New mum “dies” for eleven minutes during childbirth an wakes up with no memory of ever being pregnant
A new mum who “DIED” for eleven minutes during her son’s birth woke up four days later with NO MEMORY of ever being pregnant or having her baby.
Hilary Wilson, from Whitchurch, Shrops, was technically dead for a terrifying 11 minutes after suffering a severe cardiac arrest as her son, Felix, was being born.
The 41-year-old woke up four days later, with absolutely no idea that she had been pregnant, or that she had given birth to little Felix just days earlier.
And it was only when she saw a picture of her new baby wearing her elder children’s hand-medowns that she realised he was her son.
Despite being given just a 30% chance of survival and an 85% possibility of brain damage, the mum-of-three is now back at home with her children and husband, Barry, after making a remarkable recovery.
Hilary, a translator, said: “When I woke up my friends and family would talk to me about Felix, but I had no idea what they were on about.
“I was trying to make sense out of everything – I didn’t know where I was or what had happened – I had no idea that I’d ever been pregnant or just had a baby.
“It wasn’t until my sister showed me a picture of Felix that things very slowly started to fall into place.
“My older boys, Sebastian, six, and Lucas, four, had both worn a white baby grow with blue piping when they were newborns, and Felix was wearing it in the picture – so I thought he must have been mine.
“When I met him when he was six days old, I didn’t really feel like he was mine – I wasn’t interested in holding him, and I was happy for my mum to give him cuddles instead of me.
“It wasn’t until I was well enough to go back to the maternity ward and could breast feed Felix that I really started to bond with him.
“Slowly vague memories of being pregnant and giving birth returned, and I gradually started to feel the instinct to look after him.
“Now, Felix and I have a wonderful relationship, and the whole ordeal almost feels like a dream.”
Hilary suffered an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) – a condition which occurs where amniotic fluid, or other matter from the foetus such as hair, cells or other debris, gets into the mother’s bloodstream. The condition can lead to seizures, coma, and cardiac arrest.
Hilary had been in labour for 12 hours when medics decided to perform a c-section. Just as baby Felix, now nine months, was being lifted out of the womb, Hilary went into cardiac arrest.
She said: “I remember feeling sick, and seconds later I had a cardiac arrest.
“They did CPR on me for 11 minutes and I had adrenaline injected into my heart.
“I lost four fifths of my blood because they hadn’t finished the surgery on my c-section – I had to have a blood transfusion and was put on life support.
“I woke up four days later and had no idea what was going on – all I knew was that I was in a lot of pain.
“I was trying to make sense of everything around me, I thought maybe I was paralysed, or that I’d died – I eventually decided that I must be having a nightmare.
“I remember someone telling me that Felix was fine, but I was so confused – so many people would visit me and mention him, but I had no clue who they were talking about.”
Family and friends showed Hilary photographs of her new son, but she remained confused and unable to recall any details about him.
She said: “I knew that the pain I was feeling was coming from my stomach, so when people talked about the baby, I thought it would make sense that my tummy hurt if I’d just had a cesarean.
“But I wrestled with the idea of believing it, because whilst it all made sense, I couldn’t remember.
“My sister showed my a picture of Felix on her iPad, and when I saw the baby grow he was wearing, something clicked.
“I knew no one else would have one like it, so when I saw him wearing it, I thought he must be mine.
“I made the conscious decision to believe what everyone was telling me, even though I’m not quite sure I’d accepted it just yet.
“It was very strange – one minute I would have a grasp on reality, and the next I would be all over the place again.”
Hilary finally met Felix for the first time when he was six days old, but she still struggled to accept that he was her baby.
Hilary said: “When I saw him for the first time I burst into tears – I was sad that such a little baby had been all on his own for the past week.
“I didn’t really feel like he was mine – I wasn’t too concerned with holding him, I was happy for my mum to cuddle him.
“After that he was brought in once a day, but the bonding process only really began when I was able to breast feed him.
“The nurses had used a breast pump on me while I was sedated, so I was still able to breast feed.
“I was so pleased that my husband allowed the medics to do that – breast feeding is really important to me, and it allowed me to bond with Felix.
“I finally started to truly accept that he was mine.”
After spending two weeks in hospital, Hilary and Felix returned home.
She said: “Now I’m completely bonded with Felix, and he’s a perfectly healthy, smiley little baby.
“I can only vaguely remember my pregnancy and giving birth – some things come back to me, but I’ll see pictures of me before I had the baby, and I had no recollection of him.
“The past 12 months are pretty hazy, but I have to accept that I may never get my memories back.
“It’s bizarre to look back on what happened, it’s almost like a dream.
“Life is never going to be the same again – the day Felix was born was like a re-birthday for me because it’s given me a whole new perspective.
“It’s made me realise how precious life is, and I’m grateful for every single day I have.”
Hilary will be cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise money for CMPA support and for the Shrewsbury Intensive Treatment Unit which saved her life. To donate please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/HilaryWilson-CMPA