I gave birth at 32 wks 2 days gestation via emergency c-section (1st pregnancy/29 yrs old/had severe nausea throughout preg. & was on bed rest 1st 17 weeks). My baby was small for his gestational age, 2 lbs. 9 oz. 15 in. I had preeclampsia & had been in preterm labor before this. I continued to stuggle w/ severe swelling for a few wks after the birth. I was released from the hosp. 46 hrs after c-section on special orders so I could be with my son, who had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (known since 19 wks gestation) & was at another hosp & was not doing well. Heart surgery not an option for him at the time because his size & he had Sepsis. He was given 0% chance for survival. He died when he was 3 days old, after they stopped the prosteglandin i.v. I never went to the dr. for a postpartum exam because I was in mourning & didn't care. 6 wks postpartum my husband & I each had an echo performed to check our hearts, because of the genetic tendancy of left-sided heart defects related to our sons condition. My husband was found to have a Bicuspid Aortic Valve, which we now know is the connection to our sons HLHS. However, my heart showed right atrial enlargement. All valves looked normal. My blood pressure was normal that day, & even when I was preg. w/ preeclampsia my blood pressure was ok. Why would my heart be like this? Pregnancy related heart enlargement is the left side; mine was the right atrium. I am overweight, but not substantially. Other issues that may or may not be realated are: depression, difficulty losing weight, diff. falling asleep, poss. central sleep apnea because I sometimes can't breath/hold my breath while I sleep (for many years), nauseated most the month, migranes that last for 2-3 days at a time, dry skin on my face that started in pregnancy & still is the same (I am now 17 weeks postpartum), for years I've had problems w/ endometriosis, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, pelvic pain. Does any of this seem related to a particular problem?
First of all, let me express my deepest condolences for your loss. I cannot even begin to concaive such a loss, and completely understand both your initial distance from the medical profession and your anxiety about the echo results. Echocardiogram is not a great way to measure the size of the right or left atriums, because they are so irregularly shaped, and sometimes you see them in an off axis direction.
If on the echo there is no pulmonary hypertension, and your RV is normal in size and function, and here are no significant valvular abnormalities then you should be reassured that this is likely to be a false positive result. Make sure, however, that the echocardiogram was performed with a good bubble study to exclude PFO or occult ASD as the cause of the right atrial enlargement: these have been associated with migraine headaches.
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