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Jennifer

July 27, 2006

I just wanted to tell you that I thought this site was so wonderful!! I have completely felt like my body doesn?t resemble anything that it once was. Thanks for making me realize that I?m not the only one.

Here is my story: I got pregnant with my 1st child in 2003, and I had a very normal pregnancy?nausea and bloating included. I went into labor 2 days before my due date in February of 2004, and I woke up a month later in a different hospital. I do not recall any of the details of my son?s birth except for a few moments. I was told that I had had an amniotic fluid embolism. Here is some info on it:

http://www.obgyn.humc.edu/web/fellow/conferences/amniot.htm

My son was a vaginal birth with no tears, but my doctor couldn?t stop the bleeding. My blood pressure went down to 20. I went into DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation) which means I used up all of my clotting factors , and I was going to bleed to death if they didn?t do a hysterectomy. After the surgery, my kidneys and part of my lung failed. Due to all the fluid that was pumped into me and with the kidney failure, I gained approximately 100 lbs. in fluid. I did not have any stretch marks during my pregnancy, but I did get them when I gained all the fluid. I was life-flighted to a major hospital where I was put in a drug-induced coma while on 24-hour dialysis. I stayed that way for 4 weeks and was woken up when my kidney/lung function returned to normal.

I stayed in the hospital for another month for blood clots, a possible stroke, and a mysterious fever. I received rehab, and I finally went home. Ever since then I have not had the same body I did before I got pregnant. In the side photo, you can still see the brown scars on my forearm where the fluid was seeping it?s way out of my skin. The weight never came off, and I?m still fighting it. My stomach never properly returned to it?s normal shape. I also had a 10 lb. baby in there, and I wasn?t able to really work out until after a year. With my surgery scar, there is 3 inches of scar tissue due to the blood clots that are on top and bottom of my scar?hence the hang-over. My stomach is still all squishy, but it has gotten better in the past couple of years. My skin (all over my body) was literally hanging down when I returned home from the hospital. I had lost so much muscle mass that it?s amazing what happens to your skin. I was 29 at the time, and my skin hung like a 90-year-old woman.

I also know that I wouldn?t trade this body for the world because I got the chance to be a mother to my son and a wife to my husband. I gained 70 lbs. during my pregnancy (thinking that I would be able to take it off after), and I actually don?t regret it. My body is the mark of someone who survived a traumatic experience during one of the most special times. Who can complain about the size of the pants when 2 big, blue eyes look up at you because you are their mother.

Jennifer

“All this time spent in front of the mirrors when the soul itself is threadbare.”

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8 Responses to “Jennifer”

  1. Caren Says:
    July 28th, 2006 at 5:49 am

    Jennifer, Your story is amazing. I have never heard of that happening before. I’m so glad you are able to be mommy and wife again! I’m sure you dont take it for granted….You look beautiful. Enjoy every day with your family!

  2. Mandy, Ethne & Eliott Says:
    July 28th, 2006 at 8:06 am

    oh my goodness – what an awful thing to go through. it tore at my heart to hear that you were seperated from your newborn for so long…and i complained because i was seperated from my son for the first 2 days. wow…your story really puts a lot of things in perspective for me. thank you for sharing it.i am so glad you survived and are able to be mommy! god bless you, sweetie!

  3. Gwen Says:
    July 28th, 2006 at 8:23 am

    Wow! I think you look amazing! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Emma Says:
    July 28th, 2006 at 9:12 am

    These things make us stronger and more beautiful. And you really are beautiful.

  5. Mama D Says:
    July 28th, 2006 at 12:25 pm

    So glad that you are here to tell the story as well as here to raise your baby! You are amazing!

  6. Anonymous Says:
    July 29th, 2006 at 4:16 am

    Jennifer, don’t feel bad about your body. Six months of workout, and you’ll have regained your pre-pregnancy body. I see that you have what it takes!

  7. Jaelithe Says:
    July 30th, 2006 at 6:09 am

    Looking at the site you mentioned for reference, and seeing how high both the maternal and infant mortality rates are, it seems a miracle both you and your child survived!I am so sorry you had to go through all of that, and that you missed seeing the first month of your child’s life, but I am so happy you both made it.You are absolutely right– the marks on your body are the marks of a survivor. I’m glad you posted here. Even if you made me cry.

  8. Diva Says:
    July 6th, 2007 at 3:54 am

    Oh my what an incredible story!! I am so sorry you missed your son’s first weeks, and for all the pain and trauma you went through. I’m very glad you’re here to be a mother and to share your story! Your body looks amazing given what you’ve been through!!

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