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Surviving Peripartum Cardiomyopathy: A Mum’s Story

Mum surviving with her three little girls

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Our newest mummy blogger has a unique story. She is truly a mum surviving! Gabby suffered with PPCM in all her pregnancies, a condition that affects pregnant mums.

What is Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM)

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (or PPCM) happens during pregnancy, usually starting between the final month of pregnancy and the first five months after giving birth. She has three beautiful daughters, and loves being a mother. We wanted to know more about her incredible parenting journey, and the struggles she has faced. This is what she had to say:

Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Survivor Stories: Gabby

Im Gabby, and I live in Hampshire by the sea. I live with my husband and three beautiful girls Poppy, Ella-rose & Daisy, all under 5! I am a survivor of peripartum cardiomyopathy (heart failure from having babies).I’m a mum surviving.  It came on after my first & second child and thankfully I recovered both times. Sadly I have found out recently it has happened again after my third, but I am positive I will make a full recovery.

‘beautiful but chaotic rollercoaster ride’

mum surviving and her three little girls

Parenthood for me is an extremely beautiful but chaotic rollercoaster ride. When I first had my eldest, I didn’t have a clue what it would be like – I was so naive! I first thought the birth would be easy, I thought babies slept through the night. I never realised breastfeeding could have you in tears, that my heart would fail! I’d never heard of the terrible twos!

I thought it was going to be all dandelions and fairy dust! No one told me this wasn’t the case, and that’s why I think it’s really important to be frank about what parenthood is really like. Honesty is the best policy. Not only am I a mum surviving peripartum cardiomyopathy, i’m a mum surviving motherhood!

What have I found hard about parenting?

Sleep deprivation, I think most parents can relate to this. I just miss getting a real good night’s’ sleep! and the tantrums. The tantrums that test you to the very core.

What have I enjoyed about becoming a parent?

The love I have for my children is the most incredible feeling in the world. I absolutely love cuddles with my girls and watching them laugh.

How have I found other parents?

I have met some lovely parents on my journey who have ended up becoming good friends. They have been a great support. I have also met some patronising parents along the way. Being a young mum, I had my first child at 24, you can find some older parents feel the need to patronise you. Everyone thinks their way is the right way.

Do you think there are judgemental free places for parents online?

I would say no. Which is sad really, people can be far too judgemental. The sad thing is the judgmental parents could be two out of ten, but they are the ones who end up dominating the forum. Why can’t parents just talk openly and honestly?

What do I think about breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing but it does not matter if you bottle or breastfeed. As long as your baby is happy and healthy. It makes me feel so sad people judge mums on this. My first daughter had a terrible latch and I was in tears every time I fed her, so I gave up. My second daughter, we succeeded for only a month until I got told that I had to stop due to heart medication that I had to take due to my heart failure from having a baby. Third time, I did not expect to breastfeed. In fact I was prepared not to, but ended up exclusively breastfeeding to this day now.

My daughter is ten months and won’t even take from the bottle. So I know first hand what’s it’s like to bottle and breastfeed. It does not matter either way as long as your baby is fed, loved and nurtured. It’s nobody’s place to judge you!

Do you worry about Climate change?

Climate change is a real thing and I could do much more to help the environment. I do recycle, but have never used reusable nappies, I need to buy some bamboo toothbrushes, I need to stop drinking bottled water and buy more eco-friendly products and much more. I don’t want to lie and say yes I do all of these things when I don’t, but I am going to start and I understand the importance of teaching our children about climate change.It’s important to do as much as you can- websites like The Conscious Parent Company is helpful to show families how easy it is!

If you would like to make a keep up with Gabby, you can follow her and her beautiful girls on Instagram.

Do you follow The Conscious Parent on Instagram? Make sure you don’t miss out and hit that follow button!

How do you find parenting ? Do you worry about climate change?  Have you changed your habits for the good of the planet? Maybe you have experience with having grandchildren? We would love to hear from you. Contact us with your story.

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