MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Liana Albers had read all the baby books while expecting, but nothing could prepare her for what happened on January 24.
“I remember taking a picture in front of a window and sending it to my friends,” Liana said.
It’s the last thing she can remember before she went into labor.
“It was really crazy to me because I didn’t even know this existed,” Liana said.
During labor, amniotic fluid got into Liana’s blood stream. She had a seizure, prompting doctors at Regions Hospital to perform an emergency C-section in three minutes. While they delivered a healthy baby girl named Lydia, Liana went into cardiac arrest.
“The instances of Amniotic Fluid Embolism is very rare. Approximately 1 in 40,000,” said Dr. Paige Halvorson of Regions Hospital Birth Center.
Dr. Halvorson worked on Liana. She said in cases like this, the mother’s chance of survival is about 50-50. And because AFE is so rare, doctors aren’t exactly sure what the recurrence risk is.
“Because a lot of those women don’t go on to live or even have a uterus after they leave the hospital,” Halvorson said.
Liana’s husband Lucas says it all seems unreal.
“I didn’t really know if this was common thing that was going on,” Lucas said.
While she learns to be a new mom, Liana is also re-learning how to write her name. The embolism affected her memory, speech and motor skills, and she has therapy almost daily. Lucas, a Marine who served overseas, was going to school on the GI bill, but left college to take care of his wife and daughter. Despite the all the new challenges, the family still feels blessed.
“I love [Lydia] so deeply. She’s just the love of my life and I didn’t know I could love someone so much,” Liana said. “I know that everything happens for a reason and it’s brought us closer together, and we are thankful for that and just that I survived.”
Lucas is currently looking for a job right now. There will be a benefit and fundraiser to help the family with doctors’ bills that will take place on Saturday, April 27 at the St. Michael American Legion.