McDermott-Spelling family … Tori, Dean, and their children Hattie, Liam and Stella.
Tori Spelling has spoken about surviving a potentially fatal complication during her last pregnancy – and how her 4-year-old daughter may have saved her life.
Already a mum to Liam, 5, Stella, 4, and Hattie, one, Spelling was diagnosed with placenta praevia – a condition in which the placenta attaches to the wall of the uterus, either partially or completing covering the cervix – early in her fourth pregnancy, after experiencing several bleeds.
But the 39-year-old’s “darkest day” came at 20 weeks. Spending the night in daughter Stella’s room, with husband Dean staying with Liam, Spelling woke to find herself losing so much blood she thought it would surely prove fatal.
“[Stella] looked like such a little toddler warrior” … Tori Spelling
“I stumbled to the bathroom, dizzy from losing so much blood. When I got there, I thought, ‘This is it.’ There was so much blood I thought, ‘I’m dying. Not just [losing] the baby, but I’m dying,” she told People magazine.
“I had to scream for Stella, and I’ll never forget the look on her face when she saw me surrounded by blood everywhere. I didn’t want to panic her and I said, ‘Baby, will you go get Daddy? Just tell him I’m bleeding,’” she said.
“Her eyes were as big as saucers and – this is going to make me cry – she looked like such a little toddler warrior. She said, ‘Okay, Mama’ and she ran.”
Stella ran for her father, who rushed Spelling to hospital. Once there, doctors had frightening news for the couple: if Spelling needed surgery to stop the bleeding, there was a very slim chance the baby would live outside the womb – and that still wasn’t a guarantee that Spelling would survive.
“[The doctor] said … If we have to operate right now, I have to save your life. And then it just hit me and I was like, ‘Oh my God, not only am I going to lose my baby, but I can’t leave my three babies at home.’”
Luckily, the doctors were able to stop the bleeding. But the close call meant Spelling had to be on bed rest in hospital for the following 10 weeks.
“I was like, ‘I’m going to get this baby to a healthy point and we’re going to be a family,’” Spelling said. “I would rub my belly and talk to [the baby]. I kept telling him, ‘We’re going to be fine’ and ‘I can’t wait to hold you.’”
Finally, on August 30, baby Finn was delivered at 37 weeks. Thinking the drama was over, the family headed home – only to have a new complication arise just two weeks later, when Spelling’s caesearean stitches burst open.
“My intestines actually came out. I was like, ‘Man, I’m being tested right now,’” she said. And after another operation and hospital stay, the mum was allowed home.
Spelling has said she hopes Stella won’t be emotionally scarred from her lifesaving role, and that her daughter still talks about that terrifying night.
“She says to me all the time, ‘Mama, do you remember that day when we woke up and you were bleeding?’ And I [say], ‘I do remember that day because you saved me.’”