Hello. You happened to stumble into a lawyer who had the same issues during pregnancy and child birth -- it is called preeclampsia. Your doctors and attending physicians made the mistake of assuming that because you had given birth your blood pressure "should" go back to normal -- because that is what happens in 90% of the cases of preeclampsia -- but your case was different (as was mine -- I still have high blood pressure 4 years later). The doctor should have put you on magnesium sulfate and made you stay immobile in the delivery/labor room for 24 hours after the birth to stabilize the blood pressure. Then, if it remained high, they should have put you on a regimen of blood pressure medications and tried to slowly decrease it to see if your blood pressure would come back to normal. My blood pressure was so bad that the doctors arranged for a visiting nurse to come to my house for several weeks after the birth just to monitor my blood pressure -- because if the blood pressure does not immediately go down after the birth or before you leave the hospital after delivery the mother is in grave danger of having a stroke. Look up some of the literature on it on-line -- it is very scary -- horror stories. I was lucky that my doctors recognized it and treated it appropriately -- you were not so lucky because you went through additional medical hell that probably could have been avoided if the right medications were administered after the birth of your child (you are lucky to be alive, however). Be certain to change doctors if you decide to get pregnant again (you will want one that is familiar with the condition because it does seem to occur in successive pregnancies and is a leading cause of stillbirth in children also).
Yes, you should see a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible -- but gather as much literature on the condition as you can on the internet before hand (most people don't "get" it when you talk about preeclampsia and how dangerous it can be -- they think "so what's a little high blood pressure -- take some meds" -- everyone is familiar with gestational diabetes, but the information on preeclampsia is not general public knowledge). Now, most states have a one year window for filing a medical malpractice claim (some go as high as 2 years), but it seems to me that based upon your description, you have a fairly good chance at making out a case against the doctors for the resultant water in the lungs and congestive heart failure you suffered --- yes, it could have happened to anyone after giving birth -- but in your case there is a good bet that if they had treated you with the right blood pressure medications that the problems could have been avoided or at least not have been so bad.
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