The Day I Died…and Lived to Tell the Tale

I have debated writing this many, many times. I have written and rewritten it many times. Maybe I have been afraid to go back to the most difficult time in my life but having written about my older daughter’s birth with Johnsons Baby, I felt it was necessary to go back in time to the summer of 2011…

Nothing prepared us for this traumatic experience and today I am thankful that I am alive and able to look after my children and hopefully grow old with them. It was terrifying and took its toll on all the family.

This was my third pregnancy and on the day of my caesarean I was quite upbeat. My son had been born by caesarean delivery 2 years before and frankly speaking, it was much easier than the natural birth that I had with my oldest daughter.

So, while everyone wished me all the best etc, and asked me how I could be so calm before major surgery, I rushed them away with a laugh – I would be in and out in no time. Who would have thought that I may not have come out at all?

My husband was with me – video camera ready to take photos and videos of the first glimpse of my new baby.

I had chosen to have an epidural and although it can be a bit painful, it was worth being able to see and hold my baby soon after birth. It was a bit difficult and uncomfortable because I was so huge.

So, I lay down, held my husband’s hand. I could hear the doctors around me talking and laughing and soon felt the pulls and tugs. Next thing, I heard my baby crying. I saw her being taken for the initial check up and cleaning. She was fine.


I heard the doctor say – “You’ve lost a lot of blood, love.”

And then….I went into shock. My husband was ushered out of the room and taken to a room in the hospital where he was told that he would be kept updated.

I started losing blood. I lost a lot of it. 16 litres of it in total.

I flatlined

I had a cardiac arrest for about 2 minutes.

I set off all the alarms in the hospital as doctors were called in. I am told there were about 14 doctors attending.

Paddles were used to resuscitate me as jolts of electricity were passed through me. (I can imagine a scene right out of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ or ‘Holby City’)

The bleeding was brought under control as they ‘packed’ me in (bandages were used to soak up the bleeding) and closed me up.

I was transferred by blue light ambulance to another hospital in London which was quite far from home as they were afraid that there were more complications that could not be dealt with in the present hospital.

Our baby was brought to my husband for her feed and he was given the news of my cardiac arrest and subsequent trauma. He was devastated and I can only imagine what he went through. Instead of giving everyone the good news of the baby – he now had to tell our family and friends that my life hung in the balance.

I knew nothing of any of this obviously, as I was kept very, very heavily sedated and was admitted into the ITU where I was unconscious.

In fact I remained blissfully unaware of everything for the next 6 days.

In oblivion, I knew nothing of the heartache my family was going through – my mother was overseas and unwell so my parents could not be with us. In fact, I do believe she suffered a setback on hearing the news.

I knew nothing of the children that were missing me.

I knew nothing of my little baby girl who remained in hospital for two days till my mother in law flew in from Overseas to help as my husband ran from one hospital to another. He even received a parking ticket to top things off!

This period was the most stressful he has ever been through!

I was on a ventilator for 3 days, hooked up to tubes and wires as my blood pressure refused to stabilize. I could not breathe on my own as my lungs had collapsed too.

Hubs tells me I was bloated to thrice my size as they injected me with fluids.

Three days later, I was taken into surgery once more to remove the packing in my stomach.

I was still heavily sedated and didn’t know anything.

Did I see the light? No, I didn’t.

As I tangoed with death I did have an out-of-body experience – and that’s another story…

In the days to come, I will be writing more about my experiences during this time and bring more awareness of placenta percreta, the condition that caused the massive bleed.

Why am I writing about this more than 2 years later?

This was the most terrifying time in my life as I awoke to more problems and I am hoping –

That this will be cathartic for me as I write about the utter despair and hopelessness I faced during these days

That I will get answers to questions about why this happened without warning,

That I will be able to raise an awareness of the condition called placenta percreta and maybe help mothers to be more prepared and most of all

That I will get a glimpse of those 6 lost days of my life…


   …To be continued

19 thoughts on “The Day I Died…and Lived to Tell the Tale

  1. Oh god what a horrific time fir your family and of course you. This is ge first time I have heard of this condition too, great that you are bringing an awareness to it. I lost a lot if blood during my labour and I did start worrying when more doctors came in and they just kind of ignored the new baby but tried to stop the bleed. I hope you are fit and well now

    1. I am well now Rachel, but still break out in sweat thinking of the time. It is quite a severe condition and I am trying to raise more of an awareness of it. Labour can be such a worrying time as well as being so joyous. It must have been worrying for you too. Hope you are well now.

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