I Almost Died Giving Birth But My Husband Wouldn't Drive Me To The Hospital — "Too Much Blood"

As Liv turns 13, I wanted to share her birth story.

Authors daughter at thirteen years old, after almost dying from childbirth Visakaruban Shanmugan's Images, pengpeng, chameleonseye | Canva, Authors Daughter | Courtesy Of Author

Olivia is my baby, the last born of seven. She has always been outspoken, dramatic, and a joy. But not many people know that I almost died giving birth. 

Olivia was born on February 20, 2011. She was born on her brother Nick’s birthday; they're 13 years apart. I always loved that my oldest and youngest have the same birthdays — with neither birth induced nor planned.

I discovered I was pregnant with Olivia when Charlie was only nine months old. I wasn’t sure I wanted another child after Charlie, but Olivia proved me wrong. She completed my family, and I have never regretted having her.


My pregnancy was difficult. After eight pregnancies (one stillborn and six children), my body was tired of having children. I had gestational diabetes (insulin-dependent), low fluid, and was spotting blood for most of my pregnancy.

At 34 weeks, I started leaking more blood. It wasn’t spotting but more like a menstrual cycle. My doctor recommended getting checked. After my examination, Dr. Brown, my OB-GYN decided to put me on bed rest. He ordered me to stay off my feet. He was uncomfortable with Olivia coming before 36 weeks.

Two days later, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. Once I got into the bathroom, I started bleeding uncontrollably. There was so much blood the bathroom looked like a crime scene. I called my then-husband to the bathroom. I told him I needed to go to the hospital — something was wrong. He refused to drive me. He complained I would “bleed all over the car seat.”


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I couldn’t contain my anger. My husband was not worried about me or our daughter. I yelled for Nick and told him to call 911. My husband never even thought about calling EMS.

The paramedics arrived relatively quickly. Once in the ambulance, they started two IVs, one in each arm, and inclined the stretcher 60 degrees with my feet in the air. They were trying to control the bleeding. My blood pressure was 75/42. EMS called the hospital to give them an update. When we arrived, the labor/delivery nurses and doctors were waiting at the door. They handed me papers to sign, authorizing treatment and a C-section if necessary.


They got me into a room and checked my cervix. I was 9 centimeters dilated and almost ready to push. They estimated that I lost over 1,000cc of blood. The doctor ordered an ultrasound and discovered I had a placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus before birth. Placental abruption can deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients and cause heavy bleeding in the mother. In some cases, early delivery is needed.

During the ultrasound, Dr. Brown saw Olivia’s heart beating, and she did not appear distressed. He gave me two hours to deliver her before we discussed a c-section. After the scan, my then-husband called me. He asked how I was doing and how long it would be before Olivia arrived. I told him it would be a few hours, but I felt scared. I lost a massive amount of blood; the doctors wanted to give me a blood transfusion.

Instead of trying to console me, he started yelling at me for “messing up the bathroom” with blood. He refused to come to the hospital at 3 a.m. I hung up on him to concentrate on my breathing.

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The doctor asked if they could give me a spinal block — just in case they needed to do a C-section. Dr. Brown explains that he could get the baby out in 60 seconds. He wanted me to relax because we were both in good hands. An hour later, the nurse woke me up to push. I was completely dilated. I pushed five times, and Olivia was born. She weighed 4 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 15.5 inches long: a little peanut.

She had the prettiest dark eyes, black curly hair, and the chubbiest cheeks I have ever seen. She was gorgeous. Several hours later, her dad and Nick showed up to see her. Nick couldn’t get over how beautiful his sister was. He glowed as he dubbed Olivia the best birthday present ever.

Despite being six weeks early, Olivia had no health issues. The NICU staff cleared her to go home in two days, pending passing a car seat test. Olivia was a wonderful baby. As long as she was in my arms, she was happy. I called her the Velcro baby. She had to be in my arms or her brother, Nick’s.

A few weeks postpartum I started having pelvic pain. It was severe enough that I made a doctor’s appointment. Dr. Brown did an ultrasound and found I had a 5cm mass in my uterus, possibly retained placenta from Olivia’s birth. He noticed my ovaries had multiple cysts and recommended a complete hysterectomy. He believed that would solve my issues.


He booked surgery for the following week. Dr. Brown told me he would do the surgery with the help of a new machine. It was called the Da Vinci method. They made five small incisions on my belly and went inside with a camera robot. This method is now the standard, but in 2011, it was a new concept. The doctor told me it would cut my healing time way down.

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Recovery was rough. The first three days, I was in so much pain I couldn’t move. I didn’t have a supportive partner, so I relied on my eldest son to help me get up to go to the bathroom and bring me food. He was terrific throughout the process, considering he was only 13.

After six weeks, I felt fantastic. I had no pelvic pain and my stitches healed up quickly. I felt more energy than I had in a long time. I was chronically tired and in pain before the surgery; it was a wanted change to feel good.


My marriage fell apart not long after I recovered from surgery and my grandma died three months after Olivia’s birth. Grandma held on to see her last great-granddaughter. I put Olivia in her arms, and Grandma melted. She said she looked like my mother as a baby. Once she met Liv, she left us.


Olivia, pictured above, is so much like Grandma. She even wrinkles her nose like Grandma did when she was mad. It was like when Grandma died, she transported her personality to Olivia.


My daughter is a fierce, extraordinary young lady. She takes no crap and isn’t afraid to call out people for bad behavior. She knows what she can tolerate, and she will let you know if you cross her boundaries. She is just like Grandma in that aspect, too.

Today, I celebrate Olivia. She’s a beautiful child with a bright future ahead of her. She wants to be an attorney and loves playing the violin. I'm so glad we both made it through that harrowing day. 

RELATED: Hope Amidst Adversity: My Daughter’s Incredibly Harrowing Birth Story

Chrissie Massey is a writer who loves to share her life experiences with her readers. She has contributed to Yahoo News, Examiner, Inquisitr, Newsbreak, and Medium.