“It’s one of those things, where you think it won’t ever happen to you.”
Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to Lauren Back about her very recent experience with Sepsis shortly after giving birth to her baby boy.
For more information on Sepsis please use the links below:
Here are Laurens social links:
[00:00:00] Carla: Unfortunately, in life things happen that we have no control over. Which is why My Bump 2 Baby works with one financial advisor and one family law, solicitor in each town throughout the UK. If you have not protected your family in case the worst should happen, please, please think about it. So many families are left homeless when a loved one passes away and the spouse left behind cannot afford the mortgage or the bills.
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[00:01:55] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of 50 Shades of Motherhood, the place where we can come and talk openly and freely about motherhood and all the different journeys and challenges it brings. So today I’m really excited to welcome on my guest Lauren Back. Now, Lauren is actually our, My Bump 2 Baby area manager for the Newcastle upon Tyne area, as well as being a mum of three.
[00:02:27] Lauren also runs her own blog, which is called The Newcastle Mum. And. If that’s not enough, she is also the head of our influencer network at My Bump 2 Baby as well. And she looks after our network of over 500 parent bloggers and influencers. So today we are talking to Lauren about sepsis, something that Lauren actually experienced only a couple of months ago when she nearly lost her life after giving birth to her little boy.
[00:02:59] So we’re going to cover about sepsis today and we’re gonna raise awareness about it. So you know what to look out for and she can share her story with you guys. I hope you enjoy this episode.
[00:03:15] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. Today. I am talking to my lovely friend Lauren Back who unfortunately suffered sepsis, um, after her son was born. So hello, Lauren, how are you?
[00:03:32] Lauren: I’m fine. How are you?
[00:03:33] Carla: I’m very good. Thank you. Very good. I mean, even, even I think it was on season two by season two. I don’t think you’d actually given birth to Max at that stage.
[00:03:46] Lauren: No, I don’t think so. I think it had just finished
[00:03:49] Carla: It had yeah. So, so we knew you were pregnant and everything, and then obviously, unfortunately, you’re on here today, but talking about a subject that we need to raise awareness about, but you know, only a few months ago, this actually hadn’t happened to you.
[00:04:03] So, um, yeah, it’s quite a, quite a big few months you’ve been through really.
[00:04:09]Lauren: Yeah, bit of a roller coaster.
[00:04:11] Carla: Definitely. Definitely. So, um, so what I want to do, Lauren is probably just go back to the start. Um, so as I mentioned to everyone in the introduction, Lauren actually is our area manager for the Newcastle upon Tyne area. And she’s also the head of our influencer network as well. So as if Lauren hasn’t got her hands full enough, she’s also got a three children. So Lauren, tell us a little bit about you.
[00:04:37] Lauren: Um, so, um, just a normal person from Newcastle. Um, I’ve got three lovely little babies. I’ve got two girls and one boy. Um, we’ve got a puppy at the minute as well, so that’s more drama to add in. She’s only three months, so she has a lot, a bit of a handful, but she’s lovely. Um, I’m on maternity leave, but I’ll go back in April, start of April I go back. So it’s just a bit full on at the minute.
[00:05:07] Carla: Yeah. I bet you feel like you’ve not really had much of a maternity leave really.
[00:05:11] Lauren: No, it’s just been the same hasn’t it? Just same four walls. Not being able to do much.
[00:05:17] Carla: I know it’s hard work. Isn’t it? But so Lauren, you’ve got, so last year you obviously you’ve got your two gorgeous girls. And then did you decide to have another one or did your little one just happen?
[00:05:33] Lauren: Yeah so, well, but I say accident, it was a surprise.
[00:05:37] Carla: Yeah.
[00:05:38]Lauren: It wasn’t planned, but it was a nice surprise. Um, and I think we’ve always, well, I’ve always said I will have another one. Alan, on the other hand is a bit like, Hm. I don’t know. Maybe if it’s a boy, which we got um, but yeah, it wasn’t, it wasn’t planned, but it was a surprise.
[00:05:56] Carla: Oh that’s, how far gone where you, when you found out?
[00:06:00] Lauren: Um, well, I was eight, about eight weeks when I found out. Um, but then as you know, I was suffering the bleeding. And, um, I went to the hospital where I was told that I was having a miscarriage, which I sort of knew cause before I had Mia, which is my first daughter. Um, we’d had two before I had Mia. So I sort of knew. Um, but then for about two weeks I was still getting like symptoms, like pregnancy symptoms, like sickness, like boobs hurting and just feeling generally like, you know, when you’re first pregnant and you’re really drained and tired. So Alan was like maybe you should go back to the hospital and just say, have a checkup.
[00:06:40] And. So I went back and obviously I to go by myself cause it was COVID um, which was stressful enough. And then they’re like, Oh no, there is still a baby there.
[00:06:51] Carla: Oh, wow. So it could have been that it was twins then.
[00:06:55] Lauren: Yeah. Well, I mean, I’m still waiting for answers, but they did say they were going to look into it and they did say that it could have been twins. They think it was but they haven’t confirmed it, so.
[00:07:05] Carla: Oh, it’s sad, but nice at the same time that he’s okay. Um, obviously, because, uh, yeah, I mean,
[00:07:13] Lauren: Alan would have had a heart attack if it was twins.
[00:07:16] Carla: Oh God, could you imagine Oh dear God bless you. So that is a bit of a rollercoaster in itself. Isn’t it? At the beginning, you eight weeks you think you’re pregnant, then you think you’ll losing it and then you’re pregnant again. So, yeah. Yeah. Was that, when you were bleeding, was there loads of blood Lauren or was it just like, was it like it normal miscarriage compared to what you had before?
[00:07:40] Lauren: Um, well, like they were both a bit different. So the first one that I had was quite bad. And then the second one I had wasn’t as bad. So it was sort of like the second one. It wasn’t like loads and loads of blood, but it was enough to think, Oh, there’s something not right. Um, so obviously that’s when Alan was like, I’ll take you to the hospital. And thats when we got told, but then obviously two weeks later, Max was still there.
[00:08:05] Carla: Oh, that’s amazing. I love that. Um, so your pregnancy then Lauren, and was that a smooth pregnancy?
[00:08:15] Lauren: Um, I say, I mean I’m lucky that I was pregnant, but this one was tougher compared to the last two I had. So with Mia and Millie. I didn’t have any symptoms. It was just, it was just plain sailing the whole way through. Um but from the minute I got told I was having a miscarriage and I wasn’t I knew that Max was going to be trouble. And so from about, just after I found out that he was obviously still there, um, I had really bad sciatica to the point where I couldn’t. I physically couldn’t get to the toilet, like from the bedroom, which is just the next room along. And cause I was in that much pain just with my back. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t put like weigh on my leg and it got to the point where Alan was having to like help us go to the toilet, like to get to the bathroom.
[00:09:00] And that sort of was until about 30 weeks. And then I’ve got a maternity belt, which sort of just like lifts the pressure off a bit and that did help. Um, And I think what helped as well was that he’d moved positions. So I think the way that he was lying to start with, he was lying on the nerve and then he’d moved. So it like towards the end, it relieved the pressure. Um, but then obviously at 36 weeks, I got told at the midwife appointment that he hadn’t grown. So then we had to go for the emergency growth scan. Um, Which at the time it was when partners couldn’t go with you for emergency like scans and stuff. Had to go to that by myself, with Alan waiting in the car park. Um, and we were told oh yeah, no, he’s fine. I think he’s going to be like the bigger baby out of the three. Um, so Mia was 7 10 and Millie was 8 pound 8 when she was born, so I was like, Oh God, how much bigger is he going to be?
[00:10:02] Carla: Your poor fairy. Oh dear.
[00:10:07] Lauren: And it got to him being born and he was 10 pound one and a half ounce.
[00:10:11] Carla: Oh my goodness. Could you tell, like, obviously I’ve not, I’ve not really experienced like a birth of that size before, so could you tell the difference or not?
[00:10:23] Lauren: No, it just all felt just like the same, like he didn’t look to me any bigger than what Millie was. So they were like, how big do you think is, and I was like eight pound 10? And they were like Oh yeah we think about the same, put them on the scales, they were like oh my god. 10 pound one and a half ounce.
[00:10:40] Carla: Wow. That’s amazing. Well, do you know what? I think sometimes they end up, I don’t know about you, but I notice that a lot of people end up having to go to growth scans quite like towards the end and everyone worries so much. Don’t they? But then, you know, hopefully, well, most of the time it all ends up okay anyway.
[00:10:58] Lauren: Yeah I think it’s just the stress isn’t it of them saying, Oh yeah, your baby’s not growing or your baby’s too big. It’s just. You think the worst don’t you?
[00:11:06] Carla: Oh, God, I’m a nightmare for that. I’m always thinking the worst of every single bloomin’ thing. So yeah, no that that’s it. So when he came out then were you, well then in yourself, when, when he actually was born.
[00:11:20] Lauren: Yeah. So when he was born, I had a lot of blood loss, so I lost 1.5 litres of blood. And, but they think it’s because like the pushing bit, it was only like eight minutes long. So I think because he was a big baby and he was. Um, he came out quickly. They think it was just a lot for my body to handle type thing. And so I lost a lot of blood, I lost 1.5 liters, but it was getting to the point where like my blood was like clotting inside. So. Sorry for too much information, but it got to the point where the midwife had to like put a hand up in that area and like pull the blood out.
[00:12:01] Carla: Oh that’s awful. I remember that with George as well. I had that, and it was just awful like, pulling like, Oh, it’s awful feeling as well. Isn’t it? Yeah.
[00:12:09] Lauren: I know, well, I didn’t think anything was wrong. Like obviously after he was born, I was just lying there as you do, waiting for them to come and check if you’ve had a tear or anything. Um, and. I was like, Oh, Alan have a look I think I’ve lost some more blood and he had a look and he was like Lauren there is loads. I’m going to ring the midwife. I was like, Oh, okay.
[00:12:29] Carla: Were you scared at this point? Or were you still kind of in a bit of a daze?
[00:12:34] Lauren: I was in a bit of a daze, cause I was obviously I’d been on gas and air, so I was just a bit like, you know, when you’re like coming down from gas and air and you’re a bit like God what’s just happened. And so. Yeah, it was just, I didn’t think it was anything wrong. I felt fine in myself. And then obviously when Alan told us I didn’t really panic because he didn’t look worried.
[00:12:55] Carla: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:12:57] Lauren: I think the way he handled it really helped how I handled it type thing.
[00:13:01] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I know what you mean. Oh, it’s scary though, because I think when you lose so much blood, I only remember from George is, I felt like I wasn’t even, I felt like I was just drifting off, but really peacefully. I don’t know why it was a really weird experience. So what happened when they came back in then?
[00:13:21] Lauren: Um, so they were just like oh yeah you’re losing a lot of blood. And then they were just coming in and taking, you know how to put like the pads underneath. And they were just like taking them away and like measuring how much blood was in it and stuff like obviously some was pooling, some was clots coming out. Um, so they just had to measure, like they were just taking it away and measuring it all, and then it got to, I think it was about one litre and they’re like, right we really should be doing something because nothing. Like nothing was, it wasn’t slowing down.
[00:13:51]Carla: Where was it coming from then? Obviously around that area, but what was the reason?
[00:13:56] Lauren: We never really got an answer to be honest and never actually said, or this is the cause of it. They just said, because he was a big baby and he came out so quickly. It’s just one of those, like the didn’t really give a full answer, to be honest. I don’t think I am going to get one. Um, Yeah, I got to about one, one litre. Um, and they were like, we really should be doing something. And then about five doctors came in the room and I was like, Oh my God. And they got like a, a scan, like, uh, do you know when you got like a baby scan? Yeah, we’ve got like one of those machines, but it was portable. So they were like, checking my womb to see if they could see anything. Um, and that’s been the, she was like the head sho, so like the head doctor for that ward, she was like, Oh yeah, I can see you’ve got some blood clots. So I’m just gonna give you gas and air and I’ll just go up and they pull out, obviously it was uncomfortable, but it didn’t hurt or anything. Um, and then I got an injection in my leg. Um, had an allergic reaction to that, but it was more just my leg, like swelled up a little bit
[00:14:59] Carla: Was that to thin the blood? Was that to thin it or?
[00:15:03]Lauren: It was to help control the bleeding. Um, I was given blood thinners, obviously when I was discharged from hospital. Um, I was on them for six weeks.
[00:15:14] Carla: So in the hospital then were you, did the bleeding eventually stop then? Did you get any transfusions?
[00:15:20] Lauren: Yeah, I, yeah, I had to get a blood transfusion. Um, but I didn’t have to go into like theatre or anything for that. It was just literally like a bag, like put in through an IV drip. Yeah. Um, had that, I got IV fluids as well, um, to top everything up. Um, and then it just sort of stopped, stopped by itself. Really? Um, obviously you was still, I was still bleeding because you do after you give birth. Um, but it wasn’t severe and they weren’t worried. And then I had to stay in for, so he was born on the 12th and then I was in for two days, I got discharged on the 14th just because, um, my blood pressure was a bit off. Um, and obviously my iron levels. So I was given iron tablets to help with that as well.
[00:16:11] Carla: Yeah. So then you got home then Lauren and where you’re just settling in to being. Were you, did you feel weak or did you feel any different to what you felt like after having the girls?
[00:16:23] Lauren: No, I didn’t. It was. Like, obviously I could tell that I’d lost blood, and wasn’t weak. It was sort of just like quite lethargic. So we got discharged on the 14th. It was about midday. Um, and I was just, we went to see the girls cause they were at their granddad’s while I was in the hospital and introduced them to Max and I can remember they were like giving me a cuddle, but like I was in so much pain with my tummy and I just thought that it was like, you know, like after you’ve had a baby and you get like your cramps, like the afterbirth cramps. And I just thought it was like that, like, I didn’t think anything of it. But it was like if they touched it, it was really sore. And I just thought it was like everything that had happened. And I was like I’ll see how it is in a couple of days. Um, but I didn’t feel any different to what I felt like after I’d had the girls really just sort of, my tummy was a bit tender really. And then.
[00:17:16] Carla: And that could have been like, that’s easily dismissed though. Isn’t it? Like you say, because of all that, that you went through afterwards, you’d think you would. Well, yeah, I’m probably a bit sore because you know, the doctors had his hands up there, you know, pulling everything out and, um, yeah, it’s just one of those things. So, so then when did things start to kind of turn not so good?
[00:17:37]Lauren: Um, so we went in the car, like just to see my sister, at hers, Like she just had a look through the window at Max and then went to Alan’s mum’s cause they live like close to us. So it wasn’t like, we didn’t go massively out of the way it was just so they could have look through the window.
[00:17:52] And I remember, um, getting to my sister’s and I was like, Oh, do you have like a can of Coke in the house. Cause I felt like I needed sugar. Oh yeah. She brought some out and I had some and I just, I didn’t really. Make a difference. So we got home and I kept saying to Alan like my tummy is really sore. And he was like, Oh, you’ll be it’ll, it’ll be fine. It’ll just be like, after everything that’s happened, you have to give birth to a 10 pound baby. And I was like, Oh yeah. Um, and then it was, we were just like pottering around, like getting the house ready for him and stuff. And, and then it was like about, six o’clock at night. So like just after tea. Um, and I just, I just said, like, I really don’t feel well, and he was like what you mean. I was like, I just don’t feel myself. I was like, I don’t know if I’m just tired. Like I just thought I’d been, cause we’ve done too, I’ve done too much. And I just felt like, you know, we’d been in hospital for what, two, three days, like.
[00:18:51] I think I’m just overtired. And, and I remember my, uh, our friends came around and to see Max and, and Alan and Mike, they left, um, cause they have a Labrador. So they brought the Labrador, they went for like a walk and I was with Angie with Max and I kept saying to her, Oh, are you really cold? Like we’d, had the heating on and I was like, are you really cold? And I was like, shivering. She’s like, Oh no, I’m okay. And I, again, I just thought it was cause I was overtired and. And then I was like, Oh, I’m really tired. I feel like I could just go to sleep. And she was like, Oh, just go to sleep.I was like, no, I’m not, I’m not gonna
[00:19:25] Carla: What time was this then like seven, eight o’clock?
[00:19:28]Lauren: Yeah. And, and I was, I was just like, all right, like I’ll just, I’ll stay awake. I’m not going to go to sleep when you know, I’ve got guests and stuff like got, and they weren’t out that long. And then about half eight, they left. So we came upstairs and I went to have a shower. And I remember getting in the shower. Like I had to get Alan to help me in cause I felt really weak. Um, and I got in the shower when I was having a shower, but the whole time I just felt freezing. Like the shower wasn’t cold, it was hot. And like, I was just freezing. I was just standing in the shower, like I’m really cold. And then I had to get Alan to help us out the shower and I was just like, stood. Like I didn’t have the energy to get dressed. Eventually I put my pyjamas on. And then I still felt really cold. So put my dress like a dressing gown on top and just got into bed and said to Alan like I need to go to sleep. I remember just feeling really tired, like sleepy like I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Um, and then so Alan, was like yeah its fine, I’ll stay up with Max if he wakes up. I mean, luckily it’s been an amazing sleeper, so it wasn’t a massive issue.
[00:20:31] Um, but he was just, he was like, Oh yeah, don’t worry. Like I’ll. I’ll like, get up if we need to get up. I’ll get up with him. Don’t worry, you just get rest. And I remember him waking us up like a few times in the night. Being like are you okay? I was like, yeah, why? He was like, you are breathing really heavy. And I was like, Oh no. I feel like, obviously I wasn’t fine. But I was like, Oh no, I’m fine.
[00:20:53] Carla: Cause when you’re asleep you probably don’t really know, you’re not okay. Do you really?
[00:20:58] Lauren: No like, I, I didn’t think any different of it, you know? I mean, I was just like, Oh. Yeah, I’m fine. Fell back asleep. Like I just remember really struggling to be awake. Like I just wanted to keep my eyes closed and just go asleep. And so then it was the next morning when obviously it all kicked off. Um, And I was really struggling to breathe. And I couldn’t tell at the time, because I was, I was asleep, but it was Alan who woke us up and he’d say, are you okay? Your breathing’s really funny. And I was like, Oh no, like I can’t breathe properly.
[00:21:29] Carla: Oh God, that just makes me feel like I can’t breathe now. You know? Like, did you start then panicking? Like, cause that would make you not be able to breathe more surely?
[00:21:38] Lauren: Yeah not really, I was, I was confused like. I was just a bit like what’s going on. I didn’t really understand like the full extent. I was just like, no, it feels a bit funny. I’m struggling a bit. And then I went to so Alan got up and he, I was like, I really need to go the toilet. So obviously I’ve been sleep all night. I said, I need wee. He was like right. And he got up to help us and like, uh, um, I don’t remember this, but I passed out and I fitted. Um, so, so Alan just was like, right. I’m taking you to hospital, I’m not waiting for an ambulance. Like I’m just going to take you to hospital.
[00:22:11] And he rang the preg, uh, the birthing unit at the hospital, where I gave birth, and they were like, yeah, just bring her in straight away. And we’ll sort it out. We’ll see what’s going on. So, and that was about, by the time I got to the hospital, it was 6:50 AM. Um, and obviously that hospital, luckily you’re allowed to have your partners there and stuff, but because we still had Max, Alan had to drop us off at the main door and I had to go up by myself to the, like to the unit where I was being treated at.
[00:22:46] Carla: Do you remember it all? Or is it all like a blur?
[00:22:49] Lauren: I remember some bits, but I don’t remember all of it. It’s, it’s weird. Like, it’s just, it’s like, it didn’t happen type thing. Um, but yeah, so I went up to the ward, um, and immediately was put in a room. Um, and I remember them asking me like what had happened. I explained everything. Like what I just told you. I explained to them the same. And they were like, right. Okay. We’re going to get a doctor to come and review you. So I took, like, I had a coat on, I had my trainers on, I just took them all off and I was just lying on the bed, like wanting to go to sleep again. So then that happened,I fell asleep like five minutes. And then the doctor came in, asked what had happened. And so I told the doctor, like, what happened. Then the next thing I know there was another midwife had come in and they were doing like swabs and stuff. Um, so I had a COVID swab, uh, had a throat swab and I had a swab from down below as well, just to see if they could sort of get to the bottom of why I was feeling the way that I was. So like in between that I was just on like half hourly observations. Um, when I got admitted to hospital, my temperature was 40.3. My heart rate was 144. So I was tachycardic if that’s how you pronounce it. I was just honestly like completely out of it. Like, I don’t really remember much at all.
[00:24:21] Carla: And it’s frightening that. Were you frightened at the time? Do you remember being frightened or were you okay?
[00:24:28] Lauren: No, I wasn’t then. And there was a point which I’ll explain later on where I was really scared, but at that point I sort of just wanted to know like what was going on and what was like the cause of it all. Um, so. After that, what happened? This, this is what I mean, I remember some bits, but not all of it. Cause I was like dosing in between like people coming in and so at 10 o’clock in the morning
[00:25:00] Carla: So was this when the swabs came back? Did they come back quite quick?
[00:25:04] Lauren: So the COVID swab that was supposed to take two hours, but it didn’t come back until, it was like eight o’clock at night or something ridiculous. Um, but the other two, they came back and the, like, there was nothing on them. Um, so obviously I had to explain and they’d got my notes anyways. So the knew, what happened with like the blood loss and stuff. So had to like go through all that again. So at 10 o’clock I got told that I was going to be going down for a scan on my tummy. Um, so went down from a scan. Um, and came back up and I think it was just after that, that Alan got in after he’d sorted like the girls and Max. And so luckily, like some of the stuff I know is just because Alan was there as well. Um, so yeah, I went for the, went for the scan, um, I was on all sorts of drips, like IV antibiotics, IV paracetamol. Like it was ridiculous. Had like an oxygen thing up my nose to give us more oxygen. Because my oxygen levels were low. So yeah, I had, went through all of that and then it wasn’t until about one o’clock that we got told that it was definitely sepsis and they think, the cause of it was. Uh, leftover pregnancy tissue in the womb.
[00:26:29] Carla: Oh God.
[00:26:31]Lauren: So that’s what we got told was the, was the cause of it. Um, and they’d got that from the scan and they were like, look, we’re going to have to take you down to theatre to operate. Um, but we can’t do that until your COVID swab comes back. I knew, I knew in my heart that it wasn’t COVID. I was, like I know it was not COVID, but obviously they can’t do anything about it until they’ve had that negative result. So it was like just a waiting game really. Alan was there luckily so I wasn’t by myself. Um, but the whole time he was there, I was just out of it. Like, I couldn’t speak, like I was drinking. I had to keep like my fluids up, luckily I was on a drip as well, but I had to keep drinking water too. And. I wasn’t allowed to eat, because obviously I was going down to theatre so, had all that to worry about. Um, and then it was half one when I got told that I was going to that, what the cause of it all was, and then it was half past eight that night, when I got told that I was going to be going down to theatre, and told like what, what was going to happen. And it was basically just an operation to go in and remove that the tissue that had been left over
[00:27:49] Carla: Mm. Was that through like vaginally or did they have to go, cut you open?
[00:27:55] Lauren: So they were, so I was told originally that it was going to be like cut open, like sort of like a cesarian type operation. Um, but then luckily it was able to be done keyhole. So vaginally, it was just, which was lucky.
[00:28:11] Carla: How did they get to that bit though? Like how did they know which, which bit of tissue is like?
[00:28:17] Lauren: I have absolutely no idea. I mean, I could remember them explaining it all, like, obviously I was completely out of it. I didn’t know what was going on. Um, but they did explain it to Alan and they sort of said I think they can go up with like a camera as well. And then the can just, it was, I think the said it was like, it was getting burnt off.
[00:28:37] Carla: Right.
[00:28:38] Lauren: They were going to like burn it off, instead of like pulling it out they were gonna burn it, I think.
[00:28:42] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that sounds painful.
[00:28:46] Lauren: Well, I was under like, um, I was knocked out for it and I don’t remember the actual procedure. Um, but what I do remember when I got told that I was going for an operation, that’s when I was scared. Because obviously I was like, I said to Alan, the first thing I said was I’m going to die. Like I thought I was going to die. Um, he rang, he rang the girls obviously because I was going down for the operation and all I can remember was Mia shouting down the phone I love you mummy. And I just burst out crying, like. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t say it back, but the tears were just pouring out my eyes. Like it was like horrendous
[00:29:21] Carla: Why did you think that? Did you just, were you just so scared at this point now?
[00:29:25] Lauren: Yeah, I think it was just the way that I was feeling and going for the operation. And it was, I think it was just everything just hit us at once. And I said, to Alan like the first thing I said after he hung up the phone, he was, I was like, I’m going to die. He was like, you’re not going to die. I’m not going to let anything happen to you. And I was like, yeah, but you’ve got no control over it. That was when I was scared. Like, I actually, I didn’t think I was going to wake up.
[00:29:52] Carla: And also not, I don’t want to upset you, but not to bring this up. You’ve only recently like lost your mum. Didn’t you really? So then it’s like the whole, the whole thing you’ve come too close to these kinds of things happening before.
[00:30:04]Lauren: I think it was just everything that had happened in the last couple of years, months, days, just hit us, at once. And I was like, I’m not going to make it.
[00:30:15] Carla: God, that’s frightening. So frightening. Oh God, like, so in your head, you know, when you were having that call, did you think that was the last time that you would speak to your children?
[00:30:27] Lauren: Yeah. That was the last time I thought I was going to speak to them. Obviously I couldn’t speak because I was completely out of it. I didn’t have a clue what was going on. And, but that was like, I was like, that’s the last time I’m going to hear their voice.
[00:30:39] Carla: Thats horrible.
[00:30:41] Lauren: It was horrendous. I was heartbroken, but all I wanted to say was I love you so much. And I couldn’t even speak the like I only, just mustered up energy to say to Alan I’m going to die.
[00:30:52] Carla: God, god, I bet you were in shock as well. Like it’s just awful. I mean, awful to even think like that but. Oh God. It’s like a lot to deal with isn’t it?
[00:31:07] Lauren: Yeah. I think it’s one of those things where you don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you. Yeah. You hear about it, but you don’t think, or you think, Oh, that’ll never happen to me.
[00:31:16] Carla: Mm. Yeah, you don’t, you don’t think it well, sepsis is something, you know, we’ve all heard of and you know, I’d never had anyone close to me, it happen to, and then obviously it happened to you and you just, it really opened your eyes to actually, you know, no one is really safe. I mean, you can simply have a water infection and get sepsis can’t you.
[00:31:37]Lauren: Yeah. Yeah like it, it sounds silly, but like me and Alan watch you know, like, um. What’s it called 24 hours in A&E. So we’d like, watch that and it’d be like kids on it that going in with sepsis . And you think oh my God like. And you think, like it’s not going to happen to me, but I feel so sorry for them. I hope I hope they’re okay. And stuff like that. And then it happens, to you and you’re like Oh. It could literally happen to anyone for any reason at all.
[00:32:05] Carla: Frightening. It really is. It’s um, yeah. So, so after the operation, then I am, I mean, I’m guessing, were you asleep a long time or?
[00:32:17]Lauren: Um, so I think I went in, uh, at about half eight, I was taken down and then it was about 10 o’clock when, uh, when I sort of woke up, but I was in like, I was in critical care with oxygen and stuff to start with just in case anything had gone wrong type thing. I don’t know how long the actual procedure was, but I got told once I got moved from critical care, down to where the room Alan was. I was told that it’d gone well and, and everything. So but it was weird, as soon as I had had that operation, I felt fine.
[00:32:55] Carla: That’s so weird. It’s so good that they could pinpoint where it was coming from.
[00:33:00] Lauren: Yeah.
[00:33:02] Carla: Cause what happens when you have sepsis and they don’t know where it’s coming from?
[00:33:06] Lauren: So, well, that happened to me the second time.
[00:33:09] Carla: Oh God. Oh yeah. God Lauren oh no. Yeah. I forgot about this. I remember you went back in, so carry on.
[00:33:20] Lauren: Um, but yeah, so obviously after the operation, I was well fine and got discharged after a couple of days with just oral antibiotics. And they wanted to keep me in because my temperature was still high. Um, but then once I was given the oral antibiotics, it went down and it was sort of, it was just a steady temp, like normal temperature so they were happy for us to go home. And, and then about two weeks later and I was sat just watching telly. And I said to Alan like oh I’m really tired. He was like, Oh, you’ll probably just need to go for nap. And I was like, yeah. And then I was like, I feel like everything hurts. Like I feel achy. And, and like, and then I started shivering and Alan was like oh I wonder if you’ve got like the flu or something. So, um, Because I wasn’t, well, we had asked Alans dad to look after the girls.
[00:34:20] Um, so we came to pick them up and he was like, I think you’ve just got like flu or something. It was that time of year. Was the end of October because I had taken my temperature and it was like 38, 39. I can’t remember exactly. But then I took it again and it had gone down. So it was like just hot and cold type thing. And it was just a feeling like I had the flu. So then Alan was like, look, I’m going to book you in for a COVID test just to be on the safe side. I don’t think that is what it is, but you never know. Um, so that was about, I think about appointment for that test was about four o’clock in the afternoon. So went got the test done came home and then I didn’t feel anywhere near as bad as I did the first time. So I genuinely didn’t think it would be sepsis again. I just thought like flu, um, I’ll feel a bit better in the morning. And then obviously we still had Max cause I’m not ready to let him go.
[00:35:15] Carla: No, no, definitely not. Especially after everything you’ve been through.
[00:35:19] Lauren: And so we still had Max and obviously he’s a brilliant sleeper, like he sleeps, 12 hours at night. So it wasn’t like really an issue. Not an issue, but when you, like, you he didn’t really need looking after as much, because he slept all night. Um, and it got to a point, I think it was about seven o’clock and I was like, I’m going to go to bed. So we went upstairs, and we were watching telly in bed, and I was just like shaking, but I was like. I didn’t feel cold. I didn’t feel like it was a cold shake. I was literally just like proper uncontrollably shaking. Like,
[00:35:50] Carla: Oh God.
[00:35:52] Lauren: So Alan was like are you okay? I was like, I dunno, I just can’t, can’t control it. And then I was doing like my like deep breaths and I thought maybe like, it could be a panic attack related to like how I felt when I first had sepsis, because obviously I was, I had the shivering then. Maybe it just set it all off.
[00:36:11] Carla: Like a trigger or something. Like last time this happened. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:36:17] Lauren: So I thought it might have been that and Alan was like Oh yeah, maybe we’ll see if that happens again. So then it happened again and it was the same like I couldn’t physically stop myself. It took, it was for about a good 10, 20 minutes. Like just of this uncontrollable shaking. So then it got to the point where, um, Alan was still taking my temperature and that, but it wasn’t anything at alarming. It was on the high side of 37, but it wasn’t like anything alarming. Like you would think, Oh my God, you need to go to the hospital. So then I went to sleep. I slept all night, um, and I woke up the next morning, I felt a bit better. And then I got up to go downstairs to make breakfast. And I felt really like I was going to faint. So I managed to not, I managed to not like I just stood still and I took deep breaths and I was like, Alan I feel really like, I’m going to faint. So he came down and then all of a sudden I was just sick in the sink.
[00:37:16] Carla: Oh God.
[00:37:17] Lauren: So that was then Alan was like right Im going ot ring 111 so he rang 111 whilst I was like sat on the chair. He’d brought Max down as well. Um, so I was like, just talking to Max as you do, like just holding him and that. Um, he rang 111, he went through it all with them. And they’re like, right, we’re going to send the emergency ambulance.
[00:37:38]Carla: I bet you were like what?
[00:37:40] Lauren: Yeah. What’s going on. Um, so then they came, I got blue lighted to hospital and explained everything to like the triage nurse and she was like, right. We’re gonna, we’re gonna get you a room on delivery suite. Um, because you’re only. I was only four weeks postpartum. And so, because I was only, I think it goes up to six weeks ago, then you get admitted to an actual ward.
[00:38:12] Carla: Yeah. Apparently that’s when it’s I was just reading about it actually. And it was saying that sepsis can happen. They say postpartum sepsis up to six weeks. Um, so I didn’t know that actually, that’s just another thing to be fearful of. If you, if I ever get pregnant.
[00:38:28] Lauren: God I’m probably scaring everyone from having a baby.
[00:38:33] Carla: No, no, no. It’s important to raise awareness because how would people know? Like you didn’t even know, so at least people know to look out for these things.
[00:38:42] Lauren: Yeah. But then I got admitted to the ward and this was a different hospital to the hospital where gave birth and went the first time it was a different hospital. So they had different rules. So Alan could come that day, but he wasn’t allowed to stay over, which he was allowed the first time. And, and then after that was only one hour period for visiting. So I was like in hospital by myself like most of the time, which I think is what made the whole situation worse.
[00:39:09] Carla: Yeah.
[00:39:10] Lauren: But yeah, so I got admitted into the hospital. Um, and they were like, Oh yeah we think like the sepsis has returned. And I was like, right. Okay. But they were like but we can’t work out where its, like we can’t, pinpoint where it’s coming from. So they took, I had bloods taken, blood cultures taken and I had blood taken from the pulse. I don’t know what that means, but apparently it’s a quicker way of finding out if something’s wrong. And that one hurt, it was like out of my wrist. It was horrendous.
[00:39:40] Carla: Oh God. What, where your pulse is?
[00:39:43] Lauren: Yeah.
[00:39:44]Carla: Oh God, don’t let the sound of that.
[00:39:47] Lauren: It was horrendous. And then I was in, in the room and I was told that I was going to be getting moved, but I couldn’t be moved until I provided a negative COVID result. So they get, they give us another COVID tests at the hospital, but while I was there, I got a test from the one had done the night before with Alan that said it was negative and I showed the hospital. And they were like, Oh, no, we can’t accept that because it hasn’t come from the hospital. I was like, really? Like, this is proven I don’t have, but for that first 24 hour period in the hospital, I was treat as COVID positive. I wasn’t treat for sepsis, I was treat for having COVID.
[00:40:32]Carla: But what if you were to take a turn for the worst?
[00:40:34] Lauren: Well that’s so, obviously Alan came and he was saying the same. He’s like, he’s not like me. Like, I’ll try and be nice about things. He just says what he thinks. He was like the one that was like, Oh, this is ridiculous. Like she needs to be treated for sepsis. You can see she’s had sepsis before. Um, she only had it two weeks ago, this, that, and the other. Um, but they were just saying until we get that negative test we can’t, like treat her properly.
[00:41:02] Carla: Oh my God.
[00:41:03] Lauren: So like. They said it would take2 hours.
[00:41:06] Carla: You could have died during that time and then what?
[00:41:10] Lauren: I know, but I think because the symptoms that had literally, it was like I say, it was nowhere near as bad as the first time. So I literally just felt to me, like I had the flu that’s what I thought it was. I didn’t think I was going to be sepsis again. But when I got admitted, they did say, Oh yeah, we’re going to it’s suspected sepsis. So I sort of knew that it had come back and I was like, it all makes sense really. Like there’s so many different symptoms to look out for, for sepsis. Like, just because you’ve got a few and not all of them doesn’t mean that it isn’t sepsis type thing. So I had like the shivering and I had a temperature and I was like, had the sickness. But because I didn’t have all of them thats normally in the list I didn’t think. Oh yeah. Sepsis again. I just feel like it’s just flu.
[00:41:57] Carla: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:42:00] Lauren: Then obviously, uh, I got put on when they got the test back, to say negative, which I knew it was going to come back negative because I’d already given them that test. They put us on the IV antibiotics again in the IV paracetamol. And I was on that every, I think they had to change it every hour. Um, and then eventually, um, I got moved on to like the postnatal ward there, and I was just in this room by myself and I was just sat there, like at this point, like I was sick. I remember I was so like down and deflated like, hadn’t seen the girls property for what, four weeks, nearly more. I obviously hadn’t hardly been with Max. And when I got discharged from hospital, the first time like I was tired, I didn’t have loads of energy. So like, it wasn’t as if I could be the normal mum that I was type thing.
[00:42:54] Carla: Yeah. It’s that whole time where you want to bond with your baby, that you’ve kind of missed out on. Really?
[00:43:01] Lauren: Yeah. So I remember like after obviously them saying it was sepsis and the antibiotics and I remember saying like, look. I want to go home. I don’t want to be in hospital. I was like, is there anything that we can do type thing. And then we’re like, you still got a temperature, so we’ll wait until like your temperature regulates and then we’ll see what happens. So that was like on the second day, on the third day, I was just completely was just sick of my life. Like I was just crying the whole time or I was just so down and I was just like, look, I just want to be with my kids. I was like, Surely like you can just give us some antibiotic type thing and send us home.
[00:43:41] And then they were like we can’t work out what the cause, what tipped it off for me was that they couldn’t make out what the cause of the infection was. They talk like three, lots of blood, three blood cultures, and they still didn’t know what was causing it. I was just saying, look, I want to go home.
[00:43:57] Carla: How do they treat that then? Just give you antibiotics till it goes.
[00:44:01]Lauren: Yeah. Basically. So what’s happened is the first time I was sent home with antibiotics, but those anitbiotics weren’t strong enough, to kill the infection that was there within the set period of time. So when I’d come off the antibiotics after a couple of days, that’s when I started feeling poorly again. So it was just the antibiotics weren’t long enough or strong enough.
[00:44:26] Carla: Right? Yeah. Gosh, that’s frightening. Isn’t it? Cause you think that just gives you the strongest ones wouldn’t they just to make sure a hundred percent its gone.
[00:44:34] Lauren: Well, you would like to think so, but you never know do you, you don’t know anything. Once I got home, took those antibiotics, when that had finished like, I’ve been fine since it hasn’t come back. And that was the end of October last year, so yeah.
[00:44:54] Carla: Very good.Yeah, yeah, no. So that, that, I mean, it’s not, it’s not likely to come back. Hopefully there now.
[00:45:03] Lauren: No. Not, not unless I get it from something else that if I get another infection or something.
[00:45:08]Carla: It’s frightening though that, because you get scared, then every time you feel a bit under the weather, I imagine like, you’d be terrified.
[00:45:17] Lauren: You do think the worst. Especially like, after like going through it the first time. And obviously I was so poorly and then the whole second, like, I didn’t even think it will come back the second time, but it did. You just think anything like I’ve got a cold now. I don’t know if you can tell, but like it’s just completely knocked me. Like normally with a cold, I’d be fine. But like the past couple of days, I’ve just been like, I just want to stay in bed. I don’t want to get a up.
[00:45:45] Carla: Scared.
[00:45:45] Lauren: Yeah. It’s just that, it’s just knocked me completely. Like, I’m just.
[00:45:52] Carla: I can understand it though, because it’s like, you know, you can sadly, you can get sepsis from literally anything can’t you like. You know, I think you can get it from like a splinter in your finger can’t you or something if it gets infected.
[00:46:05] Lauren: So this is like the thing, right? It sounds stupid. But like we had, um, my friend’s Labrador round and she jumped up and she managed to scratch my leg. It was dead sore. And I was like, now I’m going to get sepsis again. Like anything. Now I’m just like, I’m going to get it again.
[00:46:23] Carla: Yeah its frightening. But the good thing is you need to think is probably, you know, what it feels like, or if you don’t feel quite right. I don’t think you’d wait this time. Do you know what I mean? Like you think how lucky you were really from people that get sepsis can be ill within a few hours and that’s it. Where as you actually went to bed that night. Obviously you must have had it at six o’clock the night before, and then you went to bed and yeah, you were breathing funny and everything, but you managed to get through like the whole next day and everything. Um, But it’s just, Oh, it’s frightening anyway. I’m scared of anything anyway, because I’m just really bad, but I can imagine for you, that’ll just be one of those things for, probably for the rest of your life. You will, you’ll never forget will you?
[00:47:13] Lauren: No. I mean, I, it was horrendous. Like it got, even for Alan he was, if I didn’t have him, I would be, I would have been screwed. Cause like it got to the point where he was sleeping on hospital floors. Like. Because it’s the first time the hospital, like you could only have the bed from 10 o’clock, but obviously, cause I was like poorly and I was sleeping a lot. Like he was just trying to sleep when I was sleeping. So when I was awake he could look after us type thing. It got to the point where it was like sleeping on the floor. He didn’t eat for three days when I was at hospital. Like it’s just crazy. Like what, what, it’s not just me. It’s like obviously affected him mentally. Like he was, he won’t talk about he’s like I don’t want to talk about it cause it’s just completely. One of those things that’s just stressed them out.
[00:47:59] Carla: Yeah. It’s awful.
[00:48:01] Lauren: It affects everyone. Like, and I just remember walking into the house after they were at their Nanas and I went to her house to see the girls and they just looked at us and they were like confused. And they were like mummy you’re back? Like completely confused and it’s just affects everyone. Doesn’t it like, it’s not just me, obviously I went through it, but they have as well mentally.
[00:48:28] Carla: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. They’ve had to go without their mummy and not nice as a it’s it’s awful. The whole thing. Um, It’s awful. So what you know afterwards, did you, did it take you awhile to actually feel a hundred percent or did you kind of bounce back quite quickly?
[00:48:46] Lauren: So I still don’t feel a hundred percent. Um, obviously it’s, my main thing. My main issue is when I got discharged from hospital, I was just sent home. I wasn’t told, like you may get some side effects from it, or you might feel like this. I have to do all that research myself and I can remember like, Oh, it was, I was just constantly tired, obviously you’re going to be tired after what you’ve just been through and having a baby, but this is a, to the point where I was, I just had no energy at all. Like I was, I struggled to get up the stairs, like type thing.
[00:49:21] Carla: Oh God.
[00:49:23] Lauren: So I think that the physical side being like of being lethargic, massively, massively tired. I mean, thats got a bit better. Muscle weakness, uh, like breathlessness. So like when I say I was struggling, to get up the stairs, I couldn’t get half way without feeling out of breath. I had like joint and muscle pains, like insomnia. Like I still hardly sleep.
[00:49:50] Carla: Do you think you suffering like with your mental health cause of all this or not?
[00:49:54] Lauren: Probably yeah. And I think, yeah. I mean, definitely, definitely. Sort of got, postnatal anxiety from leaving Max, it sounds so stupid, but like I was in the car when he went and got his first needles. And you were probably the same as me. You don’t want to take them for the needles because they cry. So Alan went in. So, um, And like I was in the car. I wasn’t far from him, but the whole time he wasn’t next to us and I couldn’t see him. I was really anxious. Like I was stressed. It was a worst thing. And I knew he was safe. Cause obviously he was with Alan. But like in the thought of just like, obviously like as, his Nanna his grandad, they are like oh can I have him like overnight when I’m allowed. And like the thought of it just I’m like, no, I can’t bear the thought of him not being next to us.
[00:50:46] Carla: No, no, it’s, it’s so scary. Isn’t it just, I mean, why, what do you find that you’re up in the night for just like you can’t sleep thinking about it or?
[00:50:57] Lauren: Well, it’s not necessarily what happened. It’s just, I can’t sleep ever since being in hospital the first time I just can’t sleep like it, like. The girls go to sleep at about seven, half seven, Max is the same. And obviously we’ve got Marley um, who’s a puppy and she’ll like sleep in a bed or she’ll sleep on our bed. And because she’s a puppy, she sleeps quite a lot. So like, if it’s quiet and nothing’s going on then Alan will fall asleep quite early, which is fine. Um, but I’ll be still sat up until about 11, 12 o’clock not doing anything, not thinking of anything I’m stuck. I can’t sleep. Yeah. It’s just weird, like I just don’t. I’m tired and
[00:51:40] Carla: Can you not relax anymore as much.?
[00:51:42]Lauren: No, I can’t. I have tried a bath, I’ve tried like the whole self care, tried face masks.
[00:51:49]Carla: What about a magazine, a good magazine?
[00:51:51] Lauren: Nothing works. I’ve tried reading. I’ve tried listening to music, like just having the telly makes, them calming apps nothing, nothing works. I just can’t sleep.
[00:52:01] Carla: No, you can’t switch off. Yeah. Oh, it’s frightening. Isn’t it? Well I mean, the whole thing you’ve been through like a really traumatic, would you say six months? It must be now. Is it?
[00:52:15] Lauren: Yeah. About yeah, five, six months.
[00:52:18] Carla: Yeah. God, and really it wasn’t that long ago at all. It’s it’s frightening really. And what you’ve been through will, it will probably bother you for a while. I mean, you might actually find that you want to talk to someone about it, you know, just to kind of get it out.
[00:52:35] Lauren: Yeah. I’ve been in touch with the UK Sepsis Trust. I have been in touch with their support team.
[00:52:42] Carla: You’ve chosen them as your charity for My Bump 2 Baby Newcastle. Haven’t you?
[00:52:46] Lauren: Yeah I have yes.
[00:52:47]Carla: I love that. No we’ll put a link to that in the, um, in the notes to this episode. Um, but you’ve got, um, a blog that you’ve written on, on your whole story, which is really, really well written as well. Um, and I’ll put the link to that in the, in the notes here too.
[00:53:05] Lauren: Yes. Um, the sepsis one, I haven’t fully finished, but it’s nearly finished. Its just taking a while.
[00:53:11] Carla: Well, the thing is there’s a lot to it. Isn’t there?
[00:53:14]Lauren: Yeah. It’s not as if it’s just like one story it’s like loads of little ones and one big one.
[00:53:19] Carla: Yeah. And then it’s like, sometimes you would just might not be ready to press that button because there’s still other things that you want to include and stuff. Has it affected like you with your bonding with Max or do you think it’s. It’s not really. How, how do you think that’s been?
[00:53:37] Lauren: No, that I’m obsessed with him. He’s like my little, obviously I love all my kid, um, but like, he’s just my little best friend, like, anything I’m just like, I’ll change all his nappies, I’ll feed him. Like no one gets a look in. He’s just my little boy.
[00:53:55] Carla: Love that . Oh Lauren, thank you so much, um, for coming on and talking about that. Um, if anyone’s got any questions, are they okay to message you about?
[00:54:04] Lauren: Yeah of course.
[00:54:06]Carla: That’s brilliant. And is there, what we’ll do is we’ll put a link to the, the symptoms as well. Like you said, you might not necessarily have all of them.
[00:54:16] Lauren: Yes.
[00:54:17] Carla: Thank you, Lauren, for sharing your story. And I’m so glad you’re better. I was worried about you at the time. It was worrying.
[00:54:24] Lauren: I say to Alan, like, you know, when I told you to ring Carla, he was like yeah, I was like what did you say? He’s like I can’t remember. I was like oh god I can just imagine her reaction.
[00:54:32] Carla: Oh, I was like what? what? Oh no. Oh, I was so upset. Really, really upset me, but I’m just so glad you’re okay now, um,.
[00:54:42] Lauren: Getting there.
[00:54:43] Carla: Yeah, you are, you getting there and, you know, thanks so much for sharing it because I just think it’s something that more people need to be aware of after birth, because it can happen can’t it up to six weeks after these kinds of things can happen.
[00:54:57] Lauren: Yeah, it is. It’s scary. Like, like you say, you don’t, you don’t realize until you actually go through it.
[00:55:04] Carla: No, absolutely. No. Everyone needs to be careful of that kind of thing and look out for it. So thanks very much, Lauren. And could you just tell our listeners where they can find you if that’s okay?
[00:55:17] Lauren: So I’m on instagram and my user name is @thenewcastlemum all one word. And my Facebook page is the same as just The Newcastle Mum.
[00:55:29] Carla: Perfect. Perfect. So thanks very much for being our guests today, Lauren.
[00:55:34] Lauren: No problem. I’ve enjoyed it thank you.
[00:55:36] Carla: I loved it. It’s brilliant. Thank you. Well, I say it’s brilliant. That sounds a bit bad. I mean, I’ve loved having a chat about it. I’m just glad you’re okay. Now. Thank you.
[00:55:49] Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of 50 Shades of Motherhood. 50 shades of motherhood is all about being free, being real, being raw and saying what you want to say without fear of judgment. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please, please share it with your friends. You never know who it might help.
[00:56:13] Not everyone is so open about sharing their stories. So it’s really important to raise awareness around topics so that it can help other people feel less alone. And also if you don’t mind reviewing us and subscribing, that would be amazing. It means the more listeners we have, the more podcasts that I can create.
[00:56:35] So thank you once again for listening. If you want to make any suggestions for future episodes, please pop me an email over my email address is [email protected] And I look forward to speaking to you next time on 50 Shades of Motherhood.