Unborn Baby's Fingernail Almost Kills Wales Mother

Angela Cottam was delivering twins when she experienced a severe allergic reaction

By on January 8th, 2013 07:28 GMT

32-year-old Angela Cottam of Flintshire, Wales has gone through a horrid experience as she fought for her life while giving birth to her twin daughters.

Amelie and Ava were born at 8 months, due to their mother suffering from pre-eclampsia. The condition, which causes high blood pressure and swelling, could have proven fatal to the young mother.

She was admitted to Countess of Chester Hospital where her labor was induced. After an epidural was performed, a midwife noticed she started having trouble breathing.

Physicians that examined her quickly assessed that she was suffering from an amniotic fluid embolism. Her bloodstream was being inundated by amniotic fluid, from the sac surrounding the babies. It reached her through vessels in the womb.

An allergic reaction followed as the fluid contained cells from the fetuses, in the form of a fingernail or hair. Once the cells reached her lungs, she started experiencing trouble breathing and an emergency Cesarean section was in order.

Fortunately, doctors were able to save the girls, News Australia writes.

"Ava was very, very touch and go. [...] They told us afterwards she was three minutes without oxygen and they really had to work on her to resuscitate her," she describes.

Angela's blood wasn't clotting after she delivered, causing her to hemorrhage and landing her in a coma for 12 hours. She underwent 22 blood transfusions that night, and she was placed on life support.

"There are moments when I've been on my own and I've had a little cry and thought 'What if?' But I try not to dwell on that and just thank my lucky stars the doctors and midwives on duty that day recognized what was happening.

"Knowing that I almost died has changed my perspective on life, I'm more laid back and I am enjoying being a mum more than ever because I know we were so close to losing so much," she remembers.

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