When I was pregnant with my second child, I came down with bronchitis. I was terribly sick throughout the pregnancy and my GP thought I had mild pneumonia. But I felt so sick; I wasn’t eating; I was in pain and I couldn’t get out of bed. The last thing I recall was a Saturday morning. I was lying in bed and my sister was looking after me – I’d be dead if she hadn’t been there as she insisted that I be taken to hospital.
Later, I was told the doctors couldn’t work out what was wrong with me. At first, they thought it was renal colic, but by 3am I went into labour. I have no memory of giving birth to my son Ben but apparently, I pushed him out in two pushes!
He was having breathing problems so he was immediately taken away from me. One of the midwives told me she knew I was very sick because, usually, when a baby is taken away from a mother right away, she will react - but I was silent.
Then I was taken to ICU and, because they thought I had pneumonia – which turned out to be swine flu – they put me in an induced coma. They’d just planned on knocking me out for two days because the ICU doctors said they’d never seen anyone go downhill so quickly. According to my sister, they then intubated me. By the time the doctors realised I had swine flu, it was too late to give me the anti-virals.
All I know is I didn’t meet my son Ben until he was nearly three weeks old.
Watch: Questions about childbirth (answered by mums and non-mums). Post continues after video.