I was 23 years old and 40 weeks into a high-risk pregnancy. I was considered high risk because of a cyst cutting the circulation off to my right ovary, and I also had endometriosis.
I had a C-section on August 17, 2020. After the surgery, I returned to my hospital room and cuddled up with my newborn baby girl. I was so happy to finally meet her.
I was sitting in the rocking chair when I became dizzy, so I put her back into the hospital bassinet and tried to get back to the bed. I suddenly lost all vision, and I could hardly breathe.
My nurse walked in at that exact moment, and I thank God she did. I was immediately rushed to the ICU and transferred to another hospital, leaving my newborn daughter behind with my mom.
The doctors said I had a pulmonary embolism and that it was “a ticking time bomb” and was “massive.” My risk factors were pregnancy and long car rides while moving from New Jersey to North Carolina.
From there, I had a catheter-directed thrombolysis procedure to try and break up the clot. This was my second “awake” surgery within 24 hours. After the procedure, I had to lay flat for 18 hours.
Once I moved to the postpartum ward of the hospital, I was relieved, but still so scared. I stayed for about a week. I would pump my milk, and it would get picked up and taken home to my baby.
Finally, I was discharged with a Lovenox injection prescription that I gave myself every 12 hours in my lower stomach for more than six months.
Going through this experience was life-changing. Recovering from a C-section and a PE at the same time was not easy and I haven’t been the same since. I suffer from PTSD and depression, and I’m still trying to work through all of this.