Posted on October 5th, 2018
After a 48+ labor, I finally was able to go home with my husband and baby girl. Everything was smooth until the 2nd night home when I started getting uncontrollable chills, followed by extreme night sweating late in the evening. I called a nurse and explained my symptoms and was told that it was probably my body regulating after an intensive labor and to call back if the chills came back.
I ended up sleeping that night and waking up feeling fine, but shortly after getting ready for the day, the chills came back and this time they would not stop. I called the nurse once more and she told me I should go to the ER. As I was getting ready to leave the house, things kept getting worse and worse. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me. I just remember feeling very strange and anything but normal. The drive from my house to the hospital felt like an eternity. As soon as we pulled into the ER, I remember someone coming to the door with a wheelchair and I immediately sprung from the car into the chair because I knew I needed help fast. I remember someone asking me some general information and getting into a gown, but I completely lost touch with reality shortly after. (Sepsis and Pregnancy & Childbirth)
My heart rate was 199 bpm, I had really low blood pressure, and I had a very high fever. Once in the ER, I remember a million faces scurrying all around me. I’m not entirely sure what was given to me at the time, but when the medicine set in, I remember thinking that I was dying. I literally thought that my body was shutting down starting from my toes to my head, but really I was just becoming numb from the medicine they gave me to calm things down. At that time, I remember my life flashing before my eyes. As the medicine started to wear off, I remember thinking that I was coming back to life. It was such a bizarre experience. I was eventually wheeled off to the heart center because the team thought something was going on with my heart. It took a few days to determine that I did in fact have sepsis.
Doctors couldn’t figure out what caused the sepsis, except for that I did have a UTI before and during labor, along with a very drawn out labor with lots of cervical checks that could all have lead to the diagnosis. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections) Thankfully, the symptoms showed up at the right time and I was able to get help right away. It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, especially having to be separated from my first born daughter for 3 nights. I am extremely thankful for the medical professionals that saved my life and I’m happy to be here today to tell my story so that others can be aware of the signs of postpartum sepsis.