Monday, November 7, 2016

37 Seconds

I knew the minute I had my AFE in August one of my first steps to recovery and healing was to read as much as I could about amniotic fluid embolisms. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot out there but this books stood out to me and I read it in one day.

37 Seconds - Stephanie Arnold
Pregnant with her second child, Stephanie Arnold began receiving mysterious but strong premonitions that she would die during the delivery. Distressed, Stephanie did everything she could to inform the medical team and her family about what she knew was coming. No one believed her, but Stephanie knew they were wrong. When she gave birth to her son, Stephanie flatlined and died on the operating table for 37 seconds, during which time she had a spiritual experience she would never forget.

After reading what Stephanie discovered in her search to make sense of what happened to her, you will never look at life, death, and the afterlife the same way again.

If you're a long time reader of this blog, you'll remember my reservations about my pregnancy with Lucy. At the time, I chalked it up to it being my fourth pregnancy, unexpected and unplanned, and so soon after having Penelope. Now that I've had a little time to reflect on my recent experiences I don't think that's what it was at all. I think it was my body trying to tell me something, perhaps warn me of what was to come. I think I didn't get the message and maybe Lucy picked up the slack and that's why she turned at the last minute, causing me to have an emergency c-section. Because without that c-section, I would have immediately died in my delivery room.

Stephanie Arnold felt throughout her entire pregnancy something was very wrong, that she would die giving birth to her second child. Despite warning everyone around her, nobody really took her seriously. One doctor thankfully flagged her file and that played a part in her survival. The book isn't very long, just under 200 pages, but it's a really horrific and sobering read. I think someone who hasn't survived an AFE, or had a loved one die from an AFE, would have a different feeling about this book. Perhaps you would read it as a bystander next to a car crash- you should look away but you're compelled to stare in awe. As someone who has survived an AFE, I cried. I cried because like Stephanie, I lost so many days of my life. It's hard to explain to others what it's like to come back from that and feel the way I do. One outlet of therapy Stephanie tries is regression therapy where she's hypnotized and brought back to that moment of dying and seeing loved ones in the days immediately following.

I so badly want this. 

I keep saying I wish people  had more video of me, had taken more pictures of me, no matter how painful and scary they would have been. I feel like I'm missing such a huge part of my life and I feel desperate to get it back. I wonder if people who have been in a coma for an extended time feel this way? Is there a way to get closure without hypnosis? I don't know.

This book is one of the best I've read. And I might be biased because it is SO similar to my story, but I highly recommend this. I had such a deflating feeling after reading it that the story has already been told- what would be the point writing MY story? But then after another sleepless night, I decided I have to write my story, it's different in many ways, perhaps important ways. We'll see.

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