AFE Survivor Katie

Mar 21, 2019 | AFE Survivor

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

We now have office hours!

These are dedicated hours AFE Foundation Executive Director, Miranda Klassen and Support Program Manager/Birth Trauma Expert, Kayleigh Summers, LCSW will be available to answer questions and discuss resources to assist our community members in navigating their paths forward after an AFE. 

 

The Door is Open! 

Office hours will be held virtually on zoom. Time with staff members will be private and may be limited to 10 minutes depending on if others are waiting. 

 

Join Us

July 14th 9-10am PST (U.S., Canada, Europe)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85814926977?pwd=WU1lNCt2KzJEZVQxUDVjdU50U1hndz09

July 27th 5-6pm PST (US, Canada, Australia)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84958386099?pwd=VHdxaEpwN0JraldBMmM2aEh2d1FlQT09

August 11th  9-10am PST (U.S., Canada, Europe)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83106027215?pwd=ZzN6YnFIRC83dUtMMnJGMDBDTTcwUT09

August 24th 5-6pm PST (US, Canada, Australia)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83456765395?pwd=OFJjeDQ4Q1Nnd29lSGVkUElPYzVNdz09

September 15th  9-10am PST (U.S., Canada, Europe)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84564142077?pwd=cUFmejhkaTM4VmFDcVdGY29HTWQ4QT09

September 28th 5-6pm (US, Canada, Australia)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82336263712?pwd=UFJNYVo4Z1VUOHRSVkdUWTVmdlo1UT09

 

Potential Topics Covered

For AFE Survivors:

  • Mental Health and Navigating Birth Trauma
  • Understanding Grief After A Near Death Experience
  • How and Where to access mental health services
  • Types of therapists
  • Recommended therapies
  • Assist in identifying local or online therapists 
  • Feeding and Bonding after Birth Trauma 
  • AFE Anniversaries
  • How to talk family and friends about what happened 
  • How to navigate toxic positivity
  • FAQ’s about AFE
  • Understanding what happened to your body
  • Hysterectomy recovery
  • How to access medical records
  • Research related questions
  • Pregnancy After AFE

Grieving Family Members:

  • Frequently asked questions about AFE
  • Stages of grief
  • AFE anniversaries
  • How to honor or memorialize your loved one
  • How to access your loved ones medical records
  • Research related questions
  • Understanding autopsy reports
  • Accessing grief resources

Understanding and Accessing AFE Foundation Resources:

 

  • Frequently Asked Questions PDF 
  • Survivor Guide 
  • Grieving Family Guide
  • AFE Clinical Summary Form
  • Zoom Support Groups
  • Survivor Directory
  • How to access the Spotify Channel

Help us #endAFE!

The AFE Foundation is entirely funded by donations. Every dollar goes directly toward our support, research, and education programs. We are committed to turning donations into action, including yours.