A BRAVE mum has shared heartbreaking photos of her little girl to help warn other parents potentially save their baby.
Just minutes after she was born, little Frankie was made hypothermic to save her brain, after her mum suffered a rare condition.
Sharing her story with the Tiny Hearts Foundation Instagram page, the unnamed mum said all parents need to be aware of placental abruption (PA) – the condition which almost took her baby's life.
The photos show a newborn Frankie hooked up to wires and cables at the hospital where she was put into a state of 'cooling', which allows cells more time to recover from neurological damage.
Recalling the traumatic period, the mum-of-two said she had a "normal" pregnancy, until she reached 39 weeks and her contractions started.
"The pain I felt during labour is indescribable," she explained.
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"I thought my insides were being ripped out slowly, one by one.
"I had to crawl along the car park floor and the walls into the hospital when we arrived," she added.
The mum has since learn this pain is a common symptom of PA.
The serious complication happens when the placenta starts to come away from the inside of the womb wall.
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It can cause stomach pain, bleeding from the vagina and frequent contractions.
It can also limit the amount of oxygen and nutrients to the baby – increasing the risk of premature birth, growth problems and stillbirth.
When doctors found she was only two centimetres dilated, the mum, who had a "high pain threshold", was "shrugged off by doctors" and sent home.
But after two hours, she returned to hospital, "vomiting" from the pain.
She was quickly induced and just moments after lost 700ml of blood.
When both mum and baby's heart rate was seen to be dropping, doctors decided to perform an emergency C-section.
What are the signs of placental abruption?
Placental abruption is most likely to occur in the last trimester of pregnancy, especially in the last few weeks before birth. Signs and symptoms of placental abruption include:
- Vaginal bleeding, although there might not be any.
- Abdominal pain.
- Back pain.
- Uterine tenderness or rigidity.
- Uterine contractions, often coming one right after another.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Upon delivery, Frankie required resuscitation and received life-saving CPR – she had suffered significant oxygen loss.
Frankie was then given hypothermia therapy – a preventative treatment given to babies within the first six hours of birth to prevent complications of oxygen deprivation.
"Our miracle girl, Frankie, had the most strength I've ever witnessed," the mum said.
Scans later revealed Frankie had two small holes on her brain, a complication of PA.
But two years later, Frankie is "absolutely thriving", her mum said.
She is now trying to raise awareness of the condition, which affects one per cent of all births in the UK according to experts at the Baby Centre.
She is also calling for women to speak up about health issues.
"If you know something is not right, speak up.
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"I knew something was wrong, but I didn't speak up," she said.
"It scares me to think that I could have been writing a completely different story today," she added.
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