I survived.

December 18th, 2009. The birthday of my daughter. The day that is both the most important, and scariest day of my life. The day I brought life into this world, I almost lost mine. That day changed me in SO many ways. Not just in the, “now I’m a mom” way, but in the, “now I need to heal my scars.” way. NOT only the physical scars, but the emotional.

It’s taking me a long time to move on and accept what happened. I go back and forth…. one day, I’m ok. It’s ok. It happened, I’m cool. Another day, I tear up just thinking about it. I’m tearing up as I type this. It’s one of “those” days. Hee.  This time of year is hard for me. Christmas is normally my FAVorite time of year. Now, December means I also flash back to my daughter’s birth.

I can still see/smell/hear/feel so many moments from that week. It felt foggy. I was weak. Confused. My body hurt. I lived for pushing the morphine button. It’s all they would give me before they knew what was happening. The drip system was set to only give me a certain amount every 15 minutes. I was in so much pain I would sit there and push it over and over… if I fell asleep my husband would wake me and let me know the “morphine light” was green. Thank goodness. If I let it go too long… I would feel the terrible breath-shortening pain again.

I remember feeling relief when the doctor decided I might have appendicitis. Something weird to be relieved to hear, but I needed something. That meant there was something wrong with ME, not my baby. I felt better (in my head). A day and a half later I was wheeled into surgery. I hadn’t been allowed any food or water since I arrived at the hospital. I was in so much pain and I just wanted to feel better. I wanted a healthy baby. That’s all. Let’s do this. I was ready.

The walk to my appendectomy (or ROLL in my case) was sort of happy. My mom and husband were relieved. They had spent this entire journey with me, and had experienced a whole other side to this hospital stay… my mom watched her daughter scream in pain, and my husband couldn’t help his wife (carrying his child) to feel better. I couldn’t even imagine how hard it was for them.

I signed the resuscitate papers. Why wouldn’t I sign them? Who wouldn’t sign those? I joked with my mom and husband about those papers. Silly papers. I’m just getting an appendectomy. They said I would be done soon. I’d feel better. My daughter and I would be safe. All this pain will be done.

I remember the nurse wheeling me away from my mom and husband. I was happy. ready. Let’s be done with this pain already. The nurses and doctor were chatting about something. I don’t quite know. I wasn’t really paying attention. I’m sure it was something about Christmas, since we were just a week away. I was asked to roll over to my side, I said I couldn’t, so the nurse put me under early.

I woke up hours later. I had my daughter placed on my chest. She was out of my belly. People were happy to see me. I had a “miracle baby”. I still pushed my morphine button. I continued to have blood transfusions. I remember this. I still feel it. It is still hard for me. I learned later that I had flatlined more than once. I had almost lost my life… multiple times. My daughter was lucky enough to STILL be getting blood throughout this entire thing.

This whole experience contributed to the postpartum depression I had right after my daughter’s birth and, more recently, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that popped up with some bad panic attacks, last Spring. I am better. It’s just a big learning experience. I’m working to heal myself and learn to adjust and live with my experience.

All a work in progress. I can’t forget that, I need to continue to heal myself.

– Chelsey

Note: I know most of you may not know everything about me…. SO, just some info for you… I had a uterine rupture that led to this whole mess. I had never had any surgery on my uterus before, and my doctors didn’t know what to do. BUT, I’m here today. Here’s my LOoooong birth story if you’d like to read.

Connecting with Just Write this week.



  • FaerieBarista on said:

    Wow that's just so scary! At least you and your daughter both made it out ok. You will heal.

  • Jennifer peterson on said:

    Thank you for sharing, I know through our words we write can come healing. Such a beautiful heart!

  • Tricia on said:

    Oh my what an experience. You write about it so eloquently. Confidently and honestly. I hope this helps your healing.

  • Rin on said:

    Thanks for sharing. I can't imagine the mix of emotions this time of year must bring.
    I'm so glad it turned out the way it did cos I love reading your blog.
    Stories like yours scare the berjeebers out of me but also give heaps of hope that we live in a world with super smart doctors and machines that revive us from death. Pretty awesome.


  • Marne on said:

    Thank you for sharing. Not to sound like an a**, but the first thing you say is the date, and you said 12.18. 2012, which hasn't happened yet. Just thought you should know. I love your blog.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Ha ha! I'll go change that. That's my mom brain. 😉

  • Emily S. on said:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Chelsey.

  • Diana on said:

    I just want to reach thru the computer and give you a hug! You are a strong woman and your daughter has a great mama! Be proud that you've made it thru it and continue to make it thru everyday even though some may feel like a struggle. *hugs*

  • bebehblog on said:

    I remember reading your birth story before and getting chills. I'm so glad you and your beautiful girl made it through and that you're getting the help you need to heal from it.

  • kat9365 on said:

    Chelsey, this is such an incredible story. Not one I would wish upon my worst enemy but something you both lived through to talk about. You're so incredibly strong for being able to talk about this – I'm so much more of a deny, deny, deny person.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I usually am a deny it all person… which is probably why it all comes bursting out suddenly! But, writing about it on the blog has been so wonderful. 🙂

  • TheNextMartha on said:

    That is an incredible story. I am glad you and baby were able to pull through. In time you will heal. (hugs)

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Thanks mama. Writing about it definitely helps, and the people that read and comment are amazing and helpful, too. (hugs)

  • Heather on said:

    Wow, Chelsey, what an experience.

    I'm a new reader and can totally relate to the PTSD/PPD issues surrounding a near fatal experience related to birthing. My story is not at all the same, but similarly, I could have left my babies motherless just two weeks after my 3rd child was born. I at some point aspirated while vomiting (I can only pinpoint it to the Weds. before baby was born – on Saturday) and actually was incubating what would turn out to be a life-threatening pneumonia while I gave birth. I experienced some intermittent fever and back/shoulder pain for about a week but chased it with Advil and Tylenol since I had 2 school agers and a newborn to deal with – nothing I experienced tipped me off to the fact that I was alarmingly ill. When the baby was 2 wks old, 2 days after my 30th bday, 1 day after mother's day (so yeah, the PTSD thing gets wrapped up in baby's b'day as well as my own, PLUS mother's day – ugh), I too got to ride a slow ride in an ambulance (that my husband beat to the hospital), and spent 2 weeks in the hospital with chest tubes, central lines, and IVs, Xrays, etc. too numerous to count. I had an emergency surgery to scrape the infectious gunk out of my lungs and the following night was packed on ice in my hospital bed as they could not get my fever to go down. That night is the night most of my PTSD stems from. That and some of the information in the follow-up visits (hearing my diaphragm was paralyzed and may never recover was not particularly encouraging…it's 100% again though).

    It is now 3+ yrs later, and while I've come a long way, late April/May still gets me panicky, as do the first chest cold coughs of the season.

    So glad you're here with a precious girl to show for it. Love your blog.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Wow! What a story! I'm so happy you made it out alive, and your babies get to hug their sweet mama! <3

  • Monica on said:

    Hugs Chelsey! I understand what you've been through. You are a strong woman and you will continue to get through this.

  • mel on said:

    Wow mama, that is intense. We're sure glad you 'survived' too!! Life is such a beautifully strong – but remarkably fragile
    balance isn't it? I'm sure these experiences help one savour that gift all the better, too.
    Thanks for sharing your heart here, it's a sweet one. ;o)
    needle and nest

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Thank you. My blog has been the best for helping me heal. 🙂

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