The magnificent Michelle Duffy with her son James Oliver (5 months). Michelle had a wonderful pregnancy but says that her labor and delivery that changed her life forever. About a week before her son arrived she thought her water broke but realized it was a false alarm. The day her son arrived her water did break but she wasn't progressing and after nearly 24 hours of labor the decision was made to deliver via cesarean. While the delivery itself went well and James Oliver was very healthy, Michelle became riddled with infection after. She says she vividly remembers 8 white coats coming into her room and telling her they needed to act now. She had three different strains of bacteria that were essentially eating her uterus from the inside out, she was bleeding internally, and she was nearly septic.
At 26, just after the birth of her first child, Michelle had to go back into the operating room to have a hysterectomy. The road to recovery was very tough and she had to wear a wound vac for several weeks to heal and says she was in and out of the ER repeatedly dealing with her incisions. In those early days, Michelle was focused on simply staying alive and well so that she could mother her son, in addition to her wound vac, she came home with a PICC line and IV and struggled with how she was going to physically be able to care for her baby. As time has gone on, she's settled into motherhood beautifully and absolutely adores her time with her boy. The reality that he will be her only child has began to set in and she's struggled with how quickly and unexpectedly things changed. While it is difficult in waves, she and her husband have tried to remind themselves that perhaps this is just the way that their family is meant to be. They've recently married and are enjoying this time with their son.
Michelle says that she didn't share what was going on after her son was born, she waited until he was about 11 weeks old to finally and simply say that they were both alive and well. In the time since, however, she's realized the importance of sharing her story - not only so other women can know that anything can happen but also so other women know they are not alone if things end up it does.