Stephanie Nielson: Mommy blogger left with 80 per cent burns to her body after plane crash overcomes ordeal to give birth to fifth child
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 13:33 EST, 10 May 2012 | UPDATED: 13:33 EST, 10 May 2012
A popular Mormon 'Mommy blogger' who survived an horrific plane crash with 80 per cent burns to her body has spoken about the ordeal - and how she overcame it to give birth to her fifth child.
Speaking on the Today show, Stephanie Nielson, who writes about motherhood on her blog the Nie Nie Dialogues, has recounted the pain and guilt she felt following the accident in 2008.
'I think "guilty" was the first word I could say after,' she said. 'I didn't want [my children] to grow up with a mother like me because at the time I thought that was life for me and it wouldn't get better.
'Of course we know that's not true. I had faith and wonderful people to help me get out of that.' She added: 'We're doing better than ever.'
Scroll down for video
On the mend: Mommy blogger Stephanie Nielson and her husband Christian were in a plane crash that put them both in medically-induced comas. They have just had their fifth child
Before the crash: Stephanie writes a popular blog called the Nie Nie Dialogues about her family: (L-R) Jane, Nicholas, Claire, husband Christian and Oliver - and now baby Charlotte
She gave birth to her and her husband's fifth child, Charlotte, a month ago.
At first doctors 'were concerned,' she said. 'It took me a while to even ask if I could have another baby because I was scared they would say no.' They agreed to monitor Stephanie closely.
Stephanie was 27 when she and her husband left their four children with their grandparents and took off in a small Cessna airplane from their home in Mesa, Arizona to New Mexico in August 2008.
Her husband Christian, a licensed pilot, was flying the plane with his friend and flight instructor, Doug Kinneard, when the aircraft stalled after a stop for fuel - and plummeted to the ground.
Showing their support: (L-R) Nicholas, Jane, Oliver and Claire also accompanied their mother to the show
Hope: Stephanie was nervous to ask doctors if she could have another baby; last month Charlotte was born
Christian was left with 30 per cent burns to his body and woke after five weeks, while Stephanie was in a medically-induced coma for four months. Doug, a father of four, did not survive the crash.
Feats: Stephanie gave birth to Charlotte the same day her book was released. 'I delivered two babies that day,' she said
Life before the crash was 'ideal', Stephanie recounted to Today. 'It was the life I had wanted.'
But after the crash, the Nielson's struggled to get back on their feet.
'It was a real low point,' Christian remembered. 'I've never had to deal with that much trauma emotionally and physically. The outlook for our life that we once enjoyed was bleak.
'When I saw Stephanie for the first time it was worrisome.'
She continued: 'I was completely confused and frustrated and worried. I couldn't talk, I couldn't move my body - I was frustrated in every sense of the word.'
In a previous interview with Today, she said it took her five weeks after waking up to finally look at her own reflection and realise that her face had been completely transformed.
She underwent months of surgeries and skin grafts at the Arizona Burn Center.
The burns on her face had been so bad, doctors had had to cut all the skin away and cadaver skin was placed on top.
Eventually her own skin - from her scalp, arm and back - replaced the cadaver skin. They also used cultured skin grown in a Boston lab to cover the wounds.
When her four children, who had all been under seven at the time of the crash, were reunited with their mother, they were speechless and unable to look at her.
Of her daughter Jane, she said: 'It was awful to not have your own daughter not want to look at you just felt very, word, words just don't even describe that feeling.'
Horrific: Stephanie, Christian and their friend Doug were on board the plane when it stalled and crashed in 2008
Pain: Stephanie was in a coma for four months. When she woke up, she feared she was scaring her children
Fighter: Stephanie was left with 80 per cent burns to her body and underwent skin graft surgeries
Stephanie's oldest daughter, Claire, would only talk to her through a curtain. She added that she hated not being able to play with her children or comb their hair.
But by the third visit, she said, things were back to normal and easy again. She also received emotional and financial support from her thousands of devoted readers on the Nie Nie Dialogues.
Now Stephanie, whose blog is so far reaching it is also followed by women who are neither Mormons nor mothers, has written a book entitled Heaven is Here that describes how she overcame the pain.
It was released on the same day Charlotte was born. 'I delivered two babies that day,' she told Today.
See below for video
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Headlines Newsview all
Ebola could hit 15 countries across Africa: Study of how disease has spread in past finds 70million people may be at risk of infection
The Ebola outbreak could hit 15 countries across Africa - putting the lives of 70 million people at risk, a groundbreaking study has found. In a ...
Britain is to forge closer economic ties with China after Chancellor George Osborne announced £2.4billion in new commercial deals with the People’s Republic. As the annual ...
Donations have poured in for Manchester Dogs’ Home after a fire ripped through the premises, killing more than 53 dogs last night. A JustGiving page set ...
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
Nazi-saluting thugs mar No-vote victory celebrations in Glasgow as tensions rise after divisive referendum sees Scotland stay in union
Pro-Union demonstrators accused of making 'Nazi salutes' in Glasgow as tensions in the city escalate More than 80 police are deployed to keep rival groups of ...
Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke at a press conference in New YorkMan was dragging from room screaming: 'Don't put me on an elevator!'Goodell said the NFL needed ...
Congressman claims FBI is watching up to 40 Americans who have returned to the US after fighting alongside the ISIS terror army
Long Island Rep. told a business group on Sept. 12 that the would-be terrorists 'are known and are being tracked'As many as 100 Americans are ...
Utah doctor 'LAUGHS' as he is jailed for 17 years for poisoning and drowning his wife so he could start a new life with his mistress
Martin MacNeill knocked out wife Michele MacNeill with drugs prescribed following cosmetic surgery and left her to die in a bathtubSentenced to 17 years to ...
Roughly 23.9 per cent of Americans polled favored breaking away from the unionNumber of Republicans in favor of a split was slightly higher than those ...
Father of 'Jihadi John' weeps as he admits he and Osama bin Laden plotted 1998 US embassy bombings that killed 224 people
Adel Abdul Bary, 54, pleaded guilty to plotting to blow up U.S. embassiesAttacks on buildings in 1998 left 224 people dead, including 12 AmericansBary made ...
Russia joins online conspiracy theorists in claiming Scottish referendum was rigged... because vote-counting room was too big
Igor Borisov was one of four accredited Russian observers in EdinburghHe said the counting process fell short of 'accepted international principles'Claimed size of room made ...
After arresting a 39-year-old woman police found a locker keyThere they found a newborn baby, and another badly decayed A woman has been taken into ...
Marquis de Sade's masterpiece The 120 Days of Sodom is going on displayHe wrote the graphic work in 37 days while locked up in the ...
Biden defends Democratic Party chair fighting for her job after comparing GOP governor to a wife beater
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is rumored to be on the outs with the White HouseThe fiery party chair has come under attack ...