Sunday, February 26, 2012

'I was moments from death': Amanda Holden describes her terrifying ordeal giving birth- after which she lost 13 to 15 litres of blood

By Holly Thomas

Touch and go: Amanda Holden has finally shared the full account of the birth of her daughter Hollie on 23 January, after which she spent three days in intensive care

She has gushed effusively about her joy at the birth of her baby daughter Hollie, who arrived via C-section on 23 January.

However it is no secret that the delivery was a deeply traumatic ordeal for Britain's Got Talent star Amanda Holden, who spent three days in intensive care after a massive hemorrhage which left her 'moments from death'.

Now for the first time, the 41-year-old has described in detail the horrific minutes during which her husband Chris Hughes did not even know whether she was alive or dead.

Amanda flat lined for 40 seconds after losing '13 to 15 litres of blood'.

After undergoing three transfusions in one day, there was no knowing whether her organs would fail due to rejecting the blood.

'As much blood as they were putting in me was going out. It just would not clot,' she told The Sun On Sunday.

'For seven minutes Chris didn't know if I was alive or dead. They literally ran out of my blood group in London. They had them on mopeds coming from everywhere with it.'

Amanda had gone for a routine scan, at which her doctor suggested the baby be delivered early as she was a healthy weight.

The actress says that she thought it was a fantastic idea, the wait would at last be over. However only a few hours later she was under a general anesthetic and bleeding non-stop.

Terrifying: Amanda says that the thing that has hit her hardest is that her husband Chris Hughes imagined how he might break it to their six-year-old daughter Lexi if she had died

'There was a moment where they said I had flat-lined for 40 seconds. My heart stopped and I was literally moments from death. It was touch and go,' she divulged.

'I had something called placenta previa - a low-lying placenta that prevents you from giving birth naturally. I also had placenta accreta - which meant my placenta was stuck to the C-section scar from the two previous births.'

'But everyone at the hospital knew about it and we were prepared for it. We had pints of blood ready- everything was covered for the worst-care scenario.'

Amanda caught just a glimpse of Hollie before she hemorrhaged and was put under general anesthetic.

Took a risk: After undergoing three transfusions in one day, there was no knowing whether her organs would fail due to rejecting the blood

'I delivered her and I saw her cry. I thought "this is totally amazing". It was everything I had dared to dream of. Then they very calmly said there's a lot of bleeding so we're putting you under general anesthetic,' she revealed.

'They said they needed to get some blood into me. No-one was panicking, I felt calm.
Chris was there and one of the midwives too. I felt myself slipping... I've only fainted once in my life and it felt like that.'

Amanda's midwife later told her that she wasn't sure what blood group she was anymore as they'd put so much in her.

Unrecognisible: Chris says that Amanda's shrunken face looked like 'Frankenstein's monster' as 'gallons' of her blood spilled to the floor

In the end Amanda says doctors gave her 'special fake medical blood', as that was what her body accepted.

Amanda didn't comprehend until much later what had been happening while she was under the general anesthetic.

Chris has said that he heard a 'splash' sound as he watched Amanda lose what looked like gallons of blood, as though a bucket of water had been knocked over the floor.

He describes it as 'like a scene from a horror movie', adding that Amanda's shrunken face looked like that of Frankenstein's monster.

Back at work: Simon Cowell greets Amanda Holden with a giant teddy on her return to Britain's Got Talent

Amanda credits the generosity of those strangers who gave blood with her life, and can't offer enough praise to those who donate so kindly.

Her condition stabalised at last to the relief of her husband, who had remained nearby the entire time.

Though she was never in any danger, Hollie was kept in a maternity ward with a respirator.

Like most children born via C-section she had mucus on her lungs, however that soon cleared and she was off the respirator within a few hours.

Amanda didn't meet Hollie again for three days, when she was reunited with her new daughter- along with her mother, stepfather, sister and daughter Lexi.

The new mother had been too poorly to meet her baby while she was in intensive care- though Amanda says she was resolute that Lexi not be scared when she saw her looking so unwell.

Doctors were apparently afraid that Amanda might have difficulty bonding with Hollie, however she emphasises that this wasn't the case at all.

'I fell in love with her immediately. I felt like I'd been given this enormous gift at the end of it all. I held her and just thought "We've gone through this together.'' Amanda said.

Amanda admitted it was a while before she was ready to hear the full story of those few days, and preferred initially to remain in the dark.

The Britain's Got Talent judge says the thing that has impacted her most about the traumatic experience is the thought that her husband had to consider how he would have to act if he had lost her.

Amanda says that the concept of him imagining how he might cope if she had died is what has made the most impact on her since.

She says that she already had a tremendous appreciation for life, and is having difficulty making sense of the experience in her head.

Meanwhile, the star is revelling in becoming a parent again, and has returned to her judging duties on Britain's Got Talent.

Stayed strong: Amanda didn't want Lexi to feel afraid when she saw her in hospital looking so unwell



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