New Mom Who Hemorrhaged After Giving Birth Shares Her Experience: 'I Did Think I Was Going to Die'
She required more than 100 stitches before the bleeding stopped.
Dani Hopkins, of Spokane, Washington, gave birth to her first baby, daughter Taylor Hopkins, at Multicare Valley Hospital on Sept. 22. She had only spent about 15 minutes with her newborn when tragedy struck.
“The doctor was like, ‘She’s bleeding out!’ ” Hopkins, 30, tells PEOPLE. “All of a sudden it went from just being me, the doctor, the nurse, my husband and the baby, to being eight to 10 nurses and another doctor. They were all surrounding me.”
Doctors said Hopkins had a series of lacerations to her birth canal, causing her to hemorrhage.
She bled profusely for two hours. Hopkins says she worked to stay calm during that time, but didn’t know how her story would end.
“I did think that I was going to die. I just remember laying there thinking, ‘This is how I’m gonna go?’ I was sad because I didn’t want [my husband] to be a single father. I was sad that I wouldn’t get to see my baby grow up. I felt like I was above myself watching it happen.”
As doctors worked to save Hopkins’ life, her husband, Bobby, 30, and their new daughter waited on the opposite end of the hospital room. Bobby also didn’t think Hopkins would survive the ordeal.
“He was very scared,” Hopkins says of her husband. “When we talked afterward he said he just saw blood gushing out of me. It was the most terrifying thing.”
Hopkins required more than 100 stitches before the bleeding stopped. She says she and Bobby cried and hugged each other after the bleeding subsided and she was reunited with her baby.
“I didn’t know that something like this could happen,” Hopkins says, noting that she is still recovering nearly two months after the birth. “I’m still not feeling great. I have a hard time standing, if I stand for too long I’m in a lot of pain. I had a check-up with my doctor, but I was still too swollen for them to see anything.”
She says doctors told her that it could take up to a year for her to heal completely. Hopkins praises her husband for taking total care of Taylor during the first month of their baby’s life, as Hopkins could barely move in the weeks after the delivery.
Now, Hopkins says she’s enjoying being a mom to the 7-week old.
“I’m blown away by how much I’m loving it. I just feel like I was meant to be a mom,” Hopkins says. “[Taylor] completes me. I’ve never been happier. Life is just so much better with her in it. She is the sweetest, happiest little baby. She smiles all day long.”
Hopkins’ story brings to light a serious issue facing pregnant women as the maternal mortality rate continues to rise in the U.S. (The maternal mortality rate more than doubled between 1987 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.)
Several states have taken action against the alarming statistics. California, for example, has lowered the rate of maternal deaths by focusing on problems that can occur during labor and delivery, according to The Washington Post. The California Department of Public Health created a pregnancy-related mortality review board to investigate the causes of each death.
As of 2017, 29 other states have followed suit, according to the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health.
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