One MUM had to fight for her life after her baby’s amniotic fluid leaked into her bloodstream and caused an “exploding” pain in her chest.
Jamie Miller, 39, from Illinois, USA, suffered from amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) – a very rare birth complication that can be fatal for both mother and baby.
It resulted in an extremely traumatic birth in which Jamie was unable to stop the bleeding, while her baby, Michael, was taken to the ICU.
The mother of three was unable to see Michael for a week – the emotional moment was captured on video by her family.
Jamie said: “I knew it was a miracle that we both survived without any physical impact.
“I know very well how rare this event is and it’s rare that we’re both here to talk about it.”
As a nurse who previously worked at the birthing unit where she gave birth, Jamie knew about the dangers of AFE.
But she never saw it – and never expected to experience it herself – when she became pregnant with her husband, Tim, 38.
On September 25, 2021, Jamie was admitted to the hospital as planned and everything went smoothly for the birth.
But the situation suddenly changed.
Jamie said: ‘I asked the nurse to help me reposition and when I turned to the left, I felt my chest explode.
“Like every cell in my body is concentrated in one spot in the center of my chest. It was a pain I had never experienced.
“My nurse was still in the room and I screamed as I grabbed my chest. Then I immediately started vomiting blood.
“She pulled on the emergency lights and I closed my eyes and fell unconscious. I remember I knew something was very wrong, I also felt like I couldn’t do anything about it.”
Medics quickly recognized it as AFE, which is when a mother has an allergic reaction to amniotic fluid entering her bloodstream – a normal part of childbirth.
The condition is poorly understood and is thought to affect one in 40,000 to 54,000 births in the US and Europe.
Usually AFE is associated with two very serious and life-threatening complications; The charity said heart and lung failure and severe bleeding.
Only 20 to 60% of people with AFE survive.
Jamie said: “Even though I knew what was going on and I knew what AFE was, I was not scared or in pain. I feel very calm.
“I knew I didn’t want to wake up anymore and I said ‘just put me to sleep’.
“That was the last thing I said and the last thing I remember. I woke up a few hours later with a tube in my throat in the ICU. I was intubated, uncomfortable and very confused.”
Once Jamie was asleep, doctors were able to perform an emergency C-section.
Michael was born with a weight of 7lb 15oz and was not breathing.
The Medics had to resuscitate him and, upon successful stabilization, transferred him to a nearby children’s hospital.
LIVE IN THE BALANCE
At the same time, Jamie suffered severe bleeding, causing blood clots to form throughout his body, blocking small blood vessels.
Jamie said: ‘I had lost the ability to clot so they needed to close me up and cover the wound with sandbags and compression bandages.
“Then they had to take my uterus to stop the bleeding. Bleeding from the uterus is normal after placental abruption but my body had no way of stopping the bleeding from that area and a bakri ball was placed inside the uterus to stop the bleeding.
“They continue to work with me with blood transfusions and blood products to replace what I have lost.
“In total, I received over 65 blood products during my confinement. Most of it is in the first few hours after giving birth.
“I was transferred to the ICU where I continued to bleed and they continued to give me blood and clotting factors.
“I was told I had exhausted the hospital supply of blood products and the doctors were working to get others to send them in from nearby hospitals.”
Doctors predicted Jamie would be unconscious for a while but to her surprise, she woke up that night.
When the family were able to visit her in the ICU, Jamie recalls: “I couldn’t speak (I was still intubated) but I could squeeze my hand so they knew I was fine.
“People cried when they saw me, so even though I felt that I was fine, I can say I scared them all.
I know it’s a miracle that we both survived without any physical impact
“I remember falling asleep and waking up several times and forgetting what happened so all night I asked the nurses what happened. Sometimes I thought I was pregnant.”
While Jamie was recovering and Michael was in another hospital, it took her seven long days to see him because he was well enough to be discharged.
“I felt so overwhelmed when I saw him,” she said. I was very nervous until I met him. I’m worried he won’t know who I am. I don’t feel well enough to take care of him.
“I was worried I had harmed him but as soon as I saw him and he was in my arms it was as if nothing had happened to either of us.
“I was so in love and he was so cute and sweet maybe.”
Amazingly, three days later, Jamie was well enough to go home to be reunited with her husband and their 14-year-old son.
Welcoming a new baby is something special for Jamie and Tim after losing their daughter three and a half years ago.
Jamie said: “Our family has been through a lot.
“My daughter was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma at the age of 6. She died 11 months later from complications related to her treatment.
“Anyone who has had a child after death knows that emotions are complicated. You remember them in ways you didn’t know existed. “
Since Michael was born three months ago, both mother and baby are recovering well.
Jamie said: “By the time they sent me home, I was ready. I want to be with my family and get back to normal.
“Now, we’re doing great.”
https://www.the-sun.com/health/4394740/my-babys-amniotic-fluid-leaked-nearly-killed-me/ My baby’s amniotic fluid leaked inside me causing an ‘explosion in my chest’ that nearly killed me