#GRATEFUL to be alive

Feb 29, 2016

jaclyn stokes

After an unexpected turn of events that occurred on Monday, I feel incredibly blessed to be alive right now. I've decided to share what happened to me in case it might help save the life of someone else too 

As many of you know, we've been trying to get pregnant for some time now. In January, we learned we were expecting. Then after a negative ultrasound at 7 weeks followed by repeated declin
ing hCG levels from weekly blood tests, we were told I had likely "regularly" miscarried. Devastated, I had continued weekly hCG testing per my doctor to ensure my levels were going back down to zero (which they all almost were) so that we could try again.

On Monday afternoon, I was scheduled to take my final hCG test. I had felt perfectly fine up until this point. All of the sudden, I felt extremely faint, began dripping in sweat and had horrible, sharp stomach pains. Aware that I was home alone & about to pass out, I called 911.

The paramedics rushed me to the ER at Allegheny General Hospital and after an ultrasound, they determined I had what's called an Ectopic Pregnancy. My one fallopian tube had ruptured and I was internally bleeding to death, as I had lost over 3/4 of my body's blood supply by the time I got to the hospital. I don't remember much other than asking God to allow me to survive this so I could be with my family again and the next thing I knew, everything turned white.

After surgery, they said I was extremely lucky to be alive -- that had I not called 911 when I did or if I had gotten there 30 minutes later, I'd probably not be here. One huge incision & 18 staples later, I am incredibly sore & weak with a bit of a road to recovery ahead of me, but I am #GRATEFUL to be alive. It will be a little while until I can drive again, lift anything or workout, but other than a scar, I should be back to normal in about six weeks. And thankfully (in time), we will be able to try again for another baby.

It's crazy to think I felt perfectly fine one minute & then nearly died. And the scary thing is it could happen to anyone. Ectopic Pregnancies are the #1 cause of death in pregnant women each year and occur in 1 out of every 50 pregnancies. And as a mother & a female currently trying to get pregnant -- I had never heard of it until it almost killed me. I'm not sharing this to scare anyone, but to make you aware of the signs so this hopefully will not happen to you or your loved ones.

Thank you again for all of your thoughts, prayers & messages. We have received such unbelievable support through all of this & we are just so blessed to have so many loving people in our lives. This past week has been a bit overwhelming so while I might not be able to respond to your messages just yet, know that they are appreciated 

And lastly, I need to thank:

The PARAMEDICS who arrived so quickly & got me to the hospital in time.

The amazing SURGEONS from West Penn who came in to operate & the Trauma Team at AGH that literally saved my life.

The best NURSES & staff who took such great care of me while I was in the hospital.

My incredible PARENTS & IN-LAWS for never leaving my side, for taking care of McKenna, our home, and everything else in between. And my DAD for starting a prayer chain at his church for me while I was in surgery.

My amazing HUSBAND Greg for jumping on 3 planes with 7 hrs of layovers (while away on a ski trip in Utah) to get here as soon as he could & hasn't left my side.

All of our FAMILY, FRIENDS, TEAM & BEACHBODY FAMILY who sent thoughts & prayers my way, cards, flowers, dinners, visits, messages, etc. I cannot tell you how much it meant we truly appreciate it.

And finally, I thank GOD for bringing me through this. It's funny how when things like this happen, it makes you appreciate LIFE & your LOVED ONES all that much more. This week made me realize just how short life is & I will never take another moment for granted 

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