Nancy's Story

My name is Nancy and my story is one of sadness and hope. After being married for eight years, my husband and I got pregnant on the very first month we tried to conceive. My pregnancy was perfect and the delivery went well with my son being born on January 28, 1999 at 8 pounds, 1 ounce. He was healthy and I couldn't have been closer to having everything I ever dreamed of in my life. Unfortunately, my body would not deliver the placenta and my OB decided he would remove it manually. My doctor was literally up to his elbow inside of me trying to remove the placenta while my husband sat and watched in shock at what was happening. I started bleeding heavily and large clots continued to pass out of me. My OB finally decided the placenta was complete and put me on Pitocin to help my uterus contract. I had chills and was shaking uncontrollably and the OB and nurses stayed with me for more than an hour trying to control the bleeding and fainting spells. Eventually, my doctor left but said he would be back and told the nurses to continue to press on my abdomen to help my uterus to contract back to "normal" size. I remained on Pitocin for the next 24 hours and the nurses as well my husband and myself were told to "massage" and press on my abdomen because my body was having a difficult time getting back down to normal size. When I finally stood up or sat up in bed, I would pass huge clots of blood, again alarming the nurses who would call the doctor, who told them to continue the Pitocin and massage. I was black and blue from my chest to my pubic area from all the pressing and massaging.

I went home from the hospital two days after giving birth and thought that I must have experienced what all new mothers endure when bringing their children into this world. Let me tell you, if you have never had a baby and you feel something is not right, please call your doctor or get a second opinion. If only I had known what I know today, I could have prevented so many complicated issues. My life at home was wonderful with my newborn son, except I continued to bleed rather heavy and called my doctor twice during the first 3 weeks postpartum due to pain, bleeding and passing clots.

Exactly four weeks after giving birth, I hemorrhaged, went to my OB's office and was rushed to the ER for uncontrollable bleeding. A D&C was performed around midnight because they could not stop the bleeding. Retained placenta and severe infection were found. The next morning I was sent home with an armload of antibiotics, painkillers, iron supplements and additional medical advice. I was very sick and running a fever of 103-104 degrees F. Three days later, I went in for a follow-up, but was so weak, I could not even walk standing upright. The nurse took a finger prick test and my hemoglobin was registering at 4.7. She repeated the test since she thought it was wrong and again, the same results. I felt very bad with ringing in my ears, high fever, a pounding headache, etc. At this point my doctor detected a heart murmur and sent me directly to the hospital again because he said I needed a blood transfusion. Upon entering the ER for the second time in three days, they determined my bowels and bladder had shut down due to the blood loss and I had sepsis, an infection in the bloodstream due to the severity of the uterine infection. I remained hospitalized for three nights and four days during which I was given 2 units of blood within a few hours of being admitted and then another two units of blood about 36 hours later.

I felt much better after the first blood transfusion and thought I was home free. I was weak and tired for the next six months, but life was getting back to normal. I never started my period since my pregnancy and wondered about this, but my doctor continued to tell me that after such trauma, it takes awhile for a woman's body to get back to normal cycles. After a year with no period, I went back to the doctor for an explanation of why there was no monthly period and again, he continued to tell me not to worry, I was fine. My husband was even concerned, thinking this was not natural and the doctor told both of us, that after the D&C, the lining is so thin and being on birth control pills, I just don't ever have enough lining to actually bleed. He even told us that when we were ready to try for a second child, we should have no problems whatsoever, just like the first time.

When my son turned three, my husband and I started thinking about trying to conceive and decided we would seek a second opinion since I still never had a period. I never bled at all, not on or off birth control pills, on estrogen or progesterone therapy, not with help from anything. I started researching the Internet and found this group which provided valuable information and support for what was happening to my body. I went to a RE, who confirmed my diagnosis of Asherman's Syndrome and told me I would need surgery if I ever want to have another child. I was devastated. I had such faith and trust in my original doctor who continued to tell me I was fine. I wondered how could this be possible?

I had surgery August 7, 2002 with an A-list surgeon who was recommended from this group. He is an excellent surgeon, but most of all, he was caring, patient and kind. He knew what I was going through and helped me get on the road to recovery.

After doing several phone consultations, and tests that were videotaped and mailed to him for his review, he determined that my uterus was totally scarred shut. The cervix was blocked as well and on two attempts at HSG and sonohistogram, no fluid was able to enter the cervix at all. My new doctor performed surgery on me for over two hours and eventually opened my uterus to 98%. My endometrium was almost nonexistent with one tiny islet in the very top corner where the curette could not reach during the D&C. He gave me hope that it might grow and thicken with treatment.

Today, it has been six months since my surgery and my latest SHG shows an open cavity with very thin lining. The uterus is extremely small in size and he is not sure how it would fare during a pregnancy, but said I have the green light to TTC. Unfortunately, my lining is so thin, he does not think I would be able to get pregnant without further treatment to the lining. At this stage in my recovery, the recommended therapies are not proven and somewhat experimental. He wants to do a biopsy of the endometrium lining to determine if it is even functioning properly. This is a new procedure, but fortunately, my doctor has colleagues who are researching this area and would be willing to test my lining for me. If it is determined that the lining is not functional, he said there is not much hope of having a natural child from my uterus. Time will tell.

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