IF House Rules contestant Kate Whiting had arrived at Adelaide’s Flinders Medical Centre just 24 hours later – she and her little boy Xavier might not be celebrating Mother’s Day today.
Whiting, who appears alongside partner James ‘Harry’ Harris in the Channel 7 reality show, was induced at 37 weeks after suffering dangerously high blood pressure, a low platelet count and failing kidneys.
Although a healthy 28-year-old, Whiting had been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a condition affecting pregnant women which in its most severe cases, can be fatal to both mother and baby.
“Once I was induced, it all went pear-shaped. The medication to lower my blood pressure wasn’t working so they started giving me anti-seizure medicine,” Whiting said.
“Initially the focus was on Xavier but when the (doctors’) focus turned to me that’s when I thought, ‘Oh, this isn’t good. They’re talking about taking me to ICU’,”.
With a family history of death during childbirth, Whiting’s mother, a nurse, and sister, a midwife, arrived at the hospital concerned for her welfare.
“My great-grandmother died delivering my Nanna. So that’s what Mum was thinking of at the time. I could tell how worried they were,” she said.
Harris remembers the alarming scene. “Sh*t started getting hectic. All the doctors were walking really fast, in and out of the room.”
“I kept asking, ‘Is she going to be OK? Is the baby going to be OK? Why are there so many doctors here?’,”.
As her condition worsened, Whiting was rushed into surgery for an emergency caesarean.
In a matter of minutes, she dilated from five-10cms and delivered baby Xavier on the surgery table. Amazed doctors recorded the birth as a case study.
Despite his dramatic entrance, baby Xavier – now 2 years – was found to be in perfect health at 2.45kgs and after a week-long hospital stay both mother and baby were released happy and well.
“We really were so lucky. If I had gone to the hospital a day later Xavier might not be here.”
***House Rules airs Sunday 7pm and Monday – Wednesday 7.30pm on Channel 7
Originally published as House Rules’ Kate: ‘We were so lucky’