“I can’t remember giving birth”: Young woman awakes from seizure unaware she’d given birth to 1lb baby
A young woman woke from a life threatening seizure to discover she’d given birth to a 1lb baby.
Gemma Jamieson, 23, from Hull, East Yorkshire, collapsed and suffered a huge fit when she was just 24 weeks pregnant.
Whilst Gemma lay unconscious, medics battled to deliver her baby and save both their fragile lives.
Remarkably, Gemma survived her ordeal, but woke up three days later with no memory of her little boy’s birth.
Gemma said: “I remember waking up and my husband, Dale, showing me a picture of a baby on his phone, and explaining it was our son.
“I couldn’t believe it – I had no memory of giving birth – it was all so surreal.
“I felt robbed of the experience of pregnancy as I hadn’t even felt our baby kick.
“Dale told me how much our baby weighed, how old he was, that he was very poorly and being treated in a different hospital.
“I couldn’t believe what had happened, to know that I’d missed out on his birth, and that all our relatives had seen him before me was almost too much to bear.
“Giving birth is one of the biggest moments of a women’s life – and I missed it.
“I just wanted to see him straight away and make sure he was ok.”
After an agonising seven day wait, during which Gemma recovered from the near fatal pre-eclampsia that had caused her seizures, she finally met her son, Tyler, now 17 months.
She said: “Dale led me into a room full of newborn babies and I had to ask which was ours.
“But as soon as I saw Tyler I burst into tears – I felt bonded with him immediately.
“All my energy was focused on him and helping him get better.”
Gemma and Tyler’s ordeal began when Gemma and Dale attended a car festival in July last year.
Husband, Dale, 24, said: “Gemma was sitting in the car and she shouted at me because her shoulder was twitching.
“It just suddenly escalated and she was having a big fit.
“I just couldn’t believe what was happening.
“She must have bit down on her tongue because it swelled up and she was having trouble breathing.
“I managed to give her mouth to mouth – the paramedics said that if I hadn’t been there she might not have even made it to the hospital.”
After being rushed to hospital, Gemma began to have her second violent seizure which doctors later discovered was as a result of pre-eclampsia.
It was then that doctors explained that the only chance of saving Gemma’s life, was to deliver her baby early.
Gemma said: “I vaguely remember arguing with the doctors because I didn’t want them to deliver Tyler so early.
“But the doctors told me I was in severe danger – minutes away from death – and I needed to get to theatre.
“I was then in and out of consciousness for the next three days.
“I don’t remember giving birth to Tyler or seeing him at all.
“I have no memory of what happened.”
Tyler was delivered by caesarean section whilst both his and Gemma’s life hung in the balance.
Dale said: “When Tyler was born Gemma was totally out of it.
“They told me his chances of survival were really slim, it was just awful.
“Tyler was then transferred to a different hospital and I just spent the days going in between the two.
“It was awful to see Gemma so ill, knowing that she had a baby that she’d never ever met.”
Over the next few days doctors finally managed to stabilize Gemma, but despite her quick recovery, little Tyler faced a long battle ahead, with just a one in ten chance of survival.
Gemma said: “Tyler is really the fighter in all of this.
“He was born at just 24 weeks and was so premature that his lungs hasn’t developed properly, so he was battling chronic lung disease.
“He had to have 17 blood transfusions, and was really struggling to survive.
“When I first saw him his skin was almost see through and he tubes coming out of him everywhere.
“He was on a ventilator and had a hat on him – all I could do was stroke him as he had to stay in his incubator.”
Little Tyler then went on a year long journey in order to recover.
Gemma said: “To begin with Tyler was very ill.
“He had to go to Great Ormond Street for a heart operation when he was just 4 weeks old.
“Then we were told he had a 98% chance of been blind and he underwent five lots of laser eye surgery.
“Dale and I were warned on more than one occasion that he may not make it.
“But over time he just seemed to get better and better.
“Slowly but surely he began to breathe on his own.
“When he was six months old, we finally got to take him home and it was the best day ever.
“His eye sight is now as good as driving standard which is a miracle.
“He’s gone from strength to strength and about three weeks before his first birthday in July, he finally came off his oxygen for good.”
Gemma and Dale are now enjoying time at home with their healthy son.
Dale said: “It’s amazing to think that after everything they’ve both through they’re both here to tell the tale.
“I could have lost them both so I feel lucky to have my family here.