23-year-old Gemma Jamieson had the surprise of her life when she woke up from a life-threatening seizure to discover that she had already give birth to her one-pound son.
After her seizure, Gemma had to have an emergency Caesarean section in order to save her life and deliver her baby at 24-weeks fetal age. The only memory Gemma could recover from the whole ordeal was talking to her doctor when she arrived at the hospital.
She said, “I vaguely remember arguing with the doctors because I didn’t want them to deliver Tyler so early. But the doctors told me I was in severe danger – minutes away from death.”
Her husband, Dale Jamieson, explained to his confused wife what happened afterwards. Gemma said, “I remember waking up and my husband, Dale, showing me a picture of a baby on his phone, and explaining it was our son. I couldn’t believe it – I had no memory of giving birth – it was all so surreal. I felt robbed of the experience of pregnancy as I hadn’t even felt our baby kick.
“Dale told me how much our baby weighed, how old he was, that he was very poorly and being treated in a different hospital. I couldn’t believe what had happened, to know that I’d missed out on his birth, and that all our relatives had seen him before me was almost too much to bear. Giving birth is one of the biggest moments of a women’s life – and I missed it. I just wanted to see him straight away and make sure he was OK.”
Gemma’s seizure resulted from pre-eclampsia, which causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine of pregnant women. Usually, these signs are discovered during routine antenatal check-ups. After Tyler was born, Dale was told that his son may not make it; in fact, doctors said he had a one in ten chance of survival.
Dale said, “Tyler was [then] transferred to a different hospital and I just spent the days going in between the two. It was awful to see Gemma so ill, knowing that she had a baby that she’d never ever met.”
Gemma added, “’Tyler is really the fighter in all of this. He was born at just 24 weeks and was so premature that his lungs hasn’t developed properly, so he was battling chronic lung disease. He had to have 17 blood transfusions, and was really struggling to survive. When I first saw him his skin was almost see through and he tubes coming out of him everywhere. He was on a ventilator and had a hat on him – all I could do was stroke him as he had to stay in his incubator. He had to go to Great Ormond Street for a heart operation when he was just 4 weeks old.”
She concluded, “Then we were told he had a 98 per cent chance of been blind and he underwent five lots of laser eye surgery. Dale and I were warned on more than one occasion that he may not make it. But over time he just seemed to get better and better. Slowly but surely he began to breathe on his own. When he was six months old, we finally got to take him home and it was the best day ever. His eye sight is now as good as driving standard which is a miracle. He’s gone from strength to strength and about three weeks before his first birthday in July, he finally came off his oxygen for good.”