Midnight contraction pains signaled to Melanie Pritchard that labor was beginning. If all went well, her baby would have a birth date on July 28th, 2010. Melanie phoned her mother to say that her husband Doug was taking her to the hospital.
Melanie Pritchard and her daughter Ella, whom Melanie nearly died giving birth to.
That phone call was the last event that Melanie remembers, the beginning of a 3-day dramatic ordeal that nearly took her life and the life of her unborn child.
Pritchard, aged 34, is a nationally renowned Catholic defender of the unborn and a speaker on modesty and chastity. Her work with Arizona's pro-life and pro-family organizations has been described as "legendary."
She and her husband Doug reached the hospital in the dark early hours of the morning. Labor was progressing steadily and normally. She requested an epidural to help cope with the pain. As the sun rose, contractions began to increase and the doctor broke her waters.
Then the unthinkable happened.
Melanie indicated to her husband that she felt like something was wrong. She told Doug that she felt like passing out. The nurses repositioned her in an attempt to determine the cause of her lightheadedness even though her vital signs did not indicate that anything was amiss.
Suddenly, Melanie slumped to her side convulsing mildly. Her heart rate and blood pressure flatlined. To Doug's horror he also saw his unborn child's heart rate plummet precipitously. As Melanie's face and skin turned blue, Doug realized that her heart had stopped beating.
- Peter Baklinski
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'The day I died': the dramatic 'death' and recovery of pro-life activist Melanie Pritchard (Lifesite News)