An Australian mother relived the harrowing moment she thought she was dying after losing 75 per cent of her body blood during childbirth.
Jessica Walker lost 8 gallons of blood when she suffered a life-threatening postpartum hemorrhage after giving birth to her daughter Shiloh in November 2019.
“After the birth, the midwives gave me a needle to get the placenta out,” Ms Walker told Daily Mail Australia.
“When the placenta came out I started bleeding and the next minute there were 30 people in the room.”
Gold Coast’s mother Jessica Walker suffered a life-threatening postpartum hemorrhage and lost 8 gallons of blood after giving birth to her daughter (pictured Ms Walker waited 10 hours to hold her daughter Shiloh for the first time).
Ms Walker said blood was pouring out of her and a doctor had to sit on her stomach to prevent her uterus from contracting as they took her to the emergency room.
After waking up from her surgery without her baby or wife by her side, the Gold Coast mum soon realized something was wrong as her room filled with doctors and nurses with “worried looks on their faces”.
“Everyone was screaming Category 1 and when they told me I needed another operation because the bleeding hadn’t stopped, I thought 100 percent I was going to die,” Ms Walter said.
“The surgeon went and got my wife to come over and kiss me goodbye and I remember thinking, ‘This is it, I’m going to die’.”
“I’ve never been so scared in my life… I cried to my doctor and said, ‘Please don’t let me die’.” She promised me I wouldn’t do it.’
After two emergency surgeries, five blood transfusions and four liters of fluids, doctors were able to stop Ms Walker’s bleeding (pictured Ms Walker with her wife and daughter).
After five blood transfusions, four liters of fluids and 10 hours of waiting, Ms. Walker was finally able to hold her baby.
Ms Walker said many mothers have had similar birth experiences “where the best day of their lives was also the worst day”.
The Gold Coast mum volunteers with the Australian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) and helps organize Sunday’s Walk N Support fundraiser in Broadwater Parklands.
Although Ms Walker has recovered from the physical pain, she said her emotional trauma is long-lasting and is often overcome by anxiety when her daughter, who is now two, is away from her for too long.
Unable to return to full-time work, Ms. Walker had to trade her “high-flying” 50-hour job at the company for a casual role.
It didn’t take me long to talk about it, and even now, I still get excited when I tell the story, but I’m doing it because I want to spread awareness and start the conversation…because trauma happens in labor ‘ said Mrs Walker.
“The postpartum trauma really shaped me. I don’t think I can remember my daughter’s first year.
“For the first few weeks and months, which should be the crucial bonding time with my baby. All I can remember is the bad.’
Ms Walker said her physical pain has healed but the emotional and mental trauma caused by the harrowing experience of having a child remains
The founder of the Australasian Birth Trauma Association, Amy Dawes, said birth-related trauma is still taboo and as a result not enough people are getting the support they need.
“We want mothers, birthing women and families who are suffering to know that birth-related trauma is real, your feelings are valid and support is available,” Ms. Dawes said.
“We encourage women and supportive partners to contact us to learn more about birth-related trauma or to contact their healthcare provider. There is no shame in seeking help.”
National Birth Trauma Awareness Week runs July 17-24, culminating with a Walk N Support fundraiser on Sunday in Brisbane, Sydney, Wagga Wagga, Melbourne and Canberra.
Ms Walker hopes to raise money for the Australasian Birth Trauma Association by joining Walk n Support for those affected by birth trauma.
“One in three Australian women describes their birth as traumatic, and research suggests that 10 to 20 per cent of primiparae may experience severe irreversible physical birth trauma,” Ms Walker wrote on her donation page.
“For too long women and families have suffered in silence, but the power is in sharing our stories and speaking out so other people don’t have to walk this path alone.”
Ms Walker volunteers with the Australasian Birth Trauma Association and has joined the Walk n Support fundraiser to raise awareness for those affected by birth trauma
That’s it, Mrs Walker Walk-N Support Fundraiser raised more than $1,000.
Ms. Walker wants other mothers who have experienced childbirth trauma to know they are not alone.
“If other mothers are going through something like this or trauma at child birth, please reach out to the support group who will hear, see and understand you,” Ms Walker said.
“It’s okay to feel sad or to feel robbed of that magical experience you thought you were going to have.
“It’s a lot and no one should have to suffer alone.”