Glenn and Sara McGrath on the horror birth of their two-year-old daughter, Madison.

Australian cricket legend Glenn McGrath has shared the terrifying reality of the birth of his third child, admitting he feared he could lose wife Sara and his baby.

In an interview with Stellar, Glenn and Sara McGrath detailed how baby Madison came into the world seven weeks premature, after Sara suffered hyperemesis gravidarum – the same condition the Duchess of Cambridge suffers from.

“I had the worst pregnancy — I’d go to the shopping centre and throw up in every other bin. And it didn’t stop at three months,” she told the magazine.

At 33 weeks pregnant, McGrath said she woke with a strange pain in her ear. After being assessed by a doctor, she was sent straight to hospital. She had been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.


For context, pre-eclampsia – a condition which leads to high blood pressure, nausea, headaches, fluid retention and, in two per cent of cases, death for the women who have the condition – is the same condition Kim Kardashian West battles, rendering her unable to carry her third child.

Despite attempts at building and strengthening their baby’s lungs, Sara’s condition declined in the three days after she was diagnosed and she was subsequently rushed into emergency surgery.

“I remember the doctor looking deeply concerned,” he said. “Later, he said Sara was really ill and wouldn’t have lasted another 24 hours. Her lungs were filling with fluid and she was struggling to breathe. Afterwards he told us Sara was one of the worst two cases he’d seen in his career.”

For six weeks, Madison stayed in hospital before the couple could take their newborn home. She’s now a happy, healthy two-year-old.

In an interview with the Australian Women’s Weekly in 2015, Glenn recalled the moment he knew things might just be OK.

“I heard Madison cry and that was such a good sound to hear. It was just a little half cry, but it sent a wave of relief through me.

“If it had been another day or two, Sara could have died.”

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