Holding on to hope
Holding on to hope
In labour, I was meant to be shopping for cots – not coffins
KARA O'NEILL, HATTIE BISHOP

Bringing the meeting to a close, I put my hand on my forehead.

Clammy and dizzy, I wasn’t feeling right at all.

‘You’ve gone as white as a sheet,’ a colleague said.

Though I’d felt rough all morning, I was a supermarket manager and couldn’t miss this training session in January 2019.

At first, I’d put it down to hormones.

After all, I was 24 weeks pregnant with a baby boy.

Me and my husband Bruno, then 34, were so excited, had already named him Maxime.

But now I was worried that something was seriously wrong.

‘I think I should go to hospital,’ I said weakly.

A colleague drove me to Kingston Hospital’s Early Pregnancy Unit.

I’d become a regular thereafter intermittent bleeding throughout my pregnancy.

But somehow, this felt different.

And after I was checked by a midwife, my worst fears were confirmed.

‘I’m afraid you’re in labour,’ she said. Calling Bruno, I quickly explained the situation. ‘They are going to try to delay the labour,’ I gabbled. ‘Ideally, I need two days so the medication for his lungs and brain can take effect.’

Bruno raced to my side, just as we were told we needed to be transferred to St George’s Hospital for specialist care.

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April 09, 2020