I have calcification of my mitral and aortic valves, and the ventrical chambers. I found out when I was 20 but was told it wouldn't need repair until my fifties.
This time two years ago (at 27), I became pregnant and when they did an echo to make sure my heart wasn't that bad they discovered it was. I was lucky in that I had no major symptoms while pregnany - except tiredness and slight short of breathe.
I was told I would have an epidural and that I wouldn't push much. I was enduced 4 weeks early (the plan had been 2 weeks) and gently pushed for a little while. I only really had to push for 5 minutes at the end because they used forceps before I really had to do anything.
I knew there would be forceps in advance, because they wanted me to do as little work as possible. I had a great delivery. No pain. No problems. They gave me my epidural before induction.
There was a cardiac nurse in the room with me at all times while in labor. I was in intensive care for monitoring for 24 hours after the birth. This was the hardest thing because I wanted to see my little girl.
I had a swans-ganz catheter in my neck to my heart to measure the pressures through-out. This was the hardest thing on me. It took them almost two hours to get it in. I've always been a hard poke though (hard to get a good vain).
I went home after 3 days (before my baby - she had a little trouble eating). My recovery was fine and I had no problems.
I did find lifting her tiring after a while.
I was due to have a cardio check-up three months post-baby (to see if my valves looked better than they had while pregnant), but 3 days before I went into a-fib. I was hospitalized for a week, and ended up needing valve replacement last november 29th - the day my baby turned 6 months.
Now I feel just like any other mum. Chasing her around all the time. I was told my problems weren't made worse by the pregnancy, that I would have needed the suregery soon anyway, and that luckily being pregnant made them catch the seriousness of things earlier.
OK. So I have waffled on alot. My point is really. It IS scary, but it's the best thing in the world. As long as the doctors are taking good care of you you'll be fine. Make sure you know what to expect. Have them explain to you everything they plan. That way you'll be prepared.
It really helped me to know there would be forceps and an epidural before induiction and all those things. I wasn't nearly as nervous as I might have been. Ask them what's likely to happen if x occurs or y... But don't over analyse. Enjoy your last weeks of pregnancy (nearly impossible I know).
I am contemplating having another baby. I want to start trying after my next Cardio appointment (Feb). I am very scared again about bad outcomes, especially since I have a baby to look after. Maybe I'll decide not to try, but having a child is such a joy, and medicine nowadays is so much better than years ago.
Good luck. Let us know how you get on - when you catch up on sleep. ie- when the baby is 1