Sara's Success Story

My story began in Dec 06 when I had a D&C for retained products after the birth of our son in Nov 06. The D&C was aggressive and I bled heavily with the thought being I also had an infection. A balloon was left in for 24 hours and I was then sent home with no warning or information about the risk of Ashermans (AS).

I breast fed our son for about 7 months but after weaning my periods failed to return completely. It took a further 6 months to determine the cause largely due to the belief that AS was so rare so therefore not a possibility. My doctor first tried the contraceptive pill in an attempt to jump start things but that failed. Blood tests showed my hormones levels looked normal. I was referred to an endochronologist who thought I needed ovulation induction treatment and I was put on a wait list. At this point I decided to go to a fertility specialist instead of waiting and he diagnosed AS straight away and referred me to a surgeon. 3 months past as this surgeon attempted to correct the AS but due to the severity he failed and told me I would never carry again. I was devastated, angry and with a feeling of being 'broken', as pre D&C I was perfectly healthy fertility wise.

Not ready to give up, I found this website and also information about more qualified surgeons and referred myself to one in a nearby country. I travelled twice for two further procedures in July and August 08 afterwhich I was told we had a 40% chance of a live birth. My periods returned after three months and I conceived naturally straight away. Due to the history, early pregnancy monitoring was done showing normal increases in hormone levels. However, without warning on New Year’s Day 2009, I had a massive bleed. We were sure it was all over but amazingly they found a heartbeat and I was put on bed rest, told to be positive but not to expect it to hold. Weekly scans showed a uterus expanding in a strange shape so it was thought that bands of adhesions were preventing a normal growth pattern and that one snapping containing a blood vessel was probably the cause of the bleed.

Given all of this adversity, we were further amazed to see the weeks pass with no further bleeding or trouble until it was confirmed at 28 weeks that the placenta was previa (grade 4). This meant we were to be prepared for bleeding, were to be admitted early to hospital for rest and monitoring and I had to have a c section. Luckily no further bleeding occurred but I was still admitted at 35 weeks to wait it out. During this time further scans showed lots of placental lakes to be present indicating a strong likelihood of accreta. Given this new gem of information, it was decided to perform the c section under general anaesthetic at 37 weeks, with all sorts of precautions put in place should accreta cause large blood loss. The main operating theatre was used, blood put on hold, my specialist gained the support of another top specialist to assist along with two top anaesthesiologists, ICU was informed of my existence and a bed was made ready in case... the list of what they said was overkill went on. I was also warned that a hysterectomy was a very likely outcome.

The result was our daughter was delivered successfully on 30 July 09, healthy and beautiful. She weighed 2.625kg and cried her little heart out till she finally was placed on me about 2 hours later.

The overkill however was not overkill. The placenta was total accreta and wouldn't come away and during the procedure I lost over 2 ltrs of blood. The uterus was also in a poor state, so bad that there was a significantly sized hole in the fundus area through which membrane could be seen. This was probably due to the AS which lead to a weakness in the uterus wall. It was promptly decided to perform a hysterectomy. I am through the recovery phase now but it was long and painful.

I guess my message to anyone reading this would be don't give up until you are ready to do so. Don't listen to those that say be happy with what you have or such like comments until you are ready to be happy and give up the AS fight. I know my fight with AS is over now by default and I have yet to deal with the loss of the uterus but I know that had I given up earlier and listened to the first surgeon, I would not be in this fortunate position of having a post AS baby against all the odds. She is truely a miracle baby to us and has made our family complete.

International Ashermans Association

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