I was so fat I almost killed my baby: new mum sheds half her bodyweight after almost killing her unborn daughter
A new mum has shed nearly half her bodyweight after she was so big during pregnancy that she almost killed her unborn daughter.
Despite only being 5ft tall, Leila Mounji ballooned to 15st during her pregnancy so when doctors went to administer painkillers, they couldn’t the needle into the epidural space around her spine.
Medics feared giving her a high-risk general anaesthetic because of her BMI, but felt they had no choice and performed an emergency Caesarean during the ordeal in July 2012.
Because of the circumstances, baby Bella suffered breathing problems, which subsequently starved her of oxygen.
After the terrifying ordeal, Leila, 29, decided to improve her whole wellbeing and after shedding a whopping 7st, looks like a new woman.
Leila, from Derby, said: “I put Bella through hell during birth.
“I thought she was going to die, it was horrific.
“They said she was one of the sickest babies they had seen and was expected to die because her heart and kidneys had shut down.
“She was my first child and I thought it had gone horribly wrong.
“It was the most tragic experience of my life seeing her shut down.
“I was ashamed and embarrassed because I knew this was all down to me and how big I was.”
Experts say if somebody has a high Body Mass Index this can make it harder to find the correct place to put the anaesthetic needle in and how quickly it takes effect.
A high BMI may also cause problems with general anaesthesia during and after a Caesarean, which is what happened with Bella.
Leila was giving birth at the Royal Derby Hospital but because of complications, she was rushed to Sheffield.
Baby Bella spent two weeks at Sheffield on life support before returning to the Royal Derby Hospital where her condition started to improve.
Leila said her pregnancy had been difficult leading up to the point of birth, and blames her size.
Leila said: “I was morbidly obese and from my first doctor’s appointment they said my size would create problems because of the pressure it would put her under.
“It was an awful pregnancy and I suffered a lot.
“After the birth, Bella became so distressed that she had to be put on a life-support machine for a week.
“The hell we I went through was a wake-up call to realise I needed to change.
“It was heartbreaking to think I had caused her so many problems.”
Before her pregnancy, Leila had always been big but because of strangers’ taunts had never tried to lose weight.
On one girl’s holiday to Benidorm, she resorted to wearing baggy jumpers and trousers around the pool, but still heard the nasty comments about her size.
After the ordeal, Leila signed up to Slimming World and, at 8st, looks like a completely new woman.
“She wasn’t expected to live and it shows her fighting spirit.
“We didn’t think Bella would pull through, but she made a remarkable recovery.
“I was so ashamed and embarrassed I had to act.
“I never thought I was that big, and my height was a reason for that.
“But actually I was out of control and I can’t believe how big I was but now I feel like a different woman.”