How to imagine the unthinkable? When Emma Roberts, 39, became pregnant, she certainly did not imagine living such a traumatic pregnancy. At 22 weeks, the bag of waters broke, resulting in sepsis for the mother and her child.
Two weeks later, Emma gave birth prematurely. Afraid of being “broken” if she saw her son dead, the future mother asked to wear a blindfold as soon as the birth started.
Refuse to see your child dead
She was sure her son would be born stillborn. And this image, she especially did not want to engrave it in her memory. At 22 weeks, Emma’s cervix had dilated far too soon, endangering her life as well as that of her son. Bedridden, the delivery nevertheless started at 24 weeks. To psychologically survive this birth and the shock she thought she was having, Emma asked to wear a blindfold from the moment the doctors told her to push.
A traumatic experience
This makeshift headband made from a rolled up t-shirt was a lifeline for the future mother traumatized by this experience. “I wanted to be blindfolded because I didn’t want to see him dead, I knew how upset I would be,” she told the Mirror newspaper. “I needed to cover my eyes so I couldn’t see what was going on. If I could have done it, I would have run away,” she added. “I like to be in control, but at that time it was impossible, I had to rely on the professionals and I couldn’t do anything to improve the situation,” she continued.
A weakened cervix
When she was 20, Emma underwent laser surgery to remove pre-cancerous cells from her cervix. A practice that can weaken cervical tissue causing or contributing to premature birth in a future pregnancy. In 2016, Emma awaits a happy event. But at 19 weeks, doctors inform her that her cervix appears to be non-existent meaning her child could be born at any time.
lives in danger
To save time, Emma has an emergency stitch placed in her cervix but, a week later, the bag of waters continues to crack. Emma and her child catch sepsis forcing doctors to induce labor at just 24 weeks. “When they saw that we both had sepsis, they said they had to think of me first. And even though my baby would probably not survive it, they had to induce labor to treat me,” she revealed. “I knew something was going to happen. But maybe it was something to do with my mom, which made me more alert and pushed me to get my cervix checked,” she added. Indeed, Emma’s mother, Kim, had died after giving birth to her second daughter, which left Emma anxious.
A panicky fear
During the thirty minutes of labor, Emma therefore keeps a blindfold on her eyes and refuses to remove it until the doctors take her son out of the room, into an incubator. “They said he wouldn’t survive and I didn’t want to see him,” she explained. “They were working on him in another room but I kept the blindfold on because I didn’t want them to say he was dead,” she noted. Emma, she must undergo an emergency operation, her placenta not having been expelled. Three hours after the birth, Emma wakes up not knowing if her baby boy has survived.
A tiny hope
When she learns that Jude is alive, Emma finds it hard to believe and has to wait another hour to see him. “I was in shock when I saw it for the first time,” she confided. “I was traumatized from birth and I thought I was going to die because my mother died right after giving birth,” she added. For two weeks, Emma stays near the incubator crying. “I couldn’t touch it or hold it for four and a half weeks,” she explained. “It was very random. He had pneumonia and cerebral hemorrhages, it was so traumatic, ”she slipped.
An endless wait
Emma leaves the hospital two weeks later. Jude finally returns home after four months. “I will never forget the feeling of leaving him in this hospital,” she recalled. “Even up to a week before he came home, I couldn’t buy anything because I thought if I bought things, it wasn’t guaranteed to see him home,” she said. During Jude’s stay, Emma indeed sees many children die in this dedicated intensive care unit. “I kept thinking Jude would be next,” she said.
A true miracle
Today, Jude is six years old, has cerebral palsy and autism but is “an incredibly happy child”. Jude, who has just learned to walk, cannot speak. For Emma, a second pregnancy is totally unthinkable. “Jude is my first and last baby because the experience was really traumatic. I love being a mom. It’s very difficult to have a disabled child but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said. “I’m so grateful he’s here. So many babies have lost their battle,” she lamented. “If someone said that we can go back in time and have a typical normal child, I would refuse! she concluded.