My birth story for my second baby is far from a beautiful, smooth journey.

I’d been having extremely bad panic attacks for weeks, especially when someone mentioned the baby and I didn’t know why. I slowly started mentally declining but brushed it off as hormones and continued with my day to day life. I’d been sick through this whole pregnancy, as I had with my first and I’d had cholestasis with both as well. I was due on the 15th of July, but to be induced on the 23rd of June, which was something I was upset about as I knew this was our last baby and I’d never experience naturally going into labour or being able to experience the start of labour at home.

On Tuesday the 18th of June I’d been feeling a little down. My partner, myself and our 20-month-old hopped into bed and watched a movie while they fell asleep. All of a sudden, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck, my mind was screaming that I would die or was dying, my body was weak, and I was hysterical, all while throwing up. My grandmother woke up and I grabbed a bucket and sat on her bed, she rang my mum and helped me make it through the night until my obstetrician appointment that was booked that morning. I’d told her how I was feeling, and she prescribed me some medication and reassured me that there were mere days until my pregnancy would be over. My mind started to reject the thought of having another (which sounds terrible I know) but something was telling me I simply could not have my baby.

I’d spent the rest of the day, in my nans bed, violently ill and by 10pm that night we called the maternity ward and I went in. I was met by a lovely midwife, she immediately put me in bed with a sick bag and diagnosed me with Hyperemesis Gravadarium. She tried everything as I declined and instructed my grandmother to stay near the phone just in case. She said in 15 years of being a midwife in 3 different countries I was the sickest she had seen.

The following days were a blur. I was kept in a quiet room, the shared bed kept empty. They had instructions on the door to not bring me food due to nausea, the blinds were kept shut and the light off. I couldn’t move, speak or even clench my fist for them to take blood tests.

My partner spoke to the head doctor. He said if I had not come in sooner, I wouldn’t have survived, they would induce me that night. My body was rejecting being pregnant, therefore my mind followed, my baby sucking the life out of my body to fight for her own and they were on the verge of losing us both.

“I can’t have this baby” was the first full sentence I’d said in days. The doctor stood there and rubbed my hand, explained the Cervadil procedure and that I wasn’t going to get better if I was induced that night. I’m not even sure what time they’d started. I was straight back to sleep as soon as they left.

It was 5 am when I woke up in excruciating pain. I was having close contractions. Right as I was trying to reach for the bell the first midwife that had greeted me came running in, holding my hand while I said I couldn’t do it, she rang my house phone and at 6 am my mum and partner arrived.

I’d demanded the epidural from the start, I was so weak, tired and ill. The put the epidural in before doing the paperwork for it but hadn’t connected it. A midwife checked and I was 6cm dilated. From her checking and saying she was going to the desk to check something, my mum walked out to make phone calls outside and hadn’t even made it off the maternity ward before I started to push. My partner rang the bell and my midwife came in yelling at others in a hurry to get everything ready.

My waters broke and within 5 minutes, with the epidural still not connected, our youngest daughter was born 4 weeks early and extremely stressed. All my symptoms washed away almost instantly. She had some breathing and latching issues and according to doctors we’ll never be sure if she was 5 weeks early due to how she was acting. She spent two weeks in NICU before coming home. I’ve developed PTSD from being so sick and going through so much to get our girl here. I know though, those midwives and doctors truly saved my life and I could never repay them. They are amazing and every single time I witness one of my girls go through a milestone, I think of them, and the fact that they are reason myself and my second daughter are here.