Kayleigh Summers, a licensed social worker employed at a Pennsylvania school, listened intently as Daxton described her delivery experience.
Due to my elevated SSU readings, my anxieties increased as I surpassed my deadline. The possibility of having a large child added to my worries. When I finally went into labor, it was a two-day ordeal. Despite being fully dilated at 10 centimeters, I detected a problem with my heart and informed the attending nurse. My condition suddenly deteriorated rapidly, and I was rushed into the operating room for an emergency cesarean section. I required CPR to save my life during delivery, while Callahan was born amid the chaos.
My child was born prematurely during my pregnancy. Thankfully, Cal was able to overcome the initial setbacks and recover well after a brief delay. Nevertheless, my own health condition deteriorated. I lost consciousness for approximately seven minutes after giving birth and required resuscitation. Unfortunately, my recovery was brief because I suffered a second cardiac arrest. The medical staff had to administer CPR for several minutes in order to resuscitate me.
After the birth of my child, my health took a dramatic turn for the worse. I developed DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation), a severe medical condition that caused excessive bleeding and blood loss. To stabilize my condition, I required a staggering 143 blood product units, significantly more than the average human body contains (8-12 units). My heart and lungs were unable to oxygenate my blood, so I was placed on ECMO, a life support system.
I underwent a series of surgeries and received three additional blood transfusions over the next five days. I was placed on a ventilator for five days and stayed in the intensive care unit for two weeks. On the fifth day, after gradually regaining consciousness, I was finally able to meet my cherished son. I was discharged from the hospital on the fourteenth day, grateful to have survived and created a life with my child.
Having been given a second chance at life, I felt fortunate to be able to watch my son flourish. When I returned home, however, I was a mere shadow of my former self. My body had just endured a terrifying event, but I had no memory of it. As a result, I was frequently exhausted and slept 14 to 16 hours per day. In addition, I struggled with Postpartum Depression (PPD), which made it difficult for me to adjust to my new role as a mother.
I began attending weekly therapy sessions the week following my hospital discharge. I was aware that I would need a great deal of therapeutic support despite my gratitude for surviving such a life-threatening ordeal. As a therapist, I understood the importance of seeking assistance from a specialist in prenatal mental health. However, because counseling alone was insufficient, I decided to begin taking medication as well.
My recovery was aided by my prompt initiation of therapy and my willingness to consider medication. It enabled me to emerge from the darkness much more quickly than I would have on my own. In addition, I discovered that writing about my experience and sharing it with others helped me cope with the intense grief and trauma I had endured. The act of putting my thoughts and emotions into words assisted me in processing what had occurred and gave me a sense of release.