AFE Survivor Erin C

After going through a miscarriage in August of 2014, I spent this last pregnancy very nervous. So when I went in the hospital to deliver my daughter, I figured I was home free. On Thursday, November 5th, I went to the hospital to be induced. My husband and I went in at 8 o’clock pm after waiting all day waiting for them to call and say they had a bed for me. Once I was in the room and all the registering and fun stuff like that was done, they gave me the Pitocin. My husband then curled up on the couch in the room and I did my best to get comfortable as we assumed it was going to be a long night. As contractions got closer together, I decided it was time for an epidural. It wasn’t too long after that, my water broke. At this point I also started getting really anxious and was shaking uncontrollably. The nurse said that could be the epidural. I then started feeling a lot of pressure so paged the nurse again. I was fully dilated. The nurse asked me to give one good push, which I did. She then laughed and said to not push again because I was ready to deliver and she had to get the doctor. Moments later, my doctor arrived and 3 quick pushes later at 3:08 a.m., Alyssa was born. Easy breezy, right?

Erin CranstonEverything seemed perfect. They handed me my perfect little girl and Joe and I looked at her with so much joy. The Dr. left because there was another delivery and all seemed well. It wasn’t all perfect though. I started coughing shortly after I delivered. With every cough, I felt a gush of blood. The nurse asked if I had a cold in which I replied, no. The cough continued and so did the bleeding. She called my doctor back in to check on me.  The doctor said it was a lot of blood but not concerning. She gave me a shot to slow the bleeding down. Joe and I were still enjoying our new bundle of joy assuming nothing was seriously wrong. The coughing continued and so did the bleeding. I was starting to feel light headed so I gave Alyssa to Joe. The panic on my nurses face became more noticeable, but even more so, the panic on Joe’s face. The nurse decided to get the doctor again. She wasn’t available so another doctor came in. He also didn’t seem concerned at first but then I coughed and he saw what happened when I coughed. They said prepped me for surgery. The room went from concerned to panic mode. Joe was white as a ghost and had such a look of fear. Saying things to me like “you’re going to be ok”, “we can’t lose you”, “the girls and I need you”. As they rushed to prep me, I kept insisting that someone take the baby from Joe. I was more worried about him and the possibility of him dropping her than the life and death situation that I later found out I was in. They rushed me out of the room barely giving Joe and I the chance to say goodbye. When looking back at the events, Joe always talks about how he sat there with our newborn daughter, looking at a pool of my blood on the floor. I can’t even imagine.

I’ve watched so many hospital shows where they are running a patient down the hallway. I always wondered if it really happened that way. Well, it does. They were pushing me so fast and more people kept joining us. I think it was then I realized how serious the situation was. The next thing I remember is waking up with tubes coming out of my mouth and extremely confused about all that had happened. I do remember hearing someone say to another person that my uterus was sent to pathology. Barely conscious but conscious enough to know what that meant. Joe and family members took turns seeing me. It was several hours later before I got to hold my precious Alyssa again. Anytime I got to hold her, I could feel how it was healing me emotionally.

Erin and JoeBreathing tube, IV, beeping sounds made for an awful night sleep. Blood results the next morning gave us another scare. My hemoglobin and platelets dropped. They thought they saw blood in my abdomen after a ct scan. That scared look came back on Joe’s face. It was then that he took my hand and prayed with tears rolling down his face. I really didn’t know what was all going on but by the look on his face, I wasn’t out of the woods yet. They took several other X-rays and Results showed nothing to worry about. Decided to give me more blood and platelets. The following day (Saturday), tests showed the numbers were on the rise. Tubes came out and I was starting to eat. I was still in the ICU so was still only seeing Alyssa for about an hour 2-3 times. Because of the hysterectomy, it was very painful to move. They finally moved me to the mother baby unit on Monday. It was so nice to have Alyssa with me! So thankful her and I made it. I don’t think it was until the doctor confirmed that it was an AFE and Joe showed me info on the internet that I truly realized how lucky I was. But what really hit me was something Joe said at one point. He didn’t know what to say when people asked him what Alyssa’s name was. We knew ahead of time it was a girl and had her name picked out so this confused me. He continued to say that he didn’t want to make her name official until I was out of the woods because if he did lose me, he was going to name her Erin. That’s when I knew I just put him through hell. I will forever be grateful for his strength as he stayed by my side throughout it all.

It’s been over a year and though I am physically fine, I still have some up and down struggles with the PTSD. I think mostly because the AFE took away may ability to have more kids. I’ve always wanted a big family and that is not going to happen. I’ve struggled with survivors guilt and that need to do something big but the lack of time to do something. There are days I look at Alyssa and all I can think is how lucky we are.