A MOTHER who was left “seconds from death” after giving birth to her first child has praised the Glasgow medics who battled to save her life.

Lisa Campbell lost three litres of blood - almost two thirds of the volume circulating her body - after her womb failed to contract as it should following the delivery of baby Dylan.

The 32-year-old recalled how the room was suddenly swamped with doctors and her partner James and newborn baby were ushered away from her bedside as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

She said: “I kept thinking don’t close your eyes or you won’t wake up. You need to be here for Dylan.”

It was only weeks later that Lisa learned childbirth had turned her into a medical emergency, requiring a life-saving blood transfusion at the Queen Elizabeth University maternity hospital.

Lisa, who lives in Clydebank with her partner James, 28, said: “My pregnancy went amazing, I felt brilliant.

“I couldn’t wait for labour. I work in Glasgow Pram Centre and the customers were like, ‘what?’ but I was so excited.

“He was due on April 16 but ten days later on the 26 I was at the dentist and there had been a lack of movement so I called the hospital and they said they were going to induce me.

“Labour got started that night and nothing happened and then 12pm the next day the contractions started and they were like ‘bam’.

“They gave me paracetemol and I was ringing the bell saying I can’t do this. They were just bang, bang, bang.

“They gave me another painkiller and the pain was just not budging. I could feel him sitting, ready to go. They kept saying, your cervix isn’t open, you are still only 1cm dilated and I was saying, ‘I’m telling you I’m ready to push."

Evening Times:

“They brought me a birthing ball and that made the contractions worse, of course. Eventually they said they had a bed for me and when they measured me I was 9cm. I said to them ‘I told you!."

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Two hours later at 6.15pm, Dylan was born and healthy and the couple were enjoying the first, precious few hours with their newborn when Lisa began to feel very unwell.

She said:”I heard this gushing of water and thought it might be the gas and air. I remember saying, someone needs to take Dylan, I don’t feel right. Dylan was given to James and the next thing I knew the room was full of people.

“I had an oxygen mask on and it’s very blurry but I remember turning around and saying to him, okay? He motioned to me that they were okay.

“I turned back and remember thinking don’t close your eyes Lisa. If you do, you won't wake up.

"I don’t know how long I was there but after a while the room started to empty and I had got Dylan back.They started to pick the sheets out of the bin and I noticed the blood but had just thought it was normal."

Evening Times:

Weeks later Lisa was told by a consultant that she had suffered a postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) brought on by a condition called uterine atony

Once a baby is delivered, the uterus normally continues to contract (tightening of uterine muscles) and expels the placenta.

After the placenta is delivered, these contractions help compress the bleeding vessels in the area where the placenta was attached. If the uterus does not contract strongly enough, these blood vessels bleed freely and haemorrhage occurs.

Lisa, who is originally from Stepps in Glasgow, said: “When my placenta came out, my uterus didn’t contract back, so my body continued to flush blood out as if the baby was still inside,

“It seems that my midwife kept pressing the emergency button but no one was coming. There had been two emergencies before me.

“One of the doctors had noticed the emergency bell was going and got help. I was told if she hadn’t appeared or another emergency happened, I wouldn’t be here.

“Apparently what happened was rare but the care I got was amazing from start to finish. I can’t thank them enough.”

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Lisa relived her experience to help raise the profile of National Birth Trauma Awareness Week, which runs until July 14. The Birth Trauma Association estimates a third of mothers experience some kind of traumatic response to childbirth.

Evening Times:

Lisa says the experience left her very tearful in the weeks after Dylan’s birth, likely because she was suffering post traumatic stress syndrome and says she only began to feel better after she accessed the hospital’s on-site counselling service.

She said: “I had been getting very upset because I was thinking I might not have been here to give him his bottle.

“I’d also missed out on putting on Dylan's first babygro and changing his first nappy because I was still recovering. I had four sessions and it really helped.”

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Lisa says she was initially “very nervous” about having more children with her partner James, who manages a shop but now hopes to add to her family in the next few years.

She said:“It’s hard work but so, so rewarding. We will maybe wait until Dylan is at school though, I want to enjoy him.”

Kim Thomas, of the The Birth Trauma Association, says many women find it difficult to have their 'birth trauma' recognised by health professionals.

She said:“Each year we are contacted by hundreds of women who have had a traumatic birth and are experiencing post traumatic stress disorder.

“Many of them have found it difficult to get their condition recognised by health professionals.

“We would love to see much better diagnosis and treatment of a condition that can have a devastating impact on women’s lives.”

For information and support go to www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/