Kayleigh Summers, a licensed social worker employed at a school in Pennsylvania, listened attentively as Daxton shared her birthing experience. Daxton resides with her spouse, 18-month-old child named Callahan, and their dog.
`As I exceeded my due date, my anxieties heightened due to my high SSU readings. The possibility of a large baby further added to my concerns. When I finally went into labor, it lasted for two grueling days. Despite being fully dilated at 10 centimeters, I sensed something was amiss with my heart and alerted the attending nurse. Suddenly, I felt my condition deteriorating rapidly, and before I knew it, I was rushed into the operating room for an emergency cesarean section. During the delivery, I had to undergo CPR to save my life, while Callahan was born amidst the chaos.
During the course of my pregnancy, my child was delivered prematurely, and thankfully, Cal was able to overcome the initial setbacks and recover well after a brief delay. However, my own health condition took a turn for the worse. Following the delivery, I lost consciousness for approximately seven minutes and had to be resuscitated. Unfortunately, my recovery was short-lived as I experienced a second bout of cardiac arrest. The medical team had to administer CPR for several minutes to bring me back to life again.
Following the delivery of my child, my health took a drastic turn for the worse. I developed a severe medical condition called DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation), which led to excessive bleeding and loss of blood. To stabilize my condition, I required an astounding 143 units of blood product, far more than the average human body holds (8-12 units). My heart and lungs were no longer capable of oxygenating my blood, so I was placed on ECMO, a form of life support.
Over the next five days, I underwent a series of surgeries and received three additional blood transfusions. For five days, I was placed on a ventilator and remained in the intensive care unit for two weeks. It wasn’t until day 5, as I gradually regained consciousness, that I was finally able to meet my beloved son. On the fourteenth day, I was discharged from the hospital, grateful to have survived and created a life with my child.
Having been given a second chance at life, I felt blessed to be able to witness my son grow and thrive. However, upon returning home, I was nothing but a mere shadow of my former self. My body had just undergone a harrowing experience, and I had no recollection of it. Consequently, I was often fatigued and slept for 14 to 16 hours every day. Moreover, I was grappling with Postpartum Depression (PPD), a condition that made it challenging for me to adjust to my new role as a mother.
The same week that I was discharged from the hospital, I began attending weekly therapy sessions. Despite feeling grateful for surviving such a life-threatening ordeal, I was aware that I would require a great deal of therapeutic support. As a therapist myself, I recognized the importance of seeking help from someone with expertise in prenatal mental health. However, as counseling alone wasn’t enough, I made the decision to start taking medication as well.
In my opinion, starting therapy early on and being receptive to the idea of taking medication proved to be beneficial in my recovery process. It allowed me to emerge from the darkness much sooner than I would have on my own. Additionally, I found that writing about my experience and sharing it with others was an effective way to cope with the intense grief and trauma I had undergone. The act of putting my thoughts and emotions into words helped me process what had happened and provided me with a sense of release.