I can’t believe that this is the LAST podcast episode of 2021! We’re taking a week off next week, but I’ll be back fresh with a new episode for you in the new year. I know it sounds cliche, but it feels like just yesterday that I even started this podcast, and to think I’ve now wrapped up another whole year of episodes is pretty mind-boggling for me.
I’m so thankful that you guys are here with me each week tuning in and telling your friends to check out the show.
Since the beginning of 2021, our monthly listens have DOUBLED and slowly but surely, we’re rising on the charts which means more and more expecting mamas are naturally finding the Mommy Labor Nurse podcast, and benefitting from all the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum stuff we talk about here each week! It seriously warms my heart!
As for this week, I’m sharing a super heartfelt, but incredible story to wrap up the year. Kayleigh Summers joined me to share the story of her son’s birth. Kayleigh went in for what she anticipated to be a routine induction to meet her son, only to suffer an incredibly rare complication known as an Amniotic Fluid Embolism right as she was beginning to push him out.
Amniotic Fluid Embolism happens in approximately 1 in 100,000 births. The infant survival rate is only about 70%, and the maternal survival rate is somewhere between 30-50%. Yeah, basically everyone’s worst nightmare!
Luckily Kayleigh is here to tell her story today of being an AFE survivor, and I’m honored I had the opportunity to sit down with her and share it with you guys.
An overview of what we talked about:
- About Kayleigh and the online communities she’s created for AFE survivors and anyone who has suffered from birth trauma
- Kayleigh shares about when she was TTC, her pregnancy, and the start of her induction
- Then things took a turn for the worse, and a code blue was called
- Her baby was born via C-Section safely, and then Kayleigh details the interventions started to save Kayleigh’s life
- Kayleigh continues to share the timeline of interventions to stop the bleeding and keep her alive
- She talks about how an eventual hysterectomy was done by a gynecological oncologist and two trauma surgeons
- Kayleigh is still not stable and was put on ECMO. She opens up about the moment her family saw her for the first time. At this point there is a sliver of hope she will survive
- She continues her story with when she was transferred to a cardiac ICU about 30 minutes away, and her heart was still not recovering
- 48 hours later things were starting to look up that she would make it, but there is uncertainty about what state she would be in for the rest of her life
- Finally, Kayleigh is stable, and survived! She recounts when her OB told her what happened
- Kayleigh talks about the power of the pictures and videos her family took throughout the trauma
- We wrap up with advice for women who have experienced birth trauma and things Kayleigh did to heal
Please note: this overview of the episode simply does not do Kayleigh’s story the justice it deserves. Please tune in to hear Kayleigh’s incredible story of survival!
Related Reading: Unpacking Birth Trauma and Learning How to Cope
Kayleigh is a licensed social worker and Amniotic Fluid Embolism Survivor. Kayleigh received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and currently works as a school clinician at a boarding school in Pennsylvania.
After nearly losing her life in childbirth, Kayleigh is using her second chance to raise awareness for AFE and support others who have experienced birth trauma. She shares her emotionally raw birth trauma recovery in hopes of validating and supporting the experiences of other birthing individuals.
She has helped hundreds of birth trauma survivors connect through story sharing and education on her social media platforms. Kayleigh’s advocacy for AFE awareness and research has also encouraged providers to initiate life-saving drills and training for best practices on their units.
Her educational and professional training in social work, coupled with specific training in maternal health advocacy, has allowed Kayleigh the unique opportunity to support other birthing individuals and become a leader in the birth trauma community.
Kayleigh hopes to continue to raise awareness for AFE and help fellow survivors navigate the often difficult and emotional journey following a traumatic birth.