A first time mum who caught Covid while pregnant has revealed how she was told she could die and was forced to undergo an emergency C-section at 27 weeks to save her own life.
Paige Bliss, 25, from Birmingham spent five days in intensive care after coronavirus put her in a critical condition as her foetus was taking all her nutrients and extra oxygen.
The beautician, who hadn't been vaccinated, underwent an emergency C-section in August but was unable to meet her newborn baby girl Miley until she recovered from the highly infectious virus.
Paige Bliss, 25, from Birmingham spent five days in intensive care after coronavirus put her in a critical condition as her foetus was taking all her nutrients and extra oxygen
The beautician, who hadn't been vaccinated, underwent an emergency C-section in August but was unable to meet her newborn baby girl Miley until she recovered from the highly infectious virus. They are pictured now at home
Paige was forced to give birth to Miley at 27 weeks. The 13-week premature baby spent 9 weeks in the NICU
Miley was born on August 27 - two months before her due date of November 21 - weighing the same as a carton of milk at 2lb 5oz.
But she's managed to come home just in time for Christmas with her miracle baby - who is now 16-weeks - who also spent nine weeks in the neonatal ICU.
She now believes everyone should 'do their own research' and make their own decision about taking the vaccine.
'I have no idea how I caught the virus but I suddenly had a runny nose and flu-like symptoms.
Paige is now at home with her miracle Miley, now three months. She now believes everyone should 'do their own research' and make their own decision about taking the vaccine
Little Miley spent nine weeks in hospital after her mum fell pregnant while in hospital
Little Miley was only 2lbs - the size of a bottle of milk - when she was born two months early in August
Paige agreed to an emergency C-section after five days in ICU. Miley is now happy and healthy
'After five days, I was breathless so I rang 111 who called me an ambulance. My oxygen was low and I began to get worse.
'Within two days, I was in intensive care and the doctors began to question what to do with the baby.
'I wasn't improving with a c-pap mask as Miley was sucking all of the oxygen and taking the nutrients.
'The doctor said if she isn't delivered then I could die as I wasn't able to have any medication due to being pregnant.
Pregnancy causes changes in the body that could make it easier to get very sick from respiratory viruses like the one that causes Covid-19. Paige is pictured pregnant
After the traumatic experience, Paige praised the 'amazing' staff at the hospitals for their care
Her partner Mason Taylor (pictured together), 25, was at Miley's side who was in and out of critical care. He printed off pictures for the first time mum but she admits fearing they may not bond.
'I was reluctant at first and more worried about my unborn baby than myself but I had no choice.'
Unvaccinated mothers urge pregnant women to get jabbed - so are babies protected from Covid-19 vaccine?
Unvaccinated women who suffered with Covid-19 during their pregnancies have told their harrowing stories of battling the virus, from being hospitalised to having emergency C-sections, as part of a new campaign encouraging expectant mothers to get the vaccine.
Data published last week by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows the vaccines are safe for mothers and their babies, with good birth outcomes for vaccinated women who had their babies up to August this year. There were no consistent differences between vaccinated women and all women in the figures for stillbirths, low baby birthweights and premature births.
Nearly 1 in 5 Covid-19 patients who are most critically ill are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated. Of those pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic Covid-19, 98 per cent are unvaccinated, and no fully vaccinated pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 in England between February and the end of September 2021. Around 1 in 5 women who are hospitalised with the virus need to be delivered preterm to help them recover and 1 in 5 of their babies need care in the neonatal unit.
Pregnant women who have a Covid vaccine pass on their protection to their unborn babies, a study in September 2021 suggested.
Children face a tiny risk of falling seriously ill with Covid, a plethora of studies have shown since the pandemic began. But the risk is slightly higher among babies, who have weaker immune systems.
The women who feature in the new, short film have issued an urgent plea calling on expectant mothers to take up the vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves and their babies.
Christina, a mental health therapist from Guildford who was hospitalised with COVID-19 in her third trimester and had to give birth via emergency C-section, said: 'I went into hospital in my third trimester, and I thought I was going to deliver a baby but the next thing I know, I was being told I had COVID-19. Symptoms started to arise and I quickly deteriorated. I was rushed in for a CT scan because the doctors feared I was having a pulmonary embolism.
Paige agreed to an emergency C-section after five days in ICU.
Pregnancy causes changes in the body that could make it easier to get very sick from respiratory viruses like the one that causes Covid-19.
Although it's very rare for pregnant women to become seriously ill if they get Covid-19, the NHS advises if it does happen there's a small chance the baby may be born early or they may be advised to give birth earlier than their due date.
'I was so scared in case something bad happened to her.
'I was put to sleep for the C-section so I didn't even see her nor meet her for a whole week after. I was put on a ventilator straight after her birth then I had to wait until I recovered from the virus.
'It was the worst thing ever.'
Her partner Mason Taylor, 25, was at Miley's side who was in and out of critical care. He printed off pictures for the first time mum but she admits fearing they may not bond.
'I was worried in case I wouldn't be able to bond with her. But thankfully, we bonded straight away.
'My heart was so full from the moment I held her. She was so poorly and there were machines everywhere.'
Miley was on a ventilator from birth as she had sticky lungs.
She underwent two blood transfusions during her nine-week stay at Heartlands and Good Hope hospital in Birmingham.
Paige adds: 'I feel lucky that Miley and I are both alive. She frightened us a few times as she was so small and fragile.
'She had some breathing problems but she was determined to get better.'
'Miley was the same size as a coke bottle when she was born.
'She is still tiny and weighs 6lb 10oz but she is doing fine.
'She wears tiny baby clothes and there is a chance she may develop a little slower, but she is here and that is all that matters.
'Mason and I are so excited for our first Christmas as a three.'
After the traumatic experience, Paige praised the 'amazing' staff at the hospitals for their care.
'The ICU staff and all the neonatal staff are incredible Miley wouldn't be here without them.
'I think everyone should research the vaccine fully themselves and make their own decisions.
'But I do encourage pregnant women to be more careful and shield as much as possible.'