Happy Birthday Charlee

11 /25

I’m here because of donors, my surgical team, and God.

On January 10th 2020, I was admitted to Forbes Hospital because I was in active labor. My husband and I were having our daughter, and like many parents, I had a birth plan. With a two year old son at home, I wanted to birth my daughter naturally so that I could ease her into the family without many restrictions. With the help of the doctors we had a plan for a natural delivery. Charlotte Grace’s “natural” delivery was just perfect, and within a few hours, I was holding my absolutely perfect daughter…but my story doesn’t end here.

About a half hour later, I started bleeding and bleeding. The next six hours were quite a blur for me, but for my doctor and my family, I would imagine they will never be forgotten. I now know, from pathology, that I had an accreta. (At 13 and 20 weeks pregnant, I was sent to West Penn Hospital for a possible accreta, but their neonatology cleared me.) What I do remember from being put to sleep twice, two different procedures, many blood transfusions, and ultimately a life-saving hysterectomy was my doctor. She promised me as I entered the OR a second time that she would save my life and that I would see my family again. She and her team acted quickly and ultimately saved my life. God has blessed me beyond belief, and not a day goes by that I do not thank Him for being here to watch my family grow.

Without blood and plasma, at least 15 donors, my doctor would not have had the means to replenish the blood that I lost. I’m beyond grateful for those strangers that gave me a second chance. I joked for months that I liked certain things all because of donor number 6 or 8. I was even able to make milk and nurse my daughter for a year after such a trauma. Our bodies are tremendous, but they need blood to be given a chance.

For my sweet girl’s second birthday, I am ready to give back! I plan to donate so that I can give someone else the gift that I was given. (Just getting up the guts to have that needle in my arm again) I would love to be able to replace all that I used in the OR and the days following my surgery. I am hoping that I can get some help of friends and family to donate as well, so that I can reach my goal faster. If you have taken the time to read my story, please consider donating. If you can’t, maybe you can influence someone else to donate. It just might be the unit that saves a life.

Thank you. Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Charlee Grace! (Also Happy Birthday to my surgeon…she delivered Charlee on her birthday and spent the rest of her day in the OR with me…I told her I owe her cupcake wine the rest of her life)