Baby's Fingernail Almost Kills Mom During Delivery

OMG 18

fingernailPregnancy can be a nerve-wracking experience. I don't know any first-time mom who wasn't anxious about the delivery. Will it hurt? How long will it take? But there are some things you never expect. Like the 32-year-old woman who was nearly killed by her unborn child's fingernail.

Sounds crazy, but it's true.

After delivering five-week premature twins, Angela Cottam almost died after what doctors suspect was a fingernail or hair from one of the babies passed into her bloodstream during the delivery.

More from The Stir: Baby Delivered From Dead Mom Dies Just 8 Days After Birth

It's an incredibly rare occurrence, but a potentially fatal one. Cottam suffered internal bleeding and collapsed lungs. She lost seven pints of blood, needed 22 transfusions, and was in a coma for 12 hours. Her family was told to prepare for the worst. Thankfully everything turned out fine and she is now caring for her two girls.

"I feel so lucky to be here and really blessed that both the girls are with us because it could have been so different," said Cottam. "There are moments when I've been on my own, and I've had a little cry and thought 'What if?' But I try not to dwell on that and just thank my lucky stars the doctors and midwives on duty that day recognized what was happening." What an amazing reminder that a miracle takes place with every safe delivery.

Have you ever heard of a medical mishap like this? What other rare delivery complications have you known of?


Image via rumpleteaser/Flickr

delivery, labor, labor & delivery


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kever... keversole

oh my gawd....this is terrifying to me

azpre... azpreemiemom

I know a woman who died from an amniotic embolism last year (what this is called)

nonmember avatar Lorrie

Actually this is not as rare as you might think, it just usually occurs in a much less threatening form. It is caused by an embolism entering Mom's bloodstream during placental separation, when the uterine wall is still uncontracted and it is possible for debris to enter her bloodstream. The most common form of debris causing this is lanugo, the ultra fine hair on a newborn's body, which is present in the amniotic fluid. The fingernails of 35 week twins (5 weeks premature as this story states) are so soft and short as to be extremely unlikely to tear off and be floating, but preemies usually still have a great amount of lanugo hair...which makes that a more likely culprit. Symptoms, usually nt life threatening include a cough, possibly wheezing or mild chest discomfort, or a feeling of "air hunger" if the lungs develop a large amount of congestion. Of course, the larger the debris, the greatr the possibility of a life threatening crisis. This situation can also occur due to air bubbles ("air embolism") or blood clots ("thrombo emboli") entering the mpther's bloodstream. Again, this almost always happens at the time of placental separation, whether naturally occurring following birth, or possibly associated with traumatic injury such as a blow to the abdomen, car accident, etc. Very scary indeed, but the serious cases are indeed very rare...definitely not something an expectant mother should stress herself by dwelling on.

Courtnut Courtnut

I hemorrhaged at my moms when my daughter was 12 days old. I stopped breathing, it was massive.

monke... monkeymom1104

A mothers hair wrapped around the base of a newborns tongue, that caused the tongue to swell and the neonate had to be tubed and sedated and the hair removed. It happens a lot with homemade blankets too. This happened hours after birth.

monke... monkeymom1104

@ Lorrie... correct, a large majority of the time they are unable to determine what caused the clot. If of course it is a artifact of pregnancy/ Birth and not a underlying precondition of the mother brought to light by the trauma of L&D

Panda... Pandapanda

This is also increasingly common in cesarean sections.

heyth... heythereelizah

So glad I'm done having my own children...

ashjo85 ashjo85

Who just saw that scene from Juno reading that title? "Fingernails!"

nonmember avatar anonymous

Immediately after delivering my daughter, I hemorrhaged. The cause of it turned out to be placenta accreta - when you no longer have contractions and can't/don't birth your placenta. In the end I lost 2 liters of blood, had several transfusions and had to rushed to ER to have it manually removed. Everything is fine now, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't terrified of giving birth again. Your chances increase for many reasons. Reasons which I unfortunately qualify for. One of which is having already had it once, plus developing more scar tissues (which can be a contributing factor) in the uterine lining because of it.
Although I would like to have one more baby (to make 2), I probably will not. The risk is just too high.

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