thanks to both of you above for the good thoughts. The vet was recommended on House Rabbits vet national recommendations and has done a tons of spays. It was just bad bad bad luck I think.Something that helped me feel better about getting our female spayed was finding a vet who specializes in rabbits and does tons of rabbit spay/neuters.
I went to the vet who spays my family friend's giant rabbits, since this person had never lost a rabbit to the procedure. Our rabbit had no complications and recovered just fine (other than being pretty angry about having to be confined/wear a collar)
Maybe asking the vet about their experience with rabbits, how many rabbit spays they do regularly, and their success rate, would be able to alleviate some of the fear/help you decide?