AFE Survivor Katie

On August 31st, 2017, at 41+3 weeks pregnant, my husband and I got the news that I would be induced that morning and we would finally be meeting our baby girl. We had been so anxious the past several weeks and we were SO ready for this. The day was normal for the most part, I felt good and even skunked my husband in cribbage. When it was time to break my water, I remember everything going black and then waking up to my midwife yelling my name. The rest is blurry. I was in and out of consciousness, but I remember what felt like 30 people rushing into my room, screaming at one another and frantically wheeling me out to the OR. I prayed to God and tried my hardest to make eye contact with my anesthesiologist to give her a sign that I was still awake. I remember thinking if she sees me blink, she will know I’m awake. A second later she put tape over my eyes, and that was my last memory until I woke up in the ICU 3 days later. I later found out that I had an Amniotic Fluid Embolism followed by DIC which required me to receive more than 50 units of blood products. 

When I woke up, I found out my daughter had been born, but she too suffered complications. My daughter was transferred to a local Children’s Hospital where she had 3 days of a cooling treatment due to Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy. After six days, she was released and transferred back to my hospital. After one long week, I was finally able to meet and hold my precious girl. It was the most unbelievable moment—one I’ll never forget. 

After 10 days in the hospital my daughter was cleared to go home. I, however, was still experiencing complications and was told I needed to stay in the hospital. My husband had to immediately jump into the role of both Mom and Dad. During my 15-day hospital stay, I always had a family member with me. They will never know how much that meant to me and how much I needed them there during this time. 

I remember the day the doctor told me I could go home like it was yesterday. One of the happiest days of my life to break free from the hospital and be home with my family. But once I was home, the littlest tasks that I once took for granted were very hard. I could not easily go up and down stairs, a shower took me triple the amount of time, and I was exhausted just changing one diaper. After two weeks home, I was back in the hospital with bi-lateral pulmonary embolisms. At that point we moved in with my parents temporarily so they could help me with my daughter and my husband could go back to work. I was in and out of the hospital for a couple months with various complications.

Finally, after about 5 months I was getting back to my “normal” self. When I reflect on this time in my life, just 18 months ago, I have so many people to be thankful for. The incredible doctors and nurses who saved my life and provided such outstanding care to me and my family. My supportive family, friends, and husband that never left my side. And God for deciding he had other plans for me on this earth. Forever grateful and fortunate for the many blessings that have come my way