Midwife helps save Georgia woman and her newborn

- It's been 2 years since Erin and Mark Biehler's daughter Kennedy was born. On July 26, 2016, the Dunwoody couple posed for one last photo with their son Drew, before heading to Atlanta's Northside Hospital. In it, Erin smiles. But, for months, she says, she had been haunted by a feeling of dread.

"It wouldn't go away," Biehler says.  "I would pray about it and I don't know, it was like this weight on me.

I would always circle around to that delivery point, that something would go wrong."

Certified nurse midwife Alexis Dunn, who teaches at the Emory School of Nursing, was assigned to help Beihler through her delivery.

"I get chills thinking about it," Dunn says, remembering what was about to happen.

As the hours passed, Erin Biehler says, her labor wasn't progressing.

"And, it was like, 'We can try this or we can try this," she remembers. "Nothing was going right."

Finally, about 24 hours in, there seemed to be a breakthrough.

"I remember having the epidural and feeling like, 'Okay, we're finally making some progress,'" she says.

Dunn left to take care of another patient. That's when Erin suddenly began choking.

"And, as I looked, Erin's lips turned blue and purple," Mark Biehler says.

The 34-year old was suddenly going into cardiac arrest. Fluid from her uterus had spilled into her bloodstream, triggering a rare, deadly chain reaction known as an amniotic fluid embolism. 

"The nurse called me, Theresa, and she was like, 'Alexis, I need you to get here now, there is a problem,'" Dunn says.

"At this point, I'm like 20 weeks pregnant, and I'm booking it down the hall," she remembers.

When she got to Biehler's room, she knew instinctively something was very wrong.

"It's such a blur because I felt like I went into auto-mode," Dunn says.  "This is the 'God' part. Because I honestly feel like this was God telling me what to do."

Mark Biehler, who says nurses were holding him a few feet away, watched helplessly, as Dunn took over.

"I remember her saying, 'Let's go, we need to go," he says.

Erin Biehler was rushed into the OR, for an emergency c-section, as a team of obstetricians, anesthesiologist and neonatal specialists took over.

"I thought she was not going to make it," Dunn says.

She scrubbed in to help deliver Kennedy, the Biehlers' baby.

"When they came in with Erin, I knew something was really bad," Dunn says, tearing up. "I felt, as a provider, what did I miss," she remembers.  "What was it?  Was it something?  Because I was so busy that day."

But Kennedy was delivered safely, whisked away to the neonatal ICU. Erin Biehler awoke 12 hours later in the ICU, weak, but still alive. Biehler believes she's here today because of her midwife Alexis Dunn's quick thinking.

"Grateful is an understatement," Biehler says.  "Every single day."

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