Mom Who Nearly Died in Childbirth Speaks Out About Her Terrifying Experience

@thebirthtrauma_mama via TikTok

In an ideal scenario, a pregnant mom will deliver her baby without any complications. She and the baby will both be 100% healthy before, during and after childbirth.

Not all pregnancy stories are this ideal scenario, and while we don’t want to scare anyone who is currently pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, the reality is that sometimes there are complications.

Doctors try to prevent and catch any potential problems before they become dangerous. That’s why a doctor may suggest inducing a pregnant mom or performing a c-section. Sometimes even what seems to be a typical routine pregnancy ends in an emergency c-section, but if possible, doctors and nurses try to avoid this scenario.

Kayleigh Summers had a very normal pregnancy. She did not have any complications. She was not high risk. Everything went smoothly until she was about to give birth. In a viral TikTok video, she shared that she was 10cm dilated (the point at which you’re ready to push the baby out) when she felt like something was terribly wrong.

Summers told the nurse she felt sick, and the nurse reassured her that it was normal to feel sick at this point during childbirth. The nurse got a bag in case Summers needed to throw up. That’s not what Summers needed.

Summers yelled, “There’s something wrong with my heart!” Then she collapsed, and she doesn’t remember anything else that happened for the rest of the week. She was unconscious during the emergency c-section in which her baby was born. She was unconscious when her newborn son was laid on her chest for skin to skin contact. She has no memory of holding her son for the very first time.

After the fact, Summers found out that she suffered from AFE which is when amniotic fluid travels to the mother’s lungs and veins. It can cause cardiac arrest, and it is often fatal. Summers is lucky that she is alive.

@thebirthtrauma_mamaNo one saw it coming except me. ##trustyourgut ##birthtrauma ##IDeserveTuitionContest ##ZFlipClackdown♬ original sound – Sarah Cothran

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin explained AFE to BuzzFeed. She said, “To explain AFE further, the cells from the amniotic fluid, including things like baby hair and skin, get directly into the mother’s bloodstream and travel through the heart and lungs. These fetal tissues go into the blood vessels, and it causes this massive blood pressure shock reaction to these foreign tissues. The baby’s tissue does not get stuck in the pulmonary vessels, it is more of an allergic shock reaction that causes the mother’s heart and circulation to shut down. You end up with a massive blood clotting problem and the person goes into DIC, where their body starts eating up all the blood platelets and they start hemorrhaging. You can see DIC with other things, but AFE is certainly one of the most common ones. Over half of the woman who experience AFE can die — in fact, the maternal mortality rate can be as high as 80% — so Kayleigh is very lucky she survived.”

Summers is being very vocal about her story on social media and advocating for people to speak up when they feel that something isn’t right.

Thankfully, AFE is rare. It only effects 1 to 12 out of 100,000 births, but it can happen to anyone even people who were completely healthy like Summers. The fact that Summers gave birth in a hospital that was equipped with the amount of blood she needed saved her life. She most likely would not have survived a home birth.