How A Bite of A Taco Saved My Life After Giving Birth

I took a bite of a taco, and soon after, I vomited. That was the first meal I had after giving birth to our son. It was a beautiful sunny February morning. I felt the sun beaming on my face as I continued to vomit. My husband had just left to feed our cats at home. We only lived 5 mins down the road from the hospital. The nurse brought my son to breastfeed, and a few minutes in, I vomited again. My little 6lb son in one arm and a barf bag in the other. 

Below is an embarrassing, probably the ugliest photo of myself (IMO) I thought I’d never share publicly. This was right before. Tyler, my husband, thought since it was my first meal after giving birth, he’d snap a picture and send it to his mom, showing her that I was doing ok and eating. Boy, that turned out to be so wrong, lol.

What was strange was the amount of blood gushing between my legs. I asked the nurse to check my bed pad under me. She said it was expected since I was vomiting. I laid my head back, still holding my baby, and felt the room spinning. 

My husband returned to the room, and I told him all about what had happened. He asked, “are you ok?” I told him I felt drained but thought it was because I had pushed a human being out of my body for 3.5 hours. I thought that maybe the meat was bad in the tacos. An hour or so went by, and a different nurse came by and asked me how I was doing. I explained what had happened. She decided to take a look herself. She gasped when she checked my bed pad. She started cleaning up and called a doctor to take a look.

A doctor came in immediately and saw the amount of blood on my bed pad. He pushed on my stomach, and more blood started gushing out with every push. He called another doctor, and eight doctors and nurses were standing around me in minutes. I felt like a monkey at a zoo. Everyone was staring at me and asking me how I felt when they pushed on this side of my stomach or that side. Looking to find out what was happening to me. 

They brought in an ultrasound machine, ran it across my belly, and noticed a bunch of blood clots. They told me they needed to put me under anesthesia to go in and remove them. They asked if I consented to that, and of course, I said yes even though I had no idea what was happening. Everything was happening so fast. They didn’t even let me kiss my husband or baby goodbye. I waved in a quick motion goodbye to my husband and baby as they wheeled me away out of the room.

Going under was a slight blur. The doctor counted backward from 10, and by 9, I was out. As I awoke, I noticed my body shaking, my hands numb, and my vision blurry. My vision was blurry because while pushing, I kept my eyes shut the entire time and popped my blood vessels. I also noticed I was freezing, so I asked for a blanket. Even with a blanket, I couldn’t control my shakes, so I asked for another one. I was eventually wrapped with four blankets, and the shaking stopped. They wheeled me back to my room, reunited with my husband and son. They initially said it would be an hour, but I was gone for 4 hours. When I arrived at our room that night, I was out cold. 

The following day after my procedure, my husband woke me up. He quietly sat on my hospital bed, halfway hanging off, and gently rubbed my hand covered with needles due to the number of liquids and other medication they gave me. He whispered, “babe, babe,”  to wake me up. I opened my tired eyes that felt so heavy like they had been glued shut. I noticed tears in his eyes. He began to cry and said, “don’t leave me, don’t leave us alone in this world. I can’t lose you and do this without you.“ Then he placed a kiss on my forehead, then my lips. I can barely gain the strength to pucker up and kiss him back. 

I was so confused about why he told me these things as if I was dying. Even though I had no energy and could barely move or speak, I still managed to say to him, “babe, I’m not going to die.” I also told him, “dont worry, babe, I’m going to be ok. Before you know it, we’re going to be home with our baby, and by the weekend, this will all be a big blur, “ as my eyes were half shut and my tone was low, slow and raspy. I assured him it would be a distant memory. He held my hand a little firmer and kissed me on the lips again. My eyes closed, and I quickly fell back to sleep.

Later that same day, the doctor checked me and noticed my anemia levels were at a 4, which was very dangerous. An average person should be at an 11; a seven is low, so a four was very bad. So, they said I had to get a blood transfusion immediately before I had a stroke or worse. I had lost too much blood, and we had to get some back in. My attitude and outlook on it were so positive during all this time. All I could think about was getting stronger to hold my baby and go home. I wasn’t thinking about everything going wrong. I was thinking of everything that could go right that led us to go home.

After what felt like a lifetime, I could finally stand four days after giving birth and hold our baby boy. I was wobbly and needed assistance, but I was up. On the 5th day, the hospital gave us the clear to go home. All the nurses and doctors were surprised at how quickly I recovered after everything I had gone through. They said someone who went through what I did, is fortunate to be alive. The nurses caring for me said, “wow, you’re finally getting some color on your face.” Tyler also said that morning, he cried at my bedside, and what freaked him out the most was how I looked. He said, “you looked like death and so pale, and when I kissed you, you tasted like metal.”

Once we got home, I reminded my husband of what I said, that we would be home before we knew it, and it would all be a blur. The only thing is, it’s not a blur. It’s ingrained in my brain. Something I will never forget. Looking back, I realize how scary that was and how bad it could have been if the doctors didn’t act fast as they did.

There’s only one thing you can do in life, and that is, STAY POSITIVE. No one can ever prepare you for something like this, and I’m glad I kept an optimistic outlook and didn’t fully understand at the time what was happening. I believe your mind is so powerful, and because I thought I was ok, I believe I could recover quickly. I couldn’t help but wonder if I thought I was dying during those moments, what would have happened? 

I find it ironic that bringing life into this world almost took mine. I’m grateful for this second chance and modern medicine because if it weren’t for it, I wouldn’t be here watching my 1-year old son sleep through the baby monitor as I write this essay. Life is short, and everything can change in a matter of minutes and a bite of a taco.

I’d do it all over again for my baby boy. Greyson Michael Dover. 2-1-2022

Damaris Dover | realtor®

408.857.7789 | LIC#01929839

Voted #1 Realtor on Social Media in San Jose, CA

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