A TEACHER who nearly died giving birth to twin girls says she now feels she has been given a second chance.
Angela Cottam, a teacher at Sealand Primary School, suffered an amniotic fluid embolism – a rare but life-threatening pregnancy complication – before giving birth to daughters Amelie and Ava 19 months ago.
Mrs Cottam, 33, who also has a five-year-old daughter, Olivia, lost seven pints of blood, needed 22 transfusions and spent hours in a coma after a suspected fingernail or hair from one of the babies passed into her bloodstream.
The cells from the unborn children, travelled to her lungs, which began to collapse and she also suffered severe internal bleeding.
During the terrifying ordeal her family was told she might not survive.
She has now done her best to put the life-threatening experience behind her, having made a full recovery and returned to work.
“I’m back to normal. I haven’t got time to stop and dwell on what happened,” said Mrs Cottam, of Meadow Croft, Higher Kinnerton
But she added: “I do think about the birth experience every day.
“I can think about it just for a minute – but enjoy everything just that bit more now. I don’t let things bother me as much as they used to.
“I am relaxed a bit more. When something like that happens it puts things into perspective.”
She added: “My family always comes first. My husband, Peter, has been really supportive. We are a close family.”
Later this month Mrs Cottam will travel to London to meet up with a group of women from across the country who have all suffered with the same condition during pregnancy, where fluid from the sac surrounding the babies leaks into the mother’s bloodstream through blood vessels in the womb.
Mrs Cottam’s babies, who were born five weeks premature, were not breathing when they were delivered by emergency caesarean.
Thankfully both were resuscitated and are now living a healthy, happy life.
Mrs Cottam said since suffering with the condition she had gained friends from all over the world by speaking to women online, who have suffered the same condition during pregnancy.
She has taken part in various fundraising events and said her aim for 2014 is to raise money for the Countess of Chester Hospital’s Baby Grow Appeal.
She says the hospital not only saved her life but also those of her twins.
The appeal has a target of £3million to build a brand new neonatal unit, which will be more than double the size of the current unit, providing improved facilities and a more spacious environment for the babies and their families.
Mrs Cottam reserved special praise for staff at the hospital, saying: “They noticed my condition rapidly and saved my life”.