In 2006 when I found out I was pregnant with my 1st child a friend who is an echo tech who was going to do a sonogram of the baby as a favor said "I want to look at your heart 1st becuz that is my job". It was this friend who discovered there was something wrong. He advised me to get to my doctor immediately. After an initial visit to a cardiologist then a 2nd opinion it was confirmed I had a genetic defect, aortic stenosis, that was now moderate to severe and would need valve replacement surgery. However being pregnant complicated an already complicated situation. My doctors were unsure how to handle my case becuz they had never had a pregnant patient. I was given several options one to include pregnancy termination. My husband and I chose the least invasive of our options first, to take low pressers and see if that would work. By the grace of God it did. I made it through the pregnancy being monitored like a hawk. I delivered my beautiful healthy baby daughter in May of 2007. There was a case study published about my situation after my daughter was born. It was 4 years after her birth that I became symptomatic. So at the ripe age of 36 I found myself going in for valve replacement surgery. April 26, 2011 is a day I will never forget. Before going back for surgery my anesthesiologist asked me "what are you even doing back here. You are so young". I remember thinking the same thing and was trying not to be bitter about all this that was happening. My surgery lasted 4 hours and along with the valve replacement (I chose a pig valve) the surgeon also had to fix part of my aorta that was enlarged. For all ive been through and experienced and despite all the lows and pain that were associated with this surgery and recovery, I'm blessed to be alive and try to live every day to the fullest. I will never be able to thank everyone involved enough for all they did to save mine and my daughters lives. I believe in divine intervention and know God placed certain people at certain times during this journey in my path. I'm grateful to be here and be able to share my story.
June 2015 I went for my echo and my cardiologist came back with the results. He said my new valve (4.5 yrs old) was showing to be tighter now than before my 1st surgery. Said he believed it was scar tissue on the valve and sent me over to see the surgeon immediately. The surgeon agreed he thought that was the issue. I am symptomatic again and my next surgery is scheduled for March 11th 2016. It is a complete do over (aortic valve replacement) except this time I am getting a mechanical valve.
This was very unexpected I think to everyone especially me. I thought I would have had more time before my next surgery. The good news is this should be the last one for me. The thought of no more surgeries is very appealing. I'll have to get used to my new normal of taking coumadin but I'm in a place now in my life where I'm more willing to deal with that then anymore surgeries.