It’s OK; I know I do.

But here’s the thing– before I had the twins and developed peripartum cardiomyopathy, I had no idea this existed.

I didn’t know women died from pregnancy-related heart failure.

I didn’t know how close I was to losing my two sweet babies.

I was a bit of a birth junkie, and I had no idea.

Me, a few days before the babies were born and probably already in heart failure

So, I share my birth story.

I share other women’s stories.

I talk about it on message boards and when people ask me about giving birth to twins, I tell them.

And when a beautiful sweet mama dies of this horrible disease, I share it too. We need to know about this. We need to recognize the signs and we need to be aware.

Because despite the fact that the United States of America spends $98 billion dollars per year on hospitalization for pregnancy and childbirth, we still rank 50th in the world for maternal mortality. That means 49 other countries do a better job of keeping mothers alive.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read about women who have all the symptoms of PPCM– they can’t breathe, their chests hurt, they have sudden weight gain at the end of their pregnancies or just don’t feel right after giving birth– and they’re blown off by the people who are supposed to take care of them

All new moms feel a bit off.

It’s just the end of the pregnancy. You’ll feel better when you have the baby.

You’re just overreacting. Here, have a script for an anti-depressant.

And so if I talk about my heart a little too much, please know that I have the very best of intentions in mind. I have already have several people get into contact with me when they feel off or have loved ones whom they suspect might be going into heart failure.

And now, I offer you the following open invitation:

If you have questions about PPCM, ask me.

Whether it’s yourself or a loved one, please, feel free to email me or message me on Facebook or leave a comment.

Because while we are learning more and more about this disease, we won’t beat it until we can catch it and treat it in the early stages.

Click here for a PDF of a self-screen for PPCM,
Developed by Dr. James Fett,
to whom I owe an incredible debt for his tireless work to help women with PPCM