32 and wired!

I’m 32 and 5 weeks ago after having my baby they found that a had ventricular tachycardia by coincidence. I had to have a c section so I was hooked up to a heart monitor and as I was laying with my baby in the hospital bed talking to the nurse machines started going off and the nurse kept asking if I were okay and or going to pass out? No, I’m fine was my response but the machines kept going off. Finally she called the on call doctor and she kept saying that she’s in vtach and I’m just talking to her and then that she wasn’t kidding. 35 minutes of vtach later and about 15 people I was headed up to the ICU with the crash cart on my legs after two rounds of some sort of shot a as soon as we hit a bump to get into the elevator. silence. The machine finally went off and the meds worked. Two weeks later I have a dual defibrillator pacemaker put in and can’t breastfeed due to heart meds or lay my child on my left chest. Add the the already anxiety from being afraid this thing will go off while I have the baby, I now have to get a portacath placed on my right chest so I can get phlebotomy treatments. All my veins have collapsed and it’s my only option. I have hemachromatosis and have to get them every week. Does the anxiety ever end?? I’m scared of this device and now scared to go down for another procedure. 


Oh Dear you've been through a lot

by Swangirl - 2019-05-22 23:10:09

I'm so sorry to hear about your problems during childbirth.  What should be a happy time turned into a very traumatic experience.  I certainly hope things improve in the weeks ahead and you are able to enjoy your new baby.  


by Tracey_E - 2019-05-23 09:37:44

I'm so sorry you've had to deal with so much in such a short time. Yes, the anxiety will end, once you get past all the procedures and your body has a chance to catch up, once you are sleeping again. You've got a lot to handle both physically and emotionally, all thrown at you when you're on the postpartum emotional roller coaster. Don't hold back asking for help and leaning on your support system. It might not hurt to talk to someone. I'm sure it feels impossible right now, but things will be normal again. Most of us reach the point where we barely give the device a thought. As we heal and feel good and get back to our lives, we learn to trust it to do its job and it becomes something in the background that's just there. 

The future?

by Selwyn - 2019-05-23 11:42:07

I have always felt how lucky I am that my heart stopping episodes were detected without me either falling under a bus or being at the receiving end of the funeral directors.  Nothing can be more important now that you are a Mum than having a future that is more secure than most mortals.

This was brought home to me earlier in the year when a friend of mine died from a cardiac arrhythmia, leaving behind his 7 year old son who adored him. Had he had the same opportunity as yourself he would be around to enjoy seeing his son grow up. 

I am sorry that things could be better for you, however your future as a Mum does look secure.  Whilst breast feeding is desirable, it is almost certain your baby will grow up with a caring mother, and that trumps this difficulty. 

As the years go by your relationship with your ICD/PM will be appreciated for the security it offers. As you have been relatively well from a cardiac point of view, it is unlikely your ICD will be needed on anything but a very infrequent basis ( who knows, perhaps never?), however thank your lucky stars that the problem has been detected, as without your ICD your baby may have been left wondering who was Mum!


by Hooked86 - 2019-05-23 12:26:21

does the device ever become normal and not painful? I’m big chested and it just hurts to sleep if I don’t have bra support.


by Tracey_E - 2019-05-23 15:50:57

A lot will depend on your build and where they placed it but most of them end up inconspicuous and the pain goes away. I got a front zip athletic bra that I slept in for a while. It was a good 3 months before I slept on my left side comfortably. I have a pacer so it's smaller than your ICD, but it's buried under the pectoral so a deep placement that took a while to heal. I found it helpful to sleep hugging a small pillow. On my back, it kept me from rolling onto my sore side. On my right side, I wedged it between the girls so gravity wasn't pulling, if that makes sense.

Ice during the day will help with overall pain. 

Congrats on new baby

by Cheryl B - 2019-05-23 21:20:40

Just wanted to add my comments to the excellent advice you've already received.  I was the "put the baby to sleep" person at my church.  I had the "baby rock" down pat.  But after I got my ICD,  I, too, was afraid it would shock me and shock the baby I happened to be holding in the process.  I asked a nurse once at a checkup what should I do?  Her answer?  "Hold the babies."  She also told me to enjoy life.  So I took her advice, and after awhile I forgot I even had that "thing" in my chest.  Tracey is right.  Most of us do reach that point where we forget we even have a device.  Also, get some support!!  You got a double whammy.  New baby and new "heart".  Don't be afraid to ask questions here, too.  There are so many great people on this site.

Good luck!

Cheryl B.

32 and Wired

by Chowchowma - 2019-05-26 20:25:02

You've been through so much at what should be a very happy time. I have had my implant exactly 30 days after ventricular tachycardia and no previous heart concerns.. Mine went off a week after I left the hospital. I was a wreck. I just had an ablation and my veins have given up as well. Honestly I don't think the worry that the device will fire will go away but I do believe it lessens. I have amazing faith it has sustained me. Enjoy your baby, take your meds. It's a hard road but I'm convinced we can do this. Be well.

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I'm 35 and got my pacemaker a little over a year ago. It definitely is not a burden to me. In fact, I have more energy (which my husband enjoys), can do more things with my kids and have weight because of having the energy.