Bekah: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to today's episode from Power of MoMMA's Voices. My name is Bekah Bischoff and I am the Education and Development Coordinator. Today we get to highlight a certified patient family partner and talk about her experience in her pregnancy as well as how she came to MoMMA's Voices.
We hope that this will give insight to our listeners about different conditions while also creating a great sense of community. I'm so excited to introduce our guest today, Huda Al Tamimi. Huda is a maternal health advocate and certified patient family partner in the Michigan area. She survived an amniotic fluid embolism during the birth of her first child.
She also endured many complications following her cardiac arrest, such as DIC, rds, 40 blood transfusions, and two surgeries. She was intubated and was immediately admitted to the ICU. [00:01:00] She graduated with a Master's of Public Health in 2022. She's so passionate to utilize her training and education to speak with providers about the importance of making sure that their patient's concerns are fully taken into consideration as that alone could potentially save a life. I am just so excited to have her with us today. Huda, it has been such a joy getting to know you and work with you, and I would just love for you to share a little bit more about your birth story with us.
Huda: Oh my God, Becca, thank you so much for having me. Okay. So like many women who are pregnant for the first time, I didn't think much about the various complications that may occur during pregnancy or labor.
On February 9th, 2014, I was about 31 weeks pregnant, and that's when I started experiencing painful cramps. So I instantly texted my OB doctor and she [00:02:00] said to immediately go to the labor and delivery room. And after examining me, they found that I was about three centimeters dilated and was immediately admitted to the preterm labor. I was given magnesium sulfate for neuroprotection and some other drugs like penicillin. The following days, on February 10th to the 11th exams showed that there was low fetal heart rate, so the medical team made the decision to have an emergency C-section on February 11th, around 10:00 PM. Thankfully my daughter was delivered at two pounds successfully. However, as soon as my OB was trying to stitch the first lining of my uterus I went into cardiac arrest with no pulse. My blood pressure started to drop, and code blue was instantly called. CPR was performed for several minutes. I then was intubated [00:03:00] and on my medical records I read this last night, it said it was unclear from notes what rhythm the patient was in or when a pulse was regained.
I do not understand that at all. I was also hypotensive in tachycardia with gushes of vaginal bleeding. After I was somewhat stabilized, that's when they transferred me to the ICU. But the following day I went into DIC. It's a condition that causes an abnormal blood clotting throughout the body's blood vessels. My blood pressure was abnormal and they noticed that I wasn't ventilating really well. That indicated that I had the compartment syndrome the one that you explained earlier, acute respiratory syndrome. They instantly took me to the operating room for abdominal decompression evacuation of hematoma. I needed a placement of a wound vac, which removed 1600 milliliters of fluid with clots. After the procedure, I was sent back to the ICU and I was still [00:04:00] intubated. In that moment, another physician came in to check me and they noticed that my oxygen levels were not getting better and that I may need to be on the ECMO machine.
The ECMO machine was not in the hospital that I delivered my daughter in. They needed to transfer me via helicopter to the neighboring hospital that did carry it. But when I arrived, thankfully after the new staff taking over they realized my oxygen levels were somewhat getting stabilized and thankfully I did not need the ECMO machine, but they still had it on standby just in case.
I think after maybe a few days of that, of getting into the neighboring hospital, that's when I started to slowly regain conscious. I have no memory of waking up. I had no memory of who anyone was in the room. I didn't know that I even had a baby, so they had to slowly talk me into what happened. Being really careful of not [00:05:00] getting me triggered. I had to ask questions like, why am I here? Like, I had no idea. And as soon as they told me, oh, you're, you had a baby, I was like, where is my baby? I wanna see her. They said that she was in a whole different hospital, so nine years later, I mean, during that time they said my memory would come back, but it's been almost nine years and I have no memory of that at.
Bekah: Oh my goodness. Wow. Well, I appreciate you sharing all of that with us. I know that no matter how long ago your experience was or how many times you have shared this story, it is still so hard to uncover some of that and to say it again. And I just like hurt my heart to hear you say all of that, but also so incredibly grateful that you are here. And I'm sorry that you had to learn all of this in hindsight and reading records and talking with your family, but I'm just so thankful that you are here today. [00:06:00] I would love for you to share what made you want to get involved with sharing your story and how you found out about MoMMA's voices. .
Huda: Thank you, Becca. After learning what happened to me from my OB after my six week visit postpartum care, I think it's called , and the medical staff after recovering, prior to being discharged and through stories from my loved ones, I honestly was really terrified of requesting my medical records. It took me seven years to request them. And that was with the help of Miranda from the AFE Foundation. I found them through my own research because I was afraid to read my medical records. I would just go online, research AFE, and try to figure out. Several weeks after that, I found the AFE Foundation and I instantly felt like a sense of comfort knowing there were women out there that I was able to connect with.
Seven years post AFE I reached out to Miranda on exactly [00:07:00] July 21st, 2021. And that was during the pandemic. I was just asking her to help me share my story, so she instantly asked if she can call me. That phone call literally meant the world to me. I was able to share with her the ideas that I had for the future, that I wanted to speak to hospitals about my AFE, and ways to connect with OBGYNs on how to get them better trained and ready for when an if they are faced with a patient experiencing an amniotic fluid embolism. She then introduced me to MoMMA's voices and asked if I was interested in taking a course called patient family partner training to help me become a maternal health advocate. Then I met with you and I met with Nicole and you both guided me through my training, which made the experience so much easier for me, especially when it came to my mental health.
I learned so much about ways to regulate my emotions, how [00:08:00] it is literally okay to not be okay, all while feeling blessed to be alive. I heard that so many times. Like, be thankful that you're alive and your baby's alive and healthy. And I know those were one of the main reasons why I held in my emotions for such a long time, and I literally cannot express how bad that made me feel through these years. I am so thankful that I reached out for to Miranda, and she introduced me to you, Bekah, MoMMA'S Voices and put me through this training that helped me tremendously.
Bekah: It was so beautiful watching you as you work throughout this training. I remember that night, it was around Christmas time and I remember sitting just for hours with you just talking and you just unpacking some of that and I had shared that same comment how I was told, just be thankful you're alive. And it wasn't that I wasn't thankful, but I had all these feelings and all these emotions, and so it was really nice for us to be able to [00:09:00] connect on that because we know that we're not the only two people who feel that way. So many people who are listening to this also felt that way at one point as well. You really did such a great job throughout the training really reflecting on yourself and healing. I know that since becoming certified, you have had some amazing opportunities and I would love for you to share with us a little bit about what some of those are.
Huda: Oh, definitely. So I first got offered to join on quarterly meetings with the Maternal Mortality Review Committee for the State of Michigan. The Maternal Mortality Surveillance was a recommendations work group. And these sessions promote the translation of findings and recommendations into quality improvement actions at the provider facility system, community, and patient levels. They examine opportunities to work with communities to implement interventions aimed at improving services and resources. They also determine if existing MMRC recommendations should be adapted [00:10:00] or alter to reflect current or emerging needs. Also one of the amazing opportunities that I had was to participate in a learning collaborative for the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative.
I met some wonderful individuals on there who are striving to create better outcomes for maternal health. And I was on a few of these learning collaborative meetings, which allowed me to share my thoughts and my ideas about my plans were in getting into hospitals and speaking with OBGYNs and other medical staff to ensure the safety of their patients throughout their care and to really prioritize listening to these patients as well as ensuring the physicians are well informed on AFE. Also I was offered to become the state liaison for the AFE Foundation in Michigan. I'm reaching out to hospitals to establish relationships among key stakeholders to provide educational research offerings. I also will be collecting data from [00:11:00] providers and offering tools that will better prepare hospitals to be ready for an AFE. I'm on my way with my plans were and goals with all thanks to these amazing organizations. I also reached out to the governor office requesting to make AFE Awareness day on March 27th, of 2023.
Bekah: You are so amazing, and just listening to all of these things that you have done, I bet you never imagined in your wildest dreams that even a year ago, that you would have had all of these amazing opportunities and I'm just so very proud of you. What advice would you give to somebody who's listening, who kind of feels like you did when you reached out to Miranda and you said, I wanna get involved. I wanna share my story, but I just don't know what to do. What advice would you give to somebody who's listening and feels that exact same way.
Huda: You really have nothing to lose. With me the PFP training when I was offered to do it, I was so [00:12:00] excited. And when I started the modules, yes, it was triggering to me only because I've, I held it off for such a long time. I highly recommend the moment that you feel you are someone that can advocate for yourself for take that PFP training and it helps you so much. It not only helps you prepare to become an advocate, but it helps you mentally, physically, emotionally, and I literally cannot stress it enough for anyone who is planning to become a maternal health advocate to take this training. It's helped me so much on regulating my emotions. It helped me prepare. I can go and talk with doctors without feeling triggered by the events happening to me or around me. And I was able to take charge in a more well prepared manner. That all came from the PFP training. I don't think I would have been able to do this no matter how much educational background I [00:13:00] had.
Bekah: Thank you so much for your time here today. I know that everyone else that's listening to this feels the same way that I do, that you are just such an inspiration and all that you have gone through and endured and just the grace that you show and how passionate that you are about this work. I'm so very thankful to have had you on today.
Huda: We all deserve healing and a place to share our stories without feeling guilty or judged.
Bekah: Thank you. Well, we're so thankful that we got to meet you and our paths crossed, and we've got great work to continue together. Thanks everybody for tuning in today.