THIS is the touching moment a mum met her baby for the first time seven days after giving birth and being left fighting for her life.
Emilie Gentry almost died after contracting a bacterial infection, chorioamnionitis, which affects the membranes of the uterus and the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby.
SWNS:South West News Service This is the emotional moment Emilie met her son, Edward, for the first time
SWNS:South West News Service After Edward was born her was rushed to intensive care while Emile was also rushed to intensive care battling a deadly infection
The executive assistant was forced to undergo an emergency c-section at 39 weeks when her blood pressure dropped to a dangerously low level and doctors couldn’t detect her baby’s heartbeat.
The 28-year-old had also developed a high fever from the infection that spread to her blood to cause septic shock.
During surgery doctors discovered her womb had started filling with pus and her lungs, kidneys and liver were in the early stages of failure.
Emilie’s surgeon, at Providence Hospital in Washington, delivered her son Edward Jack on August 24, 2016 but he didn’t cry – sparking fears something was terribly wrong.
Mum Emilie Gentry who was not able to see her newborn for a week after battling septic shock plays and laughs with her boy
SWNS:South West News Service Emilie was suffering from an intrauterine infection that caused her organs to begin shutting down
SWNS:South West News Service Emilie, pictured with her fiance Billy and stepson Hank, wasn’t able to meet Edward for seven days
A team of doctors worked on baby EJ for six minutes until his heart started to beat and he was taken by ambulance to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Emilie, from Lynnwood, Washington, wasn’t able to meet her son before he was rushed to the ICU in critical condition as doctors worked to contain her infection.
The mum received two blood transfusions and was placed on dialysis to stop the spread of the infection.
Emilie saw baby EJ for the first time 24 hours after giving birth on Facetime thanks to her sales manager fiancé Billy, 39, who travelled more than 60 miles a day between hospitals.
SWNS:South West News Service Emilie met Edward after Billy brought him in to visit from the intensive care ward
SWNS:South West News Service Hank and Edward are now the best of friends, Emilie said
Seven days after her traumatic labour, EJ was discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit and Emilie was able to hold him for the first time.
“The first time I saw my baby was on Facetime. I remember seeing his cute little face and I just knew I had to talk to him,” she recalled.
“As soon as he heard my voice I could tell he recognized it. He gave the cutest little smile.
“I couldn’t bear the idea that he was hurting in another hospital. It was heart-wrenching.
“I didn’t meet him until he was seven days old.
SWNS:South West News Service Little Edward didn’t breathe for six minutes after he was born
SWNS:South West News Service Emilie said meeting Edward was the most important moment in her life
“On August 31, Billy walked into my hospital room carrying this little bundle.
“It was so overwhelming, it was the most powerful moment of my life when I finally got to meet my baby.
“When he was put into my arms he immediately cuddled into me. He was like ‘This is my mum’.”
Emilie was discharged from hospital the next day but struggled to bond with baby EJ and would regularly have nightmares about her time in hospital.
SWNS:South West News Service Emilie saw Edward for the first time over Facetime a couple of days after he was born
She was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and post-partum depression, but a combination of medication, therapy and family support groups have seen her mental health improve.
“In the months after I would wake up screaming. My nightmares were so bad. I was diagnosed with PTSD and I struggled to bond with my baby.
“It was very traumatic but I’m in a good place now.”
Emilie will not suffer any long term health problems but the couple have decided not to have any more children.
SWNS:South West News Service Emilie with her fiance Billy, step son Hank and Edward who is now two
Frightened by the experience, the couple agreed that Billy would have a vasectomy.
“I’m very lucky that there has been no long-term damage to my health,” she said.
“My doctor said my case was the closest thing to a maternal death she’s experienced in 20 years.
“There wasn’t any long-term damage to my uterus but my husband decided to get a vasectomy.
“He said he couldn’t lose me or go through that again.
“Emotionally that’s been very hard for me.”
A DANGEROUS INFECTION THAT AFFECTS PREGNANT WOMEN
Chorioamnionitis or intrauterine infection is infection within the womb.
It usually affects:
the membranes that surround the baby the umbilical cord and/or the amniotic fluid
It occurs when the womb, amniotic fluid and the environment in which the baby develops become infected with bacteria.
It’s often natural bacteria that women carry in their vaginal tract or skin like E.coli or strep, but when it enters a place it shouldn’t be, like the womb, it can cause serious problems.
If the infection reaches the womb it can cause:
inflammation a high temperature a foul-smelling vaginal discharge fast pulse pain in the abdomen
If you are pregnant and have any of these symptoms you should speak to a GP as soon as possible.
Emilie, who is also step-mum to Billy’s son Hank, nine, initially worried Edward would have serious health problems after being deprived of oxygen for so long after he was born.
But the now two-year-old is thriving despite some developmental delays.
“It did take EJ a little bit longer to roll over but once he did he was crawling and running quite quickly,” Emilie said.