AFE Survivor Jessie

I was so excited when I found out I was having a girl! My c-section was scheduled and I had prepared myself, or so I thought. I had the “normal” anxiety of having a massive surgery. My fiance and I awaited the arrival of our much loved and much anticipated little girl. My surgery went perfectly, and it was time to see my angel, she was everything I hoped and dreamed of. Suddenly, I couldn’t catch my breath. They said it was my nerves and anxiety. When they tried to put her in my arms for the first time I begged them to take her away because I couldn’t breathe. “Please, please get her off”, I said. The spinal had begun to wear off, and I began to feel massive amounts of pain and it hurt to breath. By now, my blood pressure was out of control and no one knew what was wrong. My lungs were collapsing, doctors and nurses were running in and out of my room, and my family members looked terrified. I remember saying to my fiance “this is it, I’m going now,”and I passed out. When I woke up they had me in a CT Scan and people were rushing everywhere. I couldn’t breathe and I was scared out of my mind. My anxiety completely took over and I couldn’t control my flailing. I was moved to the ICU, and at that point I knew it was serious. When I saw my mom’s eyes and reaction, I knew my life was in danger, and I wanted my baby to know I loved her . That’s all I remember remember before they put me in a coma.

While I was in the coma, I had five blood transfusions and was on life support. I was told I had a hematoma in my abdomen, and my liver and kidneys were failing. When I woke up, I remember feeling like I was reborn. I thought it was the same day I had given birth but it was almost 5 days later. I don’t recall doing it, but I ripped out my breathing tube when I woke. All I wanted to do was see my baby. My family had a lot to tell me about what happened while I was out. The doctors would lower my medication to bring me out of the coma to see if I could handle the pain. I was told the pain was too great. I was told that I would ask about my baby, and my family told me how much they loved me and encouraged me to keep fighting. They said they would see a tear roll down my face every time I brought up my daughter.

My daughter is now two years old and is the most amazing little girl. I think about it my experience daily. It was such a traumatic experience to go through. Feeling so happy to be alive, but still wondering what my family went through watching me suffe . They told my family not to expect much, and that I probably wouldn’t be going home. They told my fiance to get ready to be a single parent because I wasn’t going to make it. Now I am so thankful that my daughter was already born when I began showing symptoms. She was not affected by it. I am so grateful to be able to be a mother to my little girl. Just recently, I had a nightmare of the AFE. I really hope that the research can solve AFE. I want to stand and be someone to help bring awareness. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

My own memories begin at this point. All I wanted was to see my daughter. They gave me a sponge bath, put me in a wheelchair with my many IVs and oxygen, and I was finally able to hold her. It was the most joyous thing I’ve ever experienced. I was so happy to be alive. I was told about the AFE on my fourth day in the hospital. I was unable to walk without the assistance of a walker and I was still on oxygen. Three days later, I finally got to go home.