I'm embarking on a series of posts about blood. I can't help it. I'm fascinated with blood.
I hemorrhaged to the point where all the blood ran out of my body three times over. I didn't die from this event because I received a total of 87 units of blood and blood products — whole blood, plasma, cryoprecipitate and extra clotting factor.
I am alive to tell our birth story because thoughtful strangers had donated their blood, a large stockpile of blood was five minutes away when I needed it, and because a whole raft of people had done the work over centuries to figure out how to make someone else's blood work in my body.
And, by 1997, the blood supply had been made safe again, after a horrific tainting with the HIV/AIDS virus.
The bill for my daughter's birth, including two surgeries (a Caesarean section and separate hysterectomy performed to stop the bleeding), a stint for the baby in the high-risk nursery, a night for me in the intensive-care unit and an additional four days in the hospital, was $100,000 all those years ago.
Blood accounted for $13,000, more than 10 percent of the total.
Blood was a major factor in giving our birth story a happy ending. Fascinating!