Emily Berg of Redwood Falls has never donated blood. She’s never even stopped by a Red Cross blood drive to check to see if she’d eligible.
“I’m kind of anemic; whenever they take a little bit of blood from me (for a medical procedure), I always feel faint,” she said last week.
The other side of blood donation became very real for Berg in 2009, however, when she found out she was pregnant with twins. Berg, a 1997 RFHS graduate, was living in Seward, Nebraska at the time.
“I wanted natural delivery, and everything was a go. I went full term, and everyone was great.
“The nurses told me, ‘With twins, we deliver on the operating table in case of complications. With twins, there’s a lot of blood — but don’t be scared!”
When the first baby was delivered, right on cue came the complication. The placenta detached, making it impossible for the second baby to reach the birth canal.
“They tried everything they could, but after an hour and a half the doctor said, ‘We have to go with a C-section,’” Berg said.
“It’s not often you have a natural childbirth, followed by a C-section. I lost a lot of blood. I was almost unconscious and real faint, but I heard them saying my blood pressure was dropping.
“My mother was in the waiting room, and saw nurses running up and down the hallways, very nervous.
“When I was wheeled into the recovery room they gave me ice chips because I wasn’t able to cry. It was the weirdest feeling, not being able to have tears or saliva. My husband, Jesse, said I was as white as a ghost.”
Berg was transfused with six liters of fluid in addition to four pints of blood over the next three days while recovering in the hospital.
“I needed physical therapy, they had so much fluid poured through me,” she said.
“Having to need blood is something you don’t really think about until it hits home, when you hear of someone in an accident and (the issue) is kind of knocking on your front door,” she said.