Health hap­pi­ness

Stroke of pluck was healthy and Char­lotte a sur­prise care­free one minute, next... mum at death’s door the

Real People - - HEALTH HAPPINESS - Char­lotte Pot­ter, 27, Bris­tol

It was the cutest thing ever. A tiny lit­tle Baby­gro, cov­ered in su­per­hero bun­nies.

‘Adorable,’ my mum, Claire, grinned.

I was 15 weeks preg­nant with my first baby. This had an­nounced it­self in spec­tac­u­lar style.

Cross­ing the road in front of a po­lice car, I’d fainted. I was rushed to hospi­tal and, af­ter blood tests…

‘You’re about four weeks preg­nant,’ a nurse smiled. ‘What?’ I’d splut­tered.

I’d al­ready split with the baby’s dad, and was more in­ter­ested in go­ing out with my mates.

Be­sides, I al­ready had seven ba­bies – all with four legs and hooves.

The horses I cared for at the sta­bles where I worked.

But, as the news sank in, brood­i­ness blos­somed and I ex­cit­edly bought clothes and nap­pies.

Then, as me and

Mum walked around Mother­care, I buried my head in my hands.

‘I just wish I could get rid of this headache,’ I mut­tered.

‘Preg­nancy does strange things to your body,’ Mum soothed.

I’d had the headaches pretty much since find­ing out I was preg­nant, but I’d put it down to hor­mones. They were al­ready giv­ing me ter­ri­ble morn­ing sick­ness and mak­ing me want to suck the sponge in the shower!

At my 20-week scan, I dis­cov­ered I was hav­ing a boy. ‘Lit­tle Lo­gan,’ I smiled. But, a cou­ple of days later,

I got ter­ri­ble stom­ach pains. ‘I can’t be in labour,’ I pan­icked. I called an am­bu­lance and paramedics took me to the ma­ter­nity ward, just in case.

‘We think it’s Brax­ton Hicks con­trac­tions – not the real thing,’ a doc­tor re­as­sured me. But my headaches grew worse and I started hav­ing mi­nor seizures. Af­ter a CT scan, the doc­tor re­vealed, ‘You have a clot on your brain.’ Most likely down to my in­creased hor­mones. I was at se­ri­ous risk of hav­ing a stroke. ‘But my baby’s OK?’ I fret­ted. ‘We be­lieve he’ll be fine,’ the doc­tor said. ‘We’ll give you in­jec­tions to thin your blood. Hope­fully, the clot will dis­perse.’

I was taken to a spe­cial­ist ward, where stroke pa­tients were painfully strug­gling to move.

‘Lo­gan needs you,’ Mum urged, when she saw me look­ing low.

In the night, I went for a wee. Sud­denly, every­thing went woozy. I was hav­ing an­other seizure! The last thing I re­mem­bered was crash­ing to the floor, hit­ting my head hard.

The nurses got me back to bed but, when I woke up…

‘I can’t move my arm!’ I screamed. In fact, the whole of my right side was paral­ysed.

‘When you hit your head, the clot burst and you had a stroke,’ a doc­tor ex­plained. ‘Will I be OK?’ I sobbed. ‘We’ll do reg­u­lar scans and give you physio,’ I was told.

It was ter­ri­fy­ing, but I had to get bet­ter for baby Lo­gan.

I did physio from my bed. Mum brought my ipad in. I watched

Pen­guins Of Mada­gas­car on loop! ‘We’ll watch this to­gether one day,’ I whis­pered to Lo­gan.

I shopped for baby stuff on­line as Mum dec­o­rated Lo­gan’s nurs­ery with Win­nie-the-pooh ac­ces­sories.

Slowly, my strength came back. I wasn’t able to stand for long, but I could move my arm and leg and shuf­fle around.

It was enough that, when Lo­gan was born at 38 weeks, weigh­ing 6lb 3½oz, I could dress him in that su­per­hero bunny out­fit.

‘You’re worth every­thing,’ I smiled. Af­ter eight days – and four-and-a-half months in hospi­tal – we came home.

I still had daily blood-thin­ning in­jec­tions. And, as my strength grew, so did our bond.

Lo­gan is three now. He loves di­nosaurs and dig­gers and, of course, knows Pen­guins

Of Mada­gas­car off by heart! I’ve had three mini strokes since he was born. The last left me need­ing a zim­mer frame. Lo­gan’s so un­der­stand­ing. ‘Here you go, Mummy,’ he says, get­ting it for me if I need the loo.

I’ll al­ways be at risk of an­other big­ger stroke, but Lo­gan’s been worth ev­ery scare.

Feel­ing broody! Lo­gan’s worth all the worry

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