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Alyson C.

Survivor

When you are pregnant you body goes through a lot of changes. You are tired, you feel ill, and you have aches and pains all over your body. So, that’s what I thought it was.

One morning I was making breakfast for my family and the next thing I knew, I was laying in my husband’s arms and he was dialing 911. I remember seeing the black spots and sitting down; I don’t remember fainting. (Sepsis and Pregnancy & Childbirth)

At the hospital, they said “this happens when you are pregnant. Fainting is common.” We went on with life, thinking that was true. Two weeks later I couldn’t sleep. I had a terrible pain in my stomach, and I could not get comfortable. We decided to call the doctor who asked us to come to the hospital. I was only 20 weeks pregnant, so I remember praying I wasn’t in labor. I just kept thinking about the baby, I didn’t think I was sick.

I was originally sent home but returned a few hours later when I started vomiting and spiking a high fever. We knew something was wrong then, but we didn’t know what. They suspected it was my gallbladder, possibly a gallstone. (Sepsis and Gallstones) Doctors considered taking it out, but when you’re pregnant surgery is too risky. We waited.

Forty-eight hours after being admitted to the hospital doctors discovered that I had sepsis. They made clear to me that I needed surgery. If I had surgery, there was a chance I’d lose my baby. If I didn’t have surgery, we’d both be dead in a few days.

I was transferred to the ICU and given my own nurse for the next twelve hours. She stayed at my side the entire day. She bathed me and brushed my teeth. She ordered my food for me and helped me eat it. She held the iPad steady so that I could talk to my daughter and husband and we watched Dancing with the Stars together. She had the most positive attitude and never let me know just how sick I was.

I had surgery the next morning and when I woke up all I wanted to know is if the baby had survived. It took some time, and it was faint, but finally it was there. A fetal heartbeat.

Somehow we both survived this scary ordeal. And yet, it still haunts me. Every day I think what if I didn’t survive? What if I had lost our beautiful baby girl? What if I get sick again? Can I get sepsis again? I didn’t know I was sick last time, will I know next time? I had an appendicitis when I was younger and was very sick. Did I have sepsis then too?
Not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought about the what-ifs. I try to live in the moment and be thankful for the outcome, but I just can’t get past it.

Source: Alyson C.

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