Mom Feared She'd Die in Labor—and Did, but Survived
Stephanie Arnold wants others to listen to their intuition
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2015 7:33 AM CST
Stephanie Arnold and her family.   (StephanieArnold.net)

(Newser) – When Stephanie Arnold suffered an amniotic fluid embolism (which happens in only one in every 40,000 pregnancies) mere seconds after the birth of her second child in May 2013, she died. Amniotic cells had entered her bloodstream and caused her to go into anaphylactic shock, she reports on Yahoo Health. For a full 37 seconds, her heart stopped. But what makes her already rare story so remarkable is that she says she had premonitions throughout her pregnancy that she would die during delivery, and from something she'd never heard of before. It "made the hair on the back of my neck stick out and it never let up," she tells WGN of the premonitions, which began after she learned she had placenta previa, meaning her placenta was growing on top of her cervix. "It was every day, it was when I was walking, when I was dreaming, it was when I was shopping ... it was relentless."

One anesthesiologist listened to her concerns and flagged her file. That meant extra blood was on hand during her delivery, which came in handy as doctors fought to resuscitate her; she spent six days in a coma. The blood "is 100% what saved my life. No question," she told CBS Chicago in 2013. Now promoting her new book, 37 Seconds, Arnold said Thursday in a lengthy interview with WGN that at first she "didn't remember anything" but months later underwent hypnotherapy. "I remembered things that happened in the operating room after I flatlined," she says of the therapy experience. "There is no way that I could have seen where people were, what they were doing, what was happening down the hall, and the doctors said it was completely accurate." Today Arnold is alive and well in Chicago with her husband, daughter, son, and stepdaughter. (This wife's premonition saved her husband.)