AFE Survivor Lisa

My husband and I were done having children. I had returned to work and worked my way back to being successful after staying home raising my two boys and one little girl. Our children were 16, 11, and 7. We were more than shocked that our new little one was about to arrive.

My pregnancy was different this time. Not dramatically, but I was working full time and I was older so I was tired. I always believed there was something wrong with my size this pregnancy. I was much smaller than my other pregnancies and he moved different. I could feel him more, as if there was less than fluid. My doctors did not agree, so I never pushed the issue.

It was the night before New Years Eve. My parents and his parents were in for the holidays from Pennsylvania. It was 5 weeks until my due date. My doctor thought I would go early but thought it would be 2 more weeks or so. I awoke to a little bit of pressure. I noticed my sheets were a little wet. I was not sure if my water had broken, but was feeling some pressure. I took a shower, packed my bags, and noticed that my water had definitely broke. I called my doctor and he told me to head into the hospital and he would have them call him. I woke my husband to have him take a shower and as he closed the bathroom door, I fell to the ground in pain. It was different pain, contractions of course, but very different. My mother in law heard me in pain and came in running, she yelled for my husband to get out of the shower and he was shocked as I was fine just 5 minutes before. We helped me to the car and once in the car, I started to sweat. I was so hot I rolled down the windows and a mile up the road I made my husband pull over. I got out of the car and took off my jacket and went down to my tank top in the middle of winter. I began to throw up and the pain was everywhere. I asked my husband to call an ambulance as I said something was wrong, very very wrong. I laid on the side of the road waiting for an ambulance screaming in pain. The ambulance would not tell me how far I was in labor, that or I did not pay attention to the answer. I kept telling them my chest hurt badly and I was having trouble breathing. They told me I was having an anxiety attack, my husband was yelling, “I saw her have three babies, There is something wrong…” They never checked my vitals, they never checked my heart rate, they never checked my pulse.
When I got to the hospital immediately they said something was wrong with my son. My doctor was there and said, “Lisa, we have to get him out now.” There was no anesthesiologist on duty, so he said, “you have to push and you have to push quick and hard Lisa”. He said that he was going help and that some nurses were going to also push on my belly. With the first pushes, he was yelling at me. I was trying so very very hard but had no strength. The yelling and my pushing was not working and in a flash, he was out. The pain of a child not coming out naturally is so bad that one blacks out, but when I came through he was there. They said he was doing ok and that he was working hard on him. I was shaking and cold. Cold from the inside, they covered me with about 5 heated blankets and I could not stop shaking. I was bleeding, I knew it was bad, but I did not know how bad. I remember my mind being so in and out at this point. I asked why my baby was not crying and they told me he was ok. I asked what was happening to me and my doctor assured me he was watching everything and would not leave until everything was ok. I went to ask my husband a questions and the words did not come out. I knew was I was saying but no words. I was so frustrated. So scared. The look on my husbands face, he was so scared. I could not speak for about 5 minutes and luckily it came back. My doctor was asking my husband a lot of questions, he was telling him I believe this was just a stroke but it could be something else. I remember him saying, I am hoping it is not something else. He was running tests. I remembered looking at my arm and it was black and than i saw my husband crying in the corner as my doctor explained what was happening. He came over kissed me and told me he loved me. He told me to fight and fight really hard. I was confused as there was people everywhere and then we were moving. I was still in pain, I believe now it was because of the medication they had given me to stop the bleeding. I was having contractions and my body was burning. As we moved they were putting holes in my neck telling me to stay still. My doctor held my hand, as I had people surrounding me everywhere. We were going to the ICU and my doctor explained things were bad, and that I had to fight my hardest and I was gone.

Deiter LisaI awoke 32 hours later. I do not remember much of my 6 days in ICU, it is more moments. Holding Brayden for the first time. My husband crying in the room in the middle of the night. Trying so hard for the first time to go 3 steps to the bathroom. It was hard to breath, hard to stand, hard to stay awake. I was moved to the maternity ward to finish recovering. I took more steps everyday. I was placed on dialysis because my kidneys were not working. It was about 1 week later when I started putting together what had actually just happened. Everyone at the hospital called me a miracle but all I knew was that my life as I knew it was gone. Brayden was doing well for going through what he went through and for being born early. He was strong. He was in an incubator in the NICU but they brought me to him and him to me. I tried so hard when my other children came to ask ok, hiding my neck with a scarf. My husband would not leave. Finally I was able to go home. My kidneys were better and my numbers looked a lot better.

Recovery, was a struggle. I had wonderful doctors. I had a wonderful husband and family behind me. I knew I needed to get better to be their mom and the women I was before. The women I wanted to be. I started my recovery with brain games. I couldn’t find my words all the time. My memory was foggy. I worked daily on different apps and games. Walking was tough for a while. I worked on this with Yoga, by myself through apps. The first time I walked up the stairs was so hard. I still have pain in my legs, doctors seem to not know why. I have Shee Han syndrome and Addison Disease but I have successfully went back to work and am more successful than ever. I believe I am a better mother and wife. I look at life so differently and enjoy so much more. I will never be healthy, but I will be alive. I am a survivor. I will always have flashback and at first it was so hard but I found comfort in talking. With my husband and with my family and friends. My husband had a hard time after. It is such a dramatic experience for them, that months later he had a breakdown. It is important to remember them in the healing process.