My 5-day Covid coma last Xmas made me forget I’d given birth – it’s a miracle I survived’

Sticking a piece of tape onto the final Christmas present, I let out a long sigh of relief. “I’m glad that’s done,” I said, rubbing my baby bump. “I’m exhausted.”

Christmas was always a happy time with my partner, Daniel Edwards, 37, a petrol sales assistant, and our children, Megan, Tomos and Freddie. And in the New Year, on 5 January, we were expecting a new addition – a fourth baby to make our family complete.

We had so much to look forward to. And yet the past few months had been very fraught. From the start, tests had picked up that my pregnancy could be high risk.

Daniel and I had faced an anxious wait until further scans came back clear. We discovered we were expecting a little boy, and we were thrilled.

Then I noticed the baby wasn’t moving as much as he should, and throughout the autumn of 2020, I was in and out of hospital for monitoring.

In November I went into early onset labour and I was admitted to hospital for steroid injections. It was such a worry. I had a routine Covid test, too, and to my surprise it came back positive. I’d been feeling a bit under the weather, but I just put it down to feeling tired with the pregnancy.

I had a second test, which came back negative, so it was thought I’d come to the end of the virus. The rest of the family all tested negative, too. Luckily, the labour slowed down and I was allowed home.

We thought that the panic was over. I was over awful Covid and I began planning for Christmas – putting up the tree, doing last-minute shopping and wrapping gifts.

In mid December, I had a routine check which showed the baby’s heart rate was too high. Again, I was admitted to hospital. “I think we need to deliver the baby,” the consultant advised.

On 23 December 2020, our baby son, Harri, was delivered by emergency C-section. To our relief, he was perfectly healthy and weighed 8lbs 1oz. We were over the moon.

On Christmas Eve, our next youngest, Freddie, celebrated his fourth birthday. It was upsetting not to be with him, and I couldn’t wait to get home.

I spent Christmas Day with baby Harri on the maternity ward. It was such a strange Christmas. I was so overjoyed with my new baby, but I missed being at home with the older children. I was woozy as well. I felt as though I was slipping in and out of consciousness.

Then, Daniel messaged me to say he was feeling unwell. It felt like one thing after another.

On Boxing Day, I felt worse still. I could barely open my eyes. And when I finally did, I was in for a shock. There were machines bleeping all around me and a tangle of wires attached to my chest. I had no idea where I was or what was happening.

“It’s 5 January, you’ve been a coma,” a nurse said gently. I stared, uncomprehending. “Do you remember having the baby?” she asked.

“Are you joking?” I gasped.

I had no recollection at all of having a baby. I didn’t know what gender it was, or what name we had chosen. The nurse found my phone and showed me photos of baby Harri, and I realised that it was true. “You spent two days with Harri, on the maternity ward,” she told me.

I’d completely forgotten. Nothing seemed real. She told me Harri was at home, being looked after by the rest of my family.

“You were lucky to make it,” she said. “You gave us all a real scare.”


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It turned out that on Boxing Day I had become suddenly and seriously ill with Covid pneumonia and I was rushed to ICU and placed in a coma. Doctors had warned Daniel and the rest of the family that I might die.

Daniel had also tested positive for Covid and found himself in hospital on Christmas Day.

Megan, 15, Tomos, 11, and Freddie went to stay with my mum, Lyn. But then Mum also tested positive, so the children went instead to stay with my dad, Stephen.

Baby Harri had stayed with Daniel’s sister, Laura, until she was diagnosed with Covid. He then went to stay with Daniel’s mum – who also tested positive. But by now, Daniel was well enough to look after all the kids himself at home. It was unbelievable.

“What a Christmas!” I gasped. And even though I was out of danger, I was still very ill. I couldn’t walk and I was too weak even to feed myself.

Daniel was recovering well at home, and he began sending me photos and videos of all the children and that was such a big boost to me, physically and emotionally. I knew I had to get better, for their sake.

On 13 January, I was finally allowed back home, with a wheelchair and a zimmer frame. Daniel hadn’t told the kids I was coming home – he had only told them to expect a big surprise.

When the door opened, their faces lit up with excitement.

I had my first cuddle with baby Harri, too. I’d forgotten those two days we’d spent in hospital, so this really felt like the first time I’d met him. It was so emotional. We were all in tears.

“This is the best day of my life,” I sobbed. I worried about my bond with Harri, because I’d been apart from him for so long. But after that first cuddle, it felt as though we’d never been separated. Of course all of our children had been passed around family members, all through Christmas, so it had been tough for everyone.

The older kids had saved their presents until I came home. They’d also kept the Christmas tree up. That day was so special. We had our own little Christmas Day, three weeks late.

Being at home, with my family, was the best medicine I could have wished for. Within days I was walking round on my own.

Incredibly, there was one last twist to our Christmas story. Baby Harri became ill, one week on, and was rushed to hospital with Covid. But his symptoms were mild and he was later discharged.

I’ve now been diagnosed with PTSD. I’ve suffered with exhaustion, breathlessness and severe hair loss. But despite everything, I feel so lucky. I survived and I have a wonderful family. Ours is a true Christmas miracle.

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