As I walked with my little boy to his new school for his first day of Prep a few weeks ago, I felt an overwhelming sense of achievement. He had made it this far; to put on his too-big blue school uniform, but so had I. I had made it this far too.
My son, Zephyr’s, birth had been a textbook caesarean. I was told by the hospital’s physio that I had no muscle separation and as such, had great movement afterwards.
I felt all those happy endorphins that new mums talk about. The start of our life as a little family of three could not have been better. Until it wasn’t.
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My husband and I had a final appointment at the hospital – Zephyr’s final six-week paediatric check-up.
I remember my husband pushing the pram ahead of me, when I fell against a wall, crashed to the ground and started to vomit.
I was rushed to emergency, where I faded in and out of consciousness as my husband called my parents and the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with me.
I couldn’t walk, and I didn’t know why. I just wanted to go home.
I remember trying to demonstrate to the physio that I was fine, by leaning onto a wheelie walker, and my husband stood with her, watching me with our six-week baby in his arms, looking very concerned.
So, I had to stay in the hospital as I cried to go home to be with my baby. I subsequently got pneumonia as my throat was paralysed.
Finally, an MRI showed an artery in my neck had torn, causing a stroke.
Thankfully, the bleeding had stopped by itself, which is why I was alive. But I had a whole bunch of symptoms that would make it difficult to raise a very busy little boy for the next few years.