Louise Thompson's three words to partner during harrowing birth before 'blacking out'

Louise Thompson was 'overjoyed' when she learned she was pregnant with her son Leo but now she's admitted she will never carry another child.

Having previously endured a devastating miscarriage at eight weeks, Louise and her partner Ryan Libbey were delighted when they reached the 12-week mark, and the former Made in Chelsea star felt she was finally 'part of a club' she'd longed to 'join for a long time'.

To her horror, however, a traumatic labour 'destroyed everything good in [Louise's] life', after her womb tore during her baby's delivery, resulting in her nearly bleeding to death. As detailed in her new memoir, Lucky: Learning To Live Again, the 34-year-old, who is narrow with a 'tiny pelvis', enquired about an elective cesarean, but her concerns were 'brushed aside' by a midwife, who reassured her she was 'fit, healthy and low risk'.

After 'begging and pleading' for months for a C-section without avail, 5ft Louise, whose anxieties were heightened following a near-fatal house fire, gave up asking. On November 14, 2021, Louise's contractions started, beginning a nightmarish ordeal that left her feeling as though she was a dead body on a trolley, 'waiting to be put in a bag'.

Blood soaked delivery

louise thompson's three words to partner during harrowing birth before 'blacking out'

Louise Thompson

louise thompson's three words to partner during harrowing birth before 'blacking out'

Louise Thompson

In her candid new book, Louise opened up about asking for an epidural at the birthing centre, 'long past the point of being able to withstand the pain'. Staff agreed, but it took an excruciating two and a half hours for one to be administered.

Louise repeatedly asked for a c-section, only to be told to just 'keep going' through pain she describes as 'beyond endurance'. After a night of agony, a midwife determined at 8 am the following morning that Leo's head was 'stuck at an awkward position' in Louise's pelvis - confirming her worst fears.

Eventually, Louise was taken for an emergency c-section, where 'frantic' medics worked to save her and baby Leo. Remembering the scene of 'pandemonium' that ensued, Louise recounted: "I am lying on a surgical bed and there is panic all around. I can see immense amounts of my blood splattering all over the curtain where they are cutting me open and then splashing onto the floor below.

"A lot of technical terms are being shouted across the room and there is alarm in the voices. More medics come dashing in; it feels like chaos. Pandemonium. I know I am losing blood and they can't stop the bleeding. I know this because I can feel it. They are right up against my lungs trying to stem the haemorrhage.

"Ryan's face is next to mine and I am turning to him to look him in the eye. 'Am I alive? Am I alive?' I keep repeating. 'Yes, you're here, I'm with you', he tells me. But I believe that I am dying and I can tell from his face that he does too. And I think: at least Ryan is with me. At least I'm not going to die alone."

Eventually, Louise heard a 'tiny cry' as Leo was pulled out of her body and taken away, without any reassurances. Her terror was sadly far from over.

Terrifying haemmorage

louise thompson's three words to partner during harrowing birth before 'blacking out'

Louise Thompson

louise thompson's three words to partner during harrowing birth before 'blacking out'

Louise Thompson

A nicked artery during the birth meant that Louise then had to endure a three-hour operation to stem a life-threatening haemorrhage. The mum-of-one was conscious throughout the surgery, during which she lost more than three litres of blood.

Louise wrote: "Again, they can't stop the bleeding and there's another scramble to fix whatever they've obliterated inside me. For more than three harrowing hours, I am worked on in that operating theatre. I'm awake throughout, hearing the panicked voices, feeling every pummel, witnessing the loss of blood, without a single word of comfort or explanation of what is happening.

"Eventually, they staunch the haemorrhage and I black out from exhaustion. The next thing I know I am being moved on to a metal trolley. In my brain, I am one hundred per cent sure that I'm in heaven. I am dead. The surgery has failed. It's my dead body on this trolley, waiting to be put in a bag."

After being discharged from the hospital, Louise suffered yet another serious bleed at home in the middle of the night. This time, she lost more than five litres of blood and required several transfusions. She has since undergone several surgeries, including having her colon partly removed and an operation to have a stoma bag fitted.

During a recent interview with Lorraine Kelly, Louise explained that she now won't be able to have another pregnancy. She shared: "I will never be mentally strong enough to carry another child, I have Asherman's syndrome where my uterus is glued together. I had a year with no periods. I had surgery to fix that and then I had another haemorrhage. Doctors said we do not want to risk doing more surgery in that area, we want you to live."

'Stinging' blow from partner

louise thompson's three words to partner during harrowing birth before 'blacking out'

Louise Thompson

louise thompson's three words to partner during harrowing birth before 'blacking out'

Louise Thompson and Ryan Libbey

During her chat with Lorraine, Louise spoke of the enormous toll her harrowing birth and subsequent health issues had taken on her and Ryan's relationship, stating that they had 'no relationship' in the 'early days'.

Louise, who first met personal trainer Ryan at a gym in 2016, shared: "We were both so traumatised dealing with our own versions of PTSD and he [Ryan] is still not in a place where he feels ready to start proper therapy yet. When I finally did come home after spending near enough a month in hospital, he would lie awake all night checking on me all night, worried that I was going to die."

In Lucky, Louise admitted that the intense strain very nearly led to Ryan breaking off their relationship altogether, writing: "I've asked him if he thought about leaving me and he said yes. Ouch. That stung. But he also knew he never would go through with it. He said: 'I was struggling and thought a lot about a different life. But in the same way I never really believed you would take your own life, I never believed I would walk away'."

In an Instagram post shared this week, Louise told followers that Ryan had taken a trip to Cornwall in a bid to 'prioritise his mental health'. Louise explained: "Ryan has fled the nest and gone on a long 'longed for' trip away - He's driven to the North coast of Devon in an attempt to find peace and solitude and to try to learn how to surf. Over the last couple of weeks, we've both racked our brains to search for things that might make us more 'happy' and his brain has taken him to some nostalgic activities from his childhood, namely watching his cousin surf in Devon."

Praising Ryan's decision, Louise added: "Anyway, he has impressed me with his effort and endeavour to prioritise his MH. There is no doubt that trauma affects the whole family and he's been carrying some weight on his shoulders for a while now. I like to think I'm relatively relaxed in our relationship, especially when it comes to making separate plans and I'm genuinely really happy that we've been able to make the trip work for both his sake and mine.

"His happiness = a better relationship. He always comes back actually liking me as a person again. And I like him more too. It also signifies that I'm doing well."

PTSD and aftermath

louise thompson's three words to partner during harrowing birth before 'blacking out'

Louise Thompson with her son, Leo-Hunter

louise thompson's three words to partner during harrowing birth before 'blacking out'

Ryan Libbey and Louise Thompson with their son, Leo-Hunter

Speaking recently with ITV News, Louise spoke of the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) she suffered following Leo's traumatic birth, stating: "I will never get that time back with my son that I lost in the beginning and equally I will have to live with PTSD for the rest of my life. It's not something you can cure. It's not going to disappear."

In the interview, which aired this week, Louise also spoke of how she has tried to 'focus on the good stuff' in the aftermath of her ordeal, explaining: "I did start to see more of the positives in life: I felt lucky for living close to a hospital, for looking after myself my whole life, so that my body was able to recover, and for having a healthy son that survived.

"Obviously for surviving myself too, having a partner and having family close by and just being really, really grateful for those things, because I know that there are a lot of people that are less fortunate. That that's why I feel lucky, because I'm here."

Louise Thompson's memoir Lucky: Learning To Live Again was published by Ebury Spotlight today (May 23). You can currently pick up a copy from Waterstones for the reduced price of £17.99.

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