After Jennifer Penfold gave birth to her baby girl Solia via C-section earlier this year, it created a whirlwind of problems for the new mother.
The Alberta woman developed a necrotic infection and had half of her abdomen removed.
She stayed in hospital for weeks, barely getting time to bond properly with her newborn child.
“My daughter’s first few months are such a blur to me, I don’t remember her being born,” Penfold said.
She got better, temporarily.
“A few weeks later, everything was flaring up again, but I also almost died from other issues, of bile (going) back into my system,” Penfold said. “I had four operations, in six months and was taken away from my baby over and over again.
“I got better for a day, and then my hemoglobin tanked. After I did infusions for that, my wound was infected again.”
She did get better sometime in July. During this time, she got engaged and spent much needed quality time with her daughter.
“When you feel like you have that freedom again, you’re kind of like, ‘I just want to live my life because I almost died four times, and I just want to survive’… And then I got COVID(-19).”
Penfold started feeling symptoms around Oct. 7. She has no idea where she could have contracted the illness.
Her quarantine was supposed to finish on the Oct. 18, but her symptoms are still very much present. While she is stuck upstairs at home, her family is living on the lower floor.
“(My daughter) cries out for me all the time, but there is nothing I can do,” Penfold said. “I can hear it. It’s a special kind of torture when you can hear your partner falling apart, and your baby falling apart downstairs, and you can’t do anything about it. I think that has been the most mentally challenging.
“I just want to hold my family.”
Penfold started a blog to share her story, and to help ignite hope for others who are also struggling.
“Even though this year is awful in so many ways, I got engaged and I had a baby — those are really beautiful things,” she said.
“I think if people found the positive in the little things, it helps you get through the hard things.”
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