A mother whose baby was stillborn while critically ill in hospital with Covid-19 has urged people to get vaccinated to avoid the “agony” of becoming critically ill.
Rachel, 38, whose last name was not revealed, was so ill she didn’t realize she had given birth to their son Jaxon in August at 24 weeks.
She had gone to her vaccine while pregnant last year, but said at this early stage of introduction there was still uncertainty about whether expectant women should have it.
She said she and her family were “devastated” by their loss and urged people to take up the offer of jabs.
She said: “I initially went to get the vaccine but the advice at the time was not to have it.
“I thought I had the vaccine when I had the baby, but it wasn’t to be.”
As more and more data has emerged showing that the vaccine is safe, there have been repeated calls for pregnant women to be vaccinated.
Earlier this week, the Department for Health and Social Care cited statistics from the UK’s Obstetrics Surveillance System showing that 96.3% of pregnant women hospitalized with Covid-19 symptoms between May and October were unvaccinated, a third of whom required respiratory support.
Rachel, from Bilston in Wolverhampton, was in a coma and hospitalized for three and a half months after contracting the virus.
She said she would encourage everyone to get vaccinated.
She said, “I’d say go for it — it’s a two-minute thing that can save months of agony if you end up like me.”
In November last year, experts warned that while uptake of the vaccine among pregnant women is improving, they are concerned that some groups are avoiding the shots, including younger women, people in the most deprived areas and black and ethnic women minorities.
Rachel said it’s “really important” that everyone gets their jabs.
Of her loss, she said: “I actually didn’t know I had given birth. I was on drugs so they wanted to tell me when I wasn’t sedated and the obstetrician informed me a few days later.
“My feelings were in disbelief – in a minute you had a scan and a gender reveal, you’re naming the baby and getting excited, and then there was this sudden loss.
“I only got to see him once. Normally I could have spent a lot more time with him and held him. But I didn’t get to that because of the circumstances.”
She said things have been difficult for her partner and 18-year-old son.
“We are all devastated by our loss,” she said. “We were all very excited about this new life, then we were left with nothing.”
Rachel thanked the Integrated Intensive Care Unit (ICCU) staff at New Cross Hospital and Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for their care.