My Symptoms Were Ignored, Now I Have Heart Failure

February 22, 2023 By Kayla Deberry

My Symptoms Were Ignored, Now I Have Heart Failure

My first appointment they noticed my blood pressure was elevated, especially for where I normally sit, so I was advised I could not go to a midwife and I’d have to find a high risk OB.

Through my pregnancy I had many complaints of feeling unwell, swollen, headaches, dizziness, nose bleeds, chest pain, ear ringing, unexplained rashes, as well as other symptoms.

My OB continued to just tell me I was most likely dehydrated and to try taking Tylenol, and even prescribed me muscle relaxers.

Toward the end of my pregnancy I started feeling even worse, and also began experiencing prodromal labor. I made many trips to Labor and Deliver on my own for feeling unwell, and although my blood pressure was high, they said it was not high enough to induce early - and continued to send me home.

At 39 weeks I went in for an elective induction and labored for 20 hours before they ultimately sent me home because my son was not dropping into position.
Two days later they brought me back in for a c section.

He was born with hypoglycemia, and had to get an IV of glucose for multiple days before we could go home.
My OB said to me while we were in the hospital, she believes I developed late Gestational Diabetes and she apologized for never checking further when I complained about my symptoms.

Fast forward to being home about 5 days after birth, I started having chest pain and wheezing when I laid down. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and felt like there was fluid in my lungs.
I called an ambulance and they took me to the nearest ER. The doctor at that hospital did some testing, and said I was fine then sent me home.

My primary care physician did a follow up with me and immediately told me to go to a different ER, as my BP was 6x the normal range and she could clearly see fluid in my lungs and enlargement of my heart on my X-ray.

I then went to another hospital in my area, who admitted me and discovered I had Congestive Heart Failure which had also lead to me having a miniature stroke as well as was causing some of my other organs to start to fail. It was only at this hospital, days after delivery, that they were able to determine I was suffering from postpartum preeclampsia, which had severely contributed to my heart failure, stroke, and other damage to my organs. I had many symptoms of preeclampsia leading up to my delivery such as hypertension, swelling and headaches, but because it was not caught in time - I now have life long complications 

I am grateful to be alive but my life will never be the same. I will always be on high blood pressure medication, have to watch my daily sodium and fluid intake, and I had to have a life saving hysterectomy.

My wish is for providers to take our symptoms more seriously and get women the care they need and deserve.