AFE Survivor Sara

The last thing I remember is the day before delivery day walking through the rose garden and not feeling well. I went into labor one week before my due date, at home early in the morning. It started with bleeding but once I got to the hospital everything looked good so I continued to labor. By lunch time Lucy had turned around completely and was no longer head down. My doctor and nurses were able to maneuver her around so she would be head down and they began Pitocin to hopefully speed things up before she could flip flop again. Unfortunately, she was now face presenting in a very dangerous position so the decision was made to bring me into an emergency c-section. I was wheeled quickly to the operating room while my husband and mom stood there not knowing what was happening. Lucy was born at 3:12 p.m. and my AFE began immediately after with my heart and lungs failing. After some emergency foot work my delivery staff was able to revive me only to have me begin hemorrhaging. It would take another surgery to correct that and during my entire 4 day stay in the ICU I was pretty touch and go and nobody knew what my reality would look like.

I went home on day 8 after Lucy was born and I was terrified. I had no memory of Lucy, her birth, any of my children, my husband, my family. I didn’t recognize my home and I was pretty scared for approximately three months until things started to feel familiar. I am almost three years out and I still have significant memory loss, I have Sheehan’s Syndrome, Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency, Diabetes Insipidus, I have also developed Rheumatoid Arthritis, and a variety of other issues doctors are currently stumped about. Along with that I have severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and am suicidal. I don’t feel like I am supposed to be here and I struggle with that daily.

So far the best thing I’ve done was starting therapy within three months of my AFE and going every other week religiously, even when it’s really hard. I see my psychiatrist for medication checks and I’m honest with symptoms and side effects. I stay on top of my doctor visits (even when it’s frustrating) and I’ve learned to say no when I really can’t do something.