Giving birth is supposed to be one of the most exciting times in any couple's life, but for Nicole Hall and her husband Anthony, that exciting moment quickly turned into tragedy. Nicole, who previously had two uneventful pregnancies and childbirth experiences, was expecting more of the same when she arrived at UCH Memorial North hospital in Colorado Springs on February 13, 2018, to be induced.
As Nicole lay in her hospital bed as she began to dilate, she experienced something called an Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE), which happens when amniotic fluid enters the mother's bloodstream. The reaction can be deadly and Nicole told Mamamia that she remembers beginning to feel very hot and nauseated. Anthony told the website that he went immediately to get his wife a cold washcloth and when a nurse came in to check on her Nicole kept repeating that she was having trouble breathing. Anthony said the nurse instructed him to get her oxygen mask. While Anthony was holding the mask on his wife's face, she began to turn blue. The nurse quickly jumped on the bed, straddling Nicole as she performed chest compressions.
View this post on Instagram
This was the first time I got to hold my baby boy in my arms just moments after being transferred out of ICU. As a registered nurse for almost 7 years I feel like I now have a new mission in life. My patient care, education, and experience has propelled me now to want to help woman BEFORE they go into their delivery blindly. Women need to know that delivery is STILL DANGEROUS! People forget that. And even if they don’t.... they don’t want to talk about it. But could you imagine what would happen if that’s all you heard about? Just like conversations about plastic waste has lead to big company’s like Starbucks to stop offering plastic straws. Just like conversations about the whales at Sea World prompted an entire EMPIRE to change the way they do business. Just like talking about processed foods makes people think twice about the crap we eat. Just like women talking about stories of sexual assault.... it forces men to own up to their shit and even puts some of them behind bars. These conversations are hard. But they are required in order to see ANY kind of change. And we may not see it in our lifetime. But for our children and their children and so on.... We need to talk about this! We are too advanced as a nation both technologically and progressively to keep sweeping these issues under the rug! Replacing the silence with my story, because our stories DON’T END here! . . . . #everymothercounts #birthinginamerica #chriseldaphotography #maternalmortality #empoweredbirthproject #safebirth #takeactionnow #birth #influencer #miraclebabies #endafe #itsaboy #scarymommy #givingbirth #amnioticfluidembolism #improvingbirth #empoweredbirth #womanshealth #thebump #womanshealthadvocate #babycenter #whattoexpect #huffpostwoman #informedbirth #birthmatters #labor #pregnancy.zone #4kira4moms #blackmammasmatter #improvingbirth
A code blue was called and immediately the medical staff leapt into action. "People instantly came running into the room and equipment started flying. Nicole’s IV had popped out when the nurse jumped up to start compressions," Anthony explained. After they rushed Nicole out of the room they explained to Anthony that his wife was gone and they would have to perform a post-mortem c-section to try to save the baby.
Dr Leslie Moats answered the code blue and ran to help get Nicole and Anthony's baby out. He proceeded to perform the c-section with no anesthesia or antiseptic, and once he was able to see he noticed that the baby was so engaged in Nicole's midsection that his scalpel had just missed the baby's head, leaving a slice from shoulder to armpit.
Shockingly, as hospital staff worked on Nicole's baby, the new mother soon had a pulse and recorded blood pressure. Anthony, who thought he was coming to say goodbye to his wife, was thrilled to know she had pulled through, despite losing a lot of blood.
"I told them I wanted to see Nicole, say goodbye, hold her, and be with her. I got gowned up and went down there when one of the nurses outside the room told me they got the baby out and that they also got Nicole’s pulse and blood pressure back," he said. "I asked her if I could go in, but I wasn’t able to yet because they were still stabilizing her. She’d lost four to five liters of blood."
View this post on Instagram
This is my husband standing strong during the unimaginable, this is him for a moment stepping into single fatherhood, this is him swallowing the truth that his wife had endured a post mortem c-section and was gowned up ready to kiss her goodbye. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And in full transparency this photo makes me feel robbed. Why wasn’t I there? Why didn’t I get the opportunity to see my baby be born or hear them say, “it’s a boy!” Seeing this photo hurts because I couldn’t even be there for my husband. No matter how awesome it feels to be alive, I still lost time, memories, moments, and my husband going through trauma. My son will someday know that the day he was born almost cost BOTH of us our lives. The fact that I survived isn’t the end of my story. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Although this was such a miracle, a blessing from God that other woman don’t typically walk away from, this photo of Anthony is hard because I know somewhere out there a man is crying because he just lost his wife. And that is something that I am NOT okay with. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Today, is HUGE! I still can’t fathom that it has been ONE YEAR! I became a boy mom today!They always say, “in every cloud there is a silver lining,” and I feel I have found mine. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 💙 Happy 1st birthday, Haxie! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ . . . #everymothercounts #chriseldaphotography #birthinginamerica #maternalmortality #empoweredbirthproject #safebirth #takeactionnow #4kira4moms #birth #influencer #miraclebabies #endafe #scarymommy #givingbirth #amnioticfluidembolism #improvingbirth #empoweredbirth #womanshealth #womanshealthadvocate #babycenter #whattoexpect #huffpostwoman #informedbirth #birthmatters #labor #pregnancy.zone #awareness #motherandsons #mirclebaby #capture
Nicole and Anthony welcomed a healthy baby boy, and although Nicole required an emergency hysterectomy to stop the bleeding, and she eventually healed from her trying ordeal. You can follow Nicole and Anthony's story on her Instagram page where she shares her experience with AFE.
View this post on Instagram
Today is AFE Awareness Day! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Remembering those that were lost and the ones that survived. This shirt that I’m wearing with Haxton sparks great conversation for people who don’t know what an amniotic fluid embolism is...( a lot of people!) Did you know that AFE is a leading cause of maternal deaths around the world?! 🌎 Please inform yourself on this topic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Glad to support and bring awareness for the AFE (Amniotic Fluid Embolism) Foundation. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ . . . #endafe #everymothercounts #birthinginamerica #maternalmortality #empoweredbirthproject #safebirth #takeactionnow #birth #influencer #miraclebabies #scarymommy #givingbirth #amnioticfluidembolism #improvingbirth #empoweredbirth #womanshealth #womanshealthadvocate #babycenter #whattoexpect #huffpostwoman #informedbirth #birthmatters #labor #pregnancy