First cuddle in a coma
Doctors say it’s a miracle I’m still here
Bouncing about the house, I was excited. It was November last year, and I was just about to give birth to another son. I was already mum to Connor, 6, and Mason, 5. But, this time around, I was massive – yet had so much energy. ‘We should induce you now,’ doctors told me at 39 weeks. They were worried about my size, and didn’t want my baby getting any bigger. I expected the contractions to take many hours to start after I was induced, but they started just two hours later. And they were coming thick and fast.
Lying in the hospital bed, I suddenly felt weak.
‘I feel strange…’ I said, leaning against my husband Nathan, 34, for support. Then I passed out. The next thing I knew, I woke up in hospital – all alone.
Panicking, I went to call for my husband, but the tubes in my throat stopped me.
What had happened? And where was my baby?
The next few hours, I slipped in and out of consciousness.
The blurry faces of my two boys and a worried-looking Nathan floated before my eyes.
‘Here’s little Ronan,’ the nurse said to me finally.
I wanted to tell my baby that Mummy was here, but the tubes that were helping me to breathe meant I couldn’t speak.
A couple of days later, when I was fully conscious, I learned the severity of my situation.
‘I thought that was it,’ said Nathan, a tear trickling down his face as he told me how I’d passed out while having
contractions, and turned purple. Panicking, he’d called for help. The doctors had whisked me away, leaving my poor husband beside himself.
‘I didn’t know what to do,’ Nathan told me.
He’d called my family, who’d come to the hospital straightaway – even his Mum, who lived in Canada.
In surgery, Ronan had been delivered safely. At 10b 3oz, he was big – but, thankfully, he was completely healthy.
But I went into cardiac arrest – twice. Doctors resuscitated me, but my heart stopped a second time, so I was resuscitated twice. Only, once my heart had started beating regularly again, I’d stared haemorrhaging. Litres of blood were pouring out of my uterus. Doctors tried to pump more blood into me, but they just couldn’t stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, they had to perform an emergency hysterectomy. As doctors came to see Nathan, he’d braced himself for the worst. ‘They told me you’d suffered an amniotic fluid embolism,’ Nathan said. This is when fluid or matter from the foetus gets into a mum’s bloodstream, triggering a catastrophic reaction. Doctors had told Nathan I’d stopped breathing for six minutes, which could’ve left me with long-term brain damage. Doctors had then put me into a drug-induced coma. Terrified I wouldn’t make it, Nathan had brought my boys to kiss me goodbye. He’d also brought Ronan to lie on me so he could get some skin-to-skin contact with his mum. ‘I played you videos of Connor and Mason singing and playing,’ Nathan said, ‘to try to wake you up.’ As my eyes had fluttered, 48 hours later, doctors couldn’t believe I was waking up. Listening to Nathan, I was stunned, horrified.
I’d almost left my beautiful boys without a mummy.
Meeting Ronan for the first time was incredibly emotional.
Tears in my eyes, I held him to me. It was instant love. We’d been through a lot together already. I still had a long way to go. For the first couple of days, I had to communicate by writing things down, as I still had the tube in my throat. And I was so weak, I could barely get out up.
Doctors brought Ronan’s crib into my room.
‘I’ll get him,’ my twin sister Rosie would offer when he cried.
My whole family took it in turns to stay with me. But I had to regain my strength, be a proper mum again.
After a month, I was finally well enough to go home. The boys were ecstatic – and Nathan, too.
We were a family again, at last.
A year on, me and Ronan are doing well – he’s a happy, bubbly little baby.
My heart and brain are still being monitored, and probably will be for life.
I still get emotional when I think of how close I came to leaving my precious boys without a mum.
Doctors say my survival was a miracle.
It’s a miracle I will always be so, so grateful for.
I’d almost left my beautiful boys without a mummy
I was so big... had to be induced early
Instant love Me and Roman had been through so much Cuddles all round!