Chicago woman says she died after giving birth and came back to life

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CHICAGO -- When Stephanie Arnold was pregnant with her second child, she began to have premonitions that she would die during delivery.

She felt it would be from a condition she’d never heard of before and didn’t have a name for – a condition that she later learned occurs in less than .01 percent of births yet has a 60 percent mortality rate.

She had countless tests to see if she was at risk, but every test result was negative. Her doctors and specialists, friends, and husband tried to reassure her that she’d be fine. One nurse, though, listened to her fears and put a note in her chart to have extra blood ready, just in case something happened.

And something did. After she delivered her son, Stephanie experienced an extremely rare condition and flatlined for 37 seconds. She suffered from an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE), which happens in about 1 in 40,000 pregnancies. If not for the extra blood on hand, the doctors wouldn’t have been able to bring her back.

Stephanie joined WGN Morning News Thursday to share her story and talk about her book "37 Seconds."

Stephanie currently lives in Chicago with her husband Jonathan and is the mother of three children: Adina, Jacob and stepdaughter Valentina.

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