HISTORY seemed to be repeating as Malin Andersson was rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section.
Despite reaching full-term, complications in the birth of her daughter Xaya meant that after two days of being in labour, doctors had no choice.
Malin Andersson said she feared the worst during the birth of baby XayaCredit: David Cummings
It was a poignant reminder of her first baby, daughter Consy, who passed away from a heart defect at just four weeks old after being born via C-section nearly two months premature in 2019.
Three years on, the Love Islander, 29, with boyfriend Jared by her side, was braced for the worst.
Thankfully, Xaya was delivered safely on January 28, weighing a healthy 8lb.
Malin says: “The last few weeks have been surreal, but a beautiful experience. Me and Jared are in our own little bubble.
“The whole pregnancy experience and birth were filled with anxiety. I just didn’t want anything to go wrong.”
Speaking ahead of Mother’s Day, Malin — who lost her mum, also called Consy, to breast cancer in 2017, aged 65 — says of the day: “It will be weird in a way.
“I’ve always looked at it as a sad thing because of not having my baby Consy and my mum.
“But the narrative has changed for me. It’s not something that’s sad for me any more.”
On January 27, Malin began having contractions at home. But because of the complications with her previous birth, she immediately went into hospital and was given a private room.
She says: “The birth was like an out-of-body experience — and the most painful experience ever. They ran me a bath and I was asking for all kinds of pain relief, but the baby just wasn’t dilating past 5cm.
“You need to be 10cm for your baby to pass through. They did an examination and within two minutes I was signing these papers and going up for the C-section.
“It was horrible. The papers are basically a death consent. As I was reading over it, I started having mad panic attacks, thinking, ‘Jesus Christ, this is what happened before with Consy’.”
The reality star says: “Jared was holding my hand and after the epidural I couldn’t feel my body again. I remember shaking then being wheeled down to the same operating room I had Consy in, with the same surgeons as well.
“Then they moved my body on to the operating table, while Jared was there with his scrubs on not letting go of me.
“I remember lying there and it was cold and I was staring around the room, crying. It was such a crazy experience because it felt like I had gone back in time to when I had Consy.”
After finally giving birth to precious little girl Xaya, Malin was left speechless.
She says now: “Once I could hear her cry, it was just a relief. The nurses gave Jared our baby and he put her next to me straight away. I remember looking and thinking, ‘This is so surreal’. I was just staring at her.
“It was difficult because I was so out of it. My heart rate kept dropping as well. I couldn’t even hold her properly. I couldn’t feel my legs — and I was high as anything.”
‘She’s so precious and my responsibility . . . her whole life is in my hands’
Malin on being a mum
Xaya is Malin’s “rainbow baby” — a child born subsequent to a miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of an infant from natural causes.
She says: “I don’t compare her to Consy. Obviously she looks completely different.
“She is a healthy baby and I have a beautiful feeling when I look at her.
“She is very hairy and has Jared’s eyebrows. She’s got a tiny little nose like me, she’s olive and tanned and so cute.
“It’s so weird looking at her. It’s that feeling of, ‘What did I do before you?’ It’s like she’s always been a part of me.”
Malin plans to keep Xaya hidden from the toxicity of social mediaCredit: Instagram
Malin adds: “She’s taught me to really feel my emotions, to understand what’s going on around me and make sure I look after myself as well as her because it’s important. And it’s brought me and Jared closer together.
“We now share a baby together. There’s a lot of pressure involved, but we are doing well.”
Despite the happy arrival, Malin — whose father Rune died of skin cancer when she was a baby — still longs for her mum.
She says: “It’s even harder now since having my baby. All you want is your mum’s advice. I don’t have that at all.
“I’ve got my friends and my sister. Obviously I’ve got Jared’s mum too, but it’s not the same feeling. All you want is your mum here.
“It’s difficult because you get the post-baby blues. I remember crying on the third, fourth and fifth days.
“I was crying out of happiness, sadness and because I miss my mum. Then a bit of post-natal depression kicked in, too.
“I don’t have any coping mechanisms. I am a huge believer in meditation and journaling, but I’ve not done any of that yet.
“There is no chance I can meditate with Xaya on me. But it’s the surviving mechanism that kicks in.
“I know everything is a learning curve. It’s a constant journey of evolving, growing and learning new things and new stresses — dealing with a newborn, juggling work and coping with lack of sleep, grief and post-natal depression.”
Malin has embraced counselling since the birth to help her process everything that has happened.
She says: “I’ve gone back to having therapy, which is really important because this is a time when the stresses are crazily high and I need to keep my mind straight. I’ve always been good at being strong and putting on a brave face.
“But Xaya has taught me to really feel my emotions, understand what’s going on around me and make sure I look after myself as well as her. It’s important.”
‘I don’t want her judged on social media, it isn’t fair’
Malin will protect Xaya
She continues: “Xaya is precious. It’s weird having a responsibility that isn’t yourself.
“Her whole life is in my hands, so when I am on my own with her I’m like, ‘Bloody hell, it’s me that’s entirely responsible for her’.
“I have a protective mother instinct, which is why I don’t want her being pictured on social media. I don’t want her to look back and Google her name and see s**t written about herself.
“It’s not fair on her for me to put her on my social media when she hasn’t got a choice in the matter.
“There are so many sick people out there, so many trolls.
What are the symptoms of postnatal PTSD?
A person who has been diagnosed with PTSD will find their normal life interrupted in many ways by a strong and powerful set of emotions and feelings over which they have no control.
General symptoms typically include:
- The persistent re-experiencing of the event by way of recurrent intrusive memories, flashbacks and nightmares. A person will usually feel distressed, anxious or panicky when exposed to things which remind them of the event.
- Avoidance of anything that reminds them of the trauma (this may include talking about it). This can lead to emotional detachment or numbing.
- Bad memories and the need to avoid any reminders of the trauma will often result in difficulties with sleeping and concentrating. Sufferers may also feel angry, irritable and be hyper vigilant (feel jumpy or on their guard all the time). These are called ‘hyperarousal symptoms.
*Birth Trauma Association
“I don’t want anyone feeling entitled to comment on her appearance or how she looks.
“She can make her own choice (about social media) when she gets to this age.
“I know a lot of mums who have a lot of followers do it — and I don’t agree with it.
“I’ve seen comments about babies and I just think, ‘Poor kid’.
“I don’t want any evil eyes on her. She is spiritually protected from anything.”
Malin starred on the 2016 season of ITV hit show Love IslandCredit: Rex
Malin is looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day with her family tomorrow.
She says: “And all I’m saying is Jared best get me some really nice flowers! But jokes aside, I’m looking forward to it.
“This whole journey has been a lot of getting used to and adjusting.
“There are no rules in parenting — you’ve got to do what’s best for you.
“There was a lot of anxiety at first, but she’s here now. That’s all that matters.”
Where to get help?
Sources of support for birth trauma include:
Malin lost mum Consy, also the name of her first child, to breast cancer in 2017Credit: Supplied