When I was “eluding death,” my son was born; this is how I was given a second chance to live.

Kayleigh Summers is an LSW working at a school ᴄʟɪɴɪᴄɪᴀɴ in PA. She lives with her husband, 18-month-old son, Callahan, and dog, Daxton told her ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs giving birth story.

I had a few high ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ ᴘʀᴇssᴜʀᴇs (ᴀɴxɪᴇᴛʏ related), I was 2 days past my due date, and the baby seemed big. After 2 days of labor, I was finally 10 cm and ready to ᴘᴜsʜ. I told my nurse something ꜰᴇʟᴛ ᴏꜰꜰ and then I sᴄʀᴇᴀᴍᴇᴅ that something was wrong with my heart, before I quickly ᴄᴏʟʟᴀᴘsᴇᴅ. I was ʀᴜsʜᴇᴅ to the OR and Callahan was born during an ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ᴄ-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ while C.P.R was ɪɴɪᴛɪᴀᴛᴇᴅ on me.

My son was born, while I was ᴅʏɪɴɢ. They delivered Cal and thankfully he did well after a short ʀᴇsᴜsᴄɪᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. I, on the other hand, did not. I was down for about 7 minutes before I was resuscitated and then, I coded a second time. After several minutes of C.P.R, they were able to revive me again.

I then began to rapidly ʟᴏsᴇ ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ. I went into Dɪssᴇᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴇᴅ Iɴᴛʀᴀᴠᴀsᴄᴜʟᴀʀ Cᴏᴀɢᴜʟᴀᴛɪᴏɴ (DIC), which causes massive ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ ʟᴏss. I was bleeding out. I needed 143 units of ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ product (the average human body holds 8-12 units). I was put on ECMO (a form of life support) because my heart and lungs were no longer able to oxygenate my ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ. I had to have an ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ʜʏsᴛᴇʀᴇᴄᴛᴏᴍʏ and 3 more ᴀʙᴅᴏᴍɪɴᴀʟ sᴜʀɢᴇʀɪᴇs over the next few days. I was on a ᴠᴇɴᴛɪʟᴀᴛᴏʀ for 5 days and in the ICU for two weeks. I slowly regained consciousness and was able to meet my beautiful baby boy on day 5. I was discharged on day 14. Thank god. I saved. I made it

I was given a second chance at this life, a chance to watch my son grow up. When I returned home, I was a shell of myself. My body had just been through a ᴡᴀʀ that I had no memory of.  I was sleeping 14-16  hours a day. And I was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ with Pᴏsᴛᴘᴀʀᴛᴜᴍ Dᴇᴘʀᴇssɪᴏɴ.

I began weekly ᴛʜᴇʀᴀᴘʏ the same week I was discharged from the hospital. Even though I was still floating high off the “escaping death” thing, as a therapist, I knew I would need a lot of therapeutic support. I specifically chose a therapist who specialized in perinatal mental health. When therapy itself wasn’t enough, I chose to start taking ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ.

I believe ɪɴɪᴛɪᴀᴛɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇʀᴀᴘʏ so early on and being open to a trial of medication helped me climb out of the darkness sooner than I would have on my own. Writing and sharing with others about my journey has also helped me process my ɢʀɪᴇꜰ.

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