A brave mum who said farewell to her partner and new born baby as she lay close to death has shared her story in a bid to support others.
Dawn Capell received ten units of blood after a serious haemorrhage delivering baby Cassius.
Mrs Capell was saved thanks to transfusion of ten units of blood and now she wants to alert other expectant mothers to the dangers of the condition she suffered, placenta accreta.
“I want to be able to promote awareness of this condition and let women who have been through it, but may still be traumatised, know they are not alone,” said Mrs Capell.
“Since my baby was born 20 weeks ago I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I will never be the same but I will be OK.”
Mrs Capell’s condition was diagnosed at 28 weeks after monitoring by specialists at the high risk unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.
Placenta accreta and two related conditions are on the increase and are most common in women who have previously had Caesarian section deliveries.
Mrs Capell, a mother of four, had had two C-sections.
A C-section was planned for 37 weeks but at 36 weeks pregnant, Mrs Capell woke haemorrhaging and was rushed to hospital. I was hooked up to machines and monitors. Things didn’t progress well so it was decided to take me to theatre to deliver with forceps,” she said.
“Things were happening around me – like it was happening to someone else. Luckily I had an amazing partner, Pete Lawrence, and an anaesthetist I trusted.
“After three pushes I delivered a perfect little man.
“Then I remember pain and I was haemorrhaging. Blood was going up really quickly. I had ten units put up.
“I knew that I was dying. I said goodbye to my partner and my new baby, unsure if I would see them again. I was so scared.
“I woke up hours later, with no uterus, but I was alive.”
Mrs Capell has paid tribute to her partner, family and her consultant.
“This condition tainted the last months of my pregnancy as the whole concern was getting through the birth,” she said.
“I hope by sharing my experience I will be able to promote awareness of this condition.
“I want to hopefully show someone on the other side; doing OK after what was a scary and life-changing experience.
“This condition is rare and it can be lonely,” she said.
The increase in placenta accreta is in parallel with the increase in C-section deliveries. Figures show incidence was one in 533 pregnancies between 1982 and 2002, contrasting with one in 4,027 in the 1970s and increasing to one in 2,510 pregnancies in the 1980s.