Kym Wilson, 29, lives in Chesterfield with her daughter Darcy, three months. When Kym had Darcy, the birth turned into an emergency when her placenta got stuck...
Did you have a difficult pregnancy?
Yes! For the first 16 weeks I suffered from with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (extreme morning sickness). But there were no problems with my placenta. Little did I know what was to come...
When did things start to go wrong?
Around the 30th week of my pregnancy, traces of protein starting showing up in my urine samples and I began to swell up and get headaches. Then, at 39 weeks I thought I had a urine infection so I made an appointment with my GP. He tested my urine, and his face was a picture. He said he'd never seen a protein reading so high. He called the hospital and to tell them I was on my way.
What happened at the hospital?
I was told I would need to stay in overnight so they could do a 24-hour urine collection. The next day they took some more blood tests and urine samples, and I assumed I'd be sent home. I was even planning what to cook later. So I got a shock when the doctor told me I was showing the symptoms of pre-eclampsia: I still had high protein levels in my urine and one of my kidneys wasn't working properly, so I would need to be induced.
What happened then?
The next day, I was given a pessary around lunchtime and I had a bit of backache but that was it. I had another around 6pm to induce the birth. During the evening, my contractions eventually started. My waters broke around 12.30am and given a hormone drip to speed things up. They kept checking me, but I wasn't getting past 2cm dilated. It was so frustrating as I was having full-on contractions every two minutes! Eventually I had an epidural as the gas and air just wasn't enough.
When was Darcy finally born?
At 8.30am, I was told they weren't happy with my kidney function so I was going to be prepared for a C-section. But then they checked me again and I was almost fully dilated, so they said I could push. It took me just 45 minutes to deliver Darcy. Looking back, that was the easy part!
What about delivering the placenta?
The midwife told me all that was left was for me to deliver the placenta. If only it has been that simple! They gave me the injection and when it didn't seem to be working at first, they placed warm towels on my tummy. To be honest, I wasn't really paying attention – I was too absorbed with looking at my new baby girl!
When did you realise it was stuck?
One of the midwives went to fetch a doctor, which made me realise something wasn't quite right. They started trying to help me deliver the placenta manually, and I felt this kind of hot gush. 'I'm bleeding', I thought. The look on the doctor's face confirmed it. More gushes came, and Darcy was whisked away. Next thing, the emergency button was pressed and the room filled with people. I was told I was going to theatre, and that I might have to have a hysterectomy. I was in shock.
What do you remember about the operation?
I remember being lifted onto the operating table and someone yelling instructions. They put more epidural in but I could still feel what was happening. Then I remember the doctor saying I was losing too much blood, and that I'd need to go under. I was given an anaesthetic and told to count backwards: I remember thinking just before I lost consciousness, this is it, I'm not going to wake up, I'm never going to see my baby girl again...
But you did...
Yes, thankfully! I woke up in recovery around three hours later, feeling dreadful. My mum and sister bought Darcy to see me but I was too out of it to hold her. Then I was taken to intensive care and spent the night being monitored and medicated.
Tell us about your recovery.
The next day I was taken back to the observation ward on the delivery suite to be looked after. I was still having lots of tests and had three cannulas, a catheter and a balloon to stop bleeding. I couldn't hold Darcy for the first couple of days; my mum stayed and did everything for her.
I wasn't out of the woods though: two days into my recovery they discovered a pulmonary embolism on my lung (a type of blood clot), and my blood pressure rocketed again. I needed another blood transfusion but rallied again, thankfully. Finally, after another few days, I started to feel a bit better and my blood pressure dropped. I was allowed to go home at last!
How were things when you got home?
I was so relieved to finally take my baby home, but had to have a midwife come every day to check on me. I was also injecting myself with a blood thinner, as well as taking antibiotics, iron tablets, and two different blood pressure tablets a day.
Looking back, how do you feel about what happened?
It wasn't until I'd been home for about a week that I began to realise how close to death I'd been. The staff at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital were amazing though and I am so grateful to them. But I try not to dwell on it: I'm happy that even though everything went wrong for me, Darcy is healthy and strong. She's only 17 weeks now and I'm still under my doctor's care. We're getting there though!
How do you see the future?
I could never have another baby now – too many complications could arise, and I wouldn't ever want to risk leaving Darcy. But even after everything that's happened, I wouldn't change a thing. Darcy is perfect and worth everything I have been through.