Ashley Graham almost died giving birth to her twins
The 34-year-old model - who has Isaac, two, and four-month-old twins Roman and Malachi with her husband Justin Ervin - had a speedy labour with her babies but "blacked out" afterwards after suffering a haemorrhage and losing "litres of blood"
25 May 2022
She wrote in an essay for Glamour magazine: "The night I gave birth to the twins, I haemorrhaged...
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"[After the babies were born] I looked at my midwife and I said, 'I don't feel good. I think I need to lay down,' and I blacked out.
"All I can remember is feeling a light touch on my cheek, which I found out later was actually somebody smacking the c*** out of my cheek, someone holding my hand, my husband Justin in my ear, praying, and someone jabbing me with a needle in my arm. And I remember seeing darkness and what seemed like stars.
"When I finally came to, I looked around and I saw everybody. They just kept saying to me, 'You're fine. You're fine. You're fine.' They didn't want to tell me, right then, that I'd lost litres of blood. They didn't want to tell me that one of the midwives had to flip me over, press her finger down right above my vagina bone to try and stop the bleeding. And they didn't want to tell me that the vein in my arm kept collapsing and they couldn't get the needle in for the Pitocin, so they'd had to put it in my hand.
"But even though they didn't want to go into the details at that moment, I looked around the room, saw blood literally everywhere, and let out this deep, visceral cry - an emotional release from the chaos I had just experienced.
Ashley told how she "couldn't sit up or even crawl" when she woke up and though her babies were "fine", she took a long time to recover and didn't leave the house for several weeks afterwards.
She continued: "The midwives asked me if I could stand up and walk to bed. I couldn't. I couldn't sit up or even crawl. So they got a twin-size bed sheet, rolled me onto it, and slid me down my hall into my guest room, where I had a trundle bed that I could barely roll onto.
"Thank goodness the twins were fine, while I lay on that bed for four straight days. I couldn't walk for a week. And I didn't leave my house for nearly two months."
Ashley's medical team were concerned the experience would have "triggered" her but she just felt gratitude to still be alive.
She said: "My midwives checked in on me every day. I think they thought I was going to be triggered by how severe the events had been, but I kept telling them, 'You all saved me. God saved me. This is a true miracle.'
"It was a period of time filled with the joy of being with my husband and my three sons, the rhythm of our new life, learning and laughter, acceptance and recovery. "