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It Took 8 Blood Donations To Save My Life

Thursday 10th May 2018

As a midwife, Rae was so excited to become pregnant herself. When the time finally came, the pregnancy was a dream, just as she'd hoped. The birth, however, was a different story.

It took me and my husband John three years to fall pregnant. In fact, after being told by our doctors it would be nearly impossible, I gave up. But as we walked out of that doctor’s office, John reminded me 'miracles happen every day, Raelene.' And six months later, our dream came true.

Our pregnancy journey

I was 6 weeks along when I discovered I was pregnant. I can still remember the night I found out. I was on duty as a midwife and called John in the early hours of the morning to share the exciting news. We were both so overjoyed! We wanted this so badly.

For me, pregnancy was everything I dreamed it would be. Yes, there were times I’d feel tired or sore, but overall it was an amazing experience. For John, it was a slightly different story. Everything was so new and foreign to him; he didn’t quite know what to do or how to support me.

Welcoming baby Poppy

I wanted my birth experience to be as magical as my pregnancy, but after nine months of bliss, my intense labour began without warning. John rushed me to the hospital, where I tried to follow my natural birth plan. Even as a midwife, nothing prepares you for childbirth. 24 hours of intense contractions and what felt like every kind of pain relief, I was wheeled in for an emergency caesarean.

While the thought of a c-section can be quite terrifying for couples, John was relieved. The labour had gone on for so long that he was nervous something was wrong. When Poppy was born we were amazed at how beautiful and perfect our baby was. I locked eyes with her and we bonded instantly.

But then things took a turn for the worse

While I was trying to breastfeed Poppy for the first time, my midwife and I both heard a sound. Panicked, I asked her what it was, but the expression on her face said it all. Her incredible intuition and experience saved my life. That sound was my uterus hemorrhaging.

As John walked towards my room, he was confronted by the resuscitation trolley being rushed passed as someone shoved our new daughter into his arms. Everyone ran to the operating theatre without stopping to tell him what had happened. Feeling helpless, he looked down at our newborn baby wondering what he was supposed to do.

Why we need your blood

One week and 8 units of donated blood later, I was finally able to take Poppy home. Ever since, whether it’s for my birthday, or Christmas, having people donate blood on my behalf is always at the top of my list.

I now work as a registered nurse for the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood in Albury. I absolutely love my job – every day I get to reflect on how important one donation can be. I am so grateful for the blood transfusions that not only saved my life, but let my daughter keep her mummy. 

We encourage you to do something life-changing during a time your own life is changing. If your partner is pregnant, donating blood is a simple and powerful way to show your support: she gives birth, you give blood.