I heard, "It's a girl!" Then I heard three more words I never expected to hear: "We're losing her!"
Michelle Kemper Brownlow: The nurses were talking about ME! My husband watched the next hour unfold, thinking he was leaving the hospital as a single dad of two.
I thought moms dying on the delivery table was something of the past, archaic, in fact. With all the advances of modern medicine? Scientists can grow body parts in a petri dish, and I AM DYING ON THE DELIVERY TABLE?
After having my first child, I remember my doctor commenting that she needed to "remove some pieces" of torn placenta from my uterus. I just assumed this was normal. Somehow, that information didn't make it onto my charts. Had it been documented, this pregnancy could have been monitored with a specialized ultrasound, and a Cesarean could have saved us from this grave situation.
I have a rare uterine disorder called Placenta Accreta. This causes the placenta to grow into the wall of the uterus. With each consecutive pregnancy, the placenta can grow deeper, becoming a life-threatening situation. In some cases, the placenta grows through the wall and attaches to organs.
The uterus supplies blood flow to the placenta until it is fully removed. Doctors have 30 minutes to remove all of it or the patient will hemorrhage. The OR was called for an emergency D and C at 30 minutes -- unfortunately, no OR was free for another 30 minutes. I remember my blood pressure hitting 70/40, and then my memory is spotty.
"God saved your life last night" were the words Dr. P. greeted me with the next morning. Needless to say, we adopted our third child.
My advice: pay close attention. Ask questions. Push for answers. Your life is in your doctor's hands, literally!
|Michelle Kemper Brownlow is a freelance parenting writer, artist and popular mommy blogger who holds nothing back at My Semblance of Sanity. Michelle's unique but gentle parenting insight paired with her quirky sense of humor works to her benefit as she writes and illustrates children's picture books.|