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Your heart stopped for a minute there, but we got you back

February 8, 2017 I was admitted to a hospital in Detroit for a subchorionic hematoma (SCH), which is a blood clot attached to the placenta.

I was 24 weeks pregnant, during my fourth pregnancy, and was in pre-term labor due to the SCH. It can be life threatening for both mother and baby if they don't catch the bleeding and stop it during birth. I was in the labor and delivery/ maternity floor for almost a month to be monitored and on complete bed rest until the baby arrived. I was in full labor every day until my delivery on March 7th (via emergency C Section). My SCH burst and I was losing amnionic fluid so my daughter would have to be born early, 29 weeks along. I was taken to the operating room and given a spinal, then they started to deliver my daughter. She arrived with a big cry and was whisked away quickly to the NICU (she survived and is doing well).

And this is where it goes bad. I had massive bleeding and the placenta shredded and tore my uterine wall. I remember two nurses counting sponges and repeating the number back and forth. I remember another nurse telling me to breathe and asking if I was okay. I remember looking over at my husband and thinking this is taking forever. Why is this taking so long? At this point I lost track of the sponge count after being over 50. I heard the nurse tell my husband that he should come wait in the waiting room and head up to see our daughter since it would be a while. He resisted a bit but held my hand and we both said I love you and as he walked out the door I thought to myself why does this feel like the last time I will ever say those words to him? As the door shut and he walked out I began to feel my breathing slow down. I told myself to keep breathing. Concentrate on the nurse's voice. I began to feel like I was fading away. I could hear my heart in my ears. I started to feel light headed but still conscious to everything around me.

And then silence. No heartbeat, just a loud buzz like the heart monitor sound when it goes flat. I looked all around and saw below that it was me on the table. I saw them doing what the doctor called a whiple stitch and she was moving quickly as nurses were shoving more sponges at the doctor connected to long metal instruments. I remember feeling pulled away but hearing the nurse say stay with me hun, you're okay hun. Are you okay?

And then white light hit me so hard on my face. A warmth I have never felt, like a big fuzzy blanket of heat. I remember feeling immense love all around me. Pure love. I can't even describe this light and love. I basked in this warmth and love for what seemed like forever. I couldn't get enough of it.

Then a single butterfly flew into the light. Just one.

Then a voice from the warm light said I know it is beautiful here but you can't stay. I know you want to but you can't. I recognized the voice as my best friend's mom who passed away in October 2015. I was there by her side when she passed and asked her to put in a good word for us to have a daughter (we did). She was talking to me and the words were just coming from this big ball of light, no face, just her voice was familiar to me. She continued saying please go back, your boys need you, your husband needs you, and that beautiful baby girl needs her momma. Say hi to my girls, give them a hug and kiss from me. Tell them I miss them so much but I am okay and they will be too. I remember thinking but this is so beautiful- the light, the warmth, the beauty within the light and love was more than earth could ever be.

I didn't want to go back but, as I was thinking this, I felt like I was being sucked back into the darkness. Like a backwards motion of being sucked back into my body.

I woke up with this calm feeling that I was going to live and get through this. I remember feeling pain again when I was awake after my experience. I had never felt so much pain in my life- it was excruciating. It was the anethesia wearing off and they were still working on me. I asked the nurse if she had put me under and I was coming out of the anethesia and she said no hun you just have the spinal, we can't put you under right now, we need you aware and awake. We almost lost you. Then I told her I felt like I was going to pass out from the pain.

I woke up in recovery surrounded by my family and thought I had died again but I was just extremely exhausted from everything and the pain. The nurse said several times that I was (pinching her thumb and pointer finger as close together as possible without touching) this close to having a hysterectomy because they could not manage to get all of the bleeding under control. She said I was one of the very lucky ones to make it out of that type of major bleed without dying but it was close. I asked her how close and she replied If I were you I would get my medical records because your heart stopped for a minute there but we got you back.

This is the first time I have ever written my story. I have told only a handful of people because I can't even process everything a year later without feeling overwhelmed. I have started to withdraw, become angry at myself or friends and family for not understanding what happened. At first I was such a different person. I looked at life so differently but then I felt like this life on earth was so dark and sad and that nothing would be like the pure love, warmth and light I felt when I was in it. I was medicated with Xanax for PTSD and medical trauma but I didn't want to be on brain altering medication.

I am just now starting to seek out answers and finding this page helped me a lot. Some days I remember more that I had forgotten but the main parts I wrote about above stand out every single time I close my eyes. I am so glad I am here to watch my babies grow up and spend more time with my husband, family and friends. I am more involved in my kids' lives instead of always working. I help bring supply bags to the NICU for families. I try to be a better person because that is what is important in life.


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