Horrific moment after daughter hangs up phone

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Two years ago when Katie Blinoff was around 30 weeks pregnant, she thought a call to her father was the last phone call she was ever going to make.

After telling her dad she loved him, she hung up the phone and was placed in an induced coma.

Just weeks away from giving birth, Ms Blinoff went to a midwife appointment as usual but was taken to emergency when she collapsed and starting having a seizure.

Ending up in ICU at Campbelltown Hospital, in Sydney’s southwest, Ms Blinoff was told she had influenza and spent the next week in intensive care recovering.

However, one week later, she returned to the hospital with an infection in her uterus.

After vomiting up blood and struggling to breathe, the heavily pregnant mum based in Thirlmere, a rural town in NSW, called for an ambulance.

“I was in septic shock. I was sitting on the shower floor with my partner, we’d called an ambulance but we live in a small country town so ambulances obviously take a little while to get here,” she said.

“My partner’s just trying to keep me calm and by this point, I’m trying not to wake my two other kids up,” Ms Blinoff said.

The mother of three was taken back to Campbelltown Hospital where she describes being in a “haze of extreme pain” and going in and out of consciousness.

“They couldn’t control my blood pressure or my heart rate. They couldn’t keep it down and then they couldn’t keep it up, like it started to drop really bad,” she said.

Ms Blinoff then realised she was going into labour.

“I was in excruciating pain by this point, I was crying and Blake said, “what’s wrong?” I said ‘I feel like I’m in labour’,” Ms Blinoff said.

After advocating for herself for over an hour, a student nurse confirmed she was two centimetres dilated.

“Things just started to deteriorate even more. My body going into septic shock, it started to shut down. So they were saying we’ve got to get this baby out,” she said.

Ms Blinoff recalls being told by a nurse at the hospital: “ We need to get the baby out, your body can’t fight for two”.

With complications of being in labour and septic shock at the same time, Ms Blinoff was told she might die if she tried to delivery her baby naturally.

The decision was then made to place her in an induced coma and birth baby, Cleo Rae House, through an emergency caesarean.

“I was told if we don’t get her out and we don’t perform, an emergency caesarean, you both might lose your life,” Ms Blinoff said.

It was at this point a doctor encouraged her to call her loved ones.

“I thought no, I don’t, didn’t want to panic my kids, but I realised I’m in a bad position and I probably couldn’t wake up from this,

“I called my dad and told him I loved him,” she said.

But Ms Blinoff’s medical challenges didn’t end there, after a recent bout of migraines she was diagnosed by doctors with having a blood clot on her brain.

“I’ve been on the medication and it’s been going down. It’s reducing in size, the only thing that they’re worried about is if it stops going down, then it’ll be surgery,” she said.

Despite her string of medical challenges, Ms Blinoff said apart from her family, fitness and running is what brings her joy.

This weekend, she will join 19,500 runners who have signed up to hit the streets for the Sydney Half Marathon.

The mother-of-three says she is on a “mission” to prove to herself that she can “do it”.

“I got into the gym and running because I never wanted to feel not in control of my body again. I wanted to have the power,” she said.

Ms Blinoff said when the weather is cold and she doesn’t feel like running, that is when she knows she has to push herself despite of the conditions.

“You don’t realise what you have until it’s almost taken away from you. I strongly believe that every woman who heals herself also heals her children,” she said.

As a passionate runner Ms Blinoff said it’s when you hit your “mental block” while pounding the pavement that you realise what you’re body is capable of.

“You reach a certain point, you hit this mental block and it’s like everything in your life comes up at once and you either have the choice to quit or you have the choice to like overcome it,” she said.

Sharing in the past her struggles with a “binge eating disorder”, after the birth of Cleo, Ms Blinoff said running has helped her get “back on track”.

“I either wouldn’t eat at all, or I would just snack and I wouldn’t have a proper meal. It wasn’t until getting into running that I was no longer afraid of food,” she said.

Now her eating is back on track and race day preparations are a must.

Advanced Sports Dietitian, Sally Walker, who is an experienced lead dietitian at the NSW Institute of Sport and for the Australian Team at the Tokyo Olympics agreed nutrition is key when you are competing for an major event.

Ms Walker also said women’s bodies require different nutritional needs to men and this needs to be considered when they are preparing for a race.

“Women have different biological needs for their body. Identifying these specific needs and targeting them through tailored nutrition can support peak performance and health,” she said.

“It’s not as simple as a big bowl of pasta the night before, as this can have an impact on the gut and excessive portions may also interfere with sleep,” she said.

Instead she recommends limiting high-fibre carbs before a run boosts appetite without straining digestion.

Increasing carb intake or frequency over two days helps manage fluid and weight changes during fuel loading.

Sticking to familiar foods on race day is key to prevent digestive problems.

Prioritise a high-carb, low-fat breakfast three hours before the race, and refuel with a sports drink or low-fibre snack between warm-up and the start.

As race day inches closer, Ms Blinoff said she has a strict bedtime and focuses on the things she can control.

“I always carb load before a race, have gels an hour before and focus on nutrition, the rest of out of my control” she said.

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