm

Hi Carole,


I'm sorry that you got this news.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2005
Thu, 05-31-2007 - 6:34pm

Lois,

Thank you for yours and Julie's concern. I had an appointment wih my perinatolgist today, and felt more reassured. He said he had seen much worse, and was not putting me on bedrest at this point. I had another level 2 ultrasound, and he said my baby girl was doing beautifully. She's growing just like she is supposed to, and her heart looks perfect.

I go to see my regular OB on Tues and my internist on Wed. Hopefully, they won't scare me to death again. I suspect the fact of my age, my HBP and the possible heart attack last August is just not anything my OB has had to deal with before. I like her and she is certainly attentive, but I think she is just being cautious. I know my internist is being this way, because he's a friend and I know he is overly cautious by nature. I know that I am lucky to have such attentive doctors, but sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the tests and information that I am given.

It makes me feel good that the perinatolgist, who only deals with high risk pregnancies is pleased with the progress my baby is making and not alarmed.

I can do bedrest if I have to and my OB has said this is inevitable before the summer is over. I went into preterm labor with my second child at 28 weeks and was in bed or in the hospital until I had her at 36 weeks. She was fine. I know from that experience that I have a hard time staying still and at that time, I only had one child for which to care. This time around, I have three children living at home (my oldest is 20 and doing mission work in Africa over the summer), and a brand new business. It freaks me out to be helpless for 3 months while other people take care of my business and children. On the other hand, I do have a good staff, a good and supportive husband, and my inlaws that live around the corner who are always happy to help. I also have my laptop and the phone. I can do a lot from bed if I have to.

Thank-you again for your thoughts and concerns. It really helps to read and post here.

Carole

PS
I think in my initial panic that I posted in the wrong section.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2007
Thu, 05-31-2007 - 7:59pm

Carole,

I'm so glad you have such a concerned team of doctors looking out for you! I know it can be a pain to have an overly cautious doctor, but I'd take that over an ambivalent one any day! I'm wishing the best for you. And thanks for sharing your story. It's fascinating how strong so many of you women here are!!! My hats off to all of you!

xxoo
Lois

  

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