Losing my womb due to placenta percreta – Katie’s story

I’m not really sure where to start. Probably because I never thought I’d ever be in the situation of losing my womb. However I felt I need to give some insight, into what it feels like having a hysterectomy at 27. And not just a hysterectomy, but an unplanned, life-changing hysterectomy, that I had absolutely no control over.

I guess most ladies can prepare for this type of operation. I imagine the majority have planned the surgery with their consultant and discussed options and a way forward. Of course, this wasn’t the way things happened for me. And in the space of a few hours, my life had been turned upside down and my whole future had changed.

My little boy, Jonah, was born sleeping in January due to a massive antepartum hemorrahage. The bleeding was caused by an undiagnosed condition of the placenta, called Placenta Percreta. In my case, the placenta had grown through the uterine wall and attached to the lining of my bladder. Unfortunately, they were unable to control the bleeding and I required a hysterectomy to save my life.

I had a subtotal or partial hysterectomy. This means I still have my ovaries and cervix, it was just my uterus that was removed. I guess this is best case scenario for me, it does mean I currently don’t require any hormone replacement therapy and I am able to have my eggs retrieved and frozen. But of course, it also means I am now infertile. That hasn’t quite sunk in yet, even seeing it written down is just so hard to comprehend. The psychological affect of infertility is far greater than the actual surgery. I stumbled across a pregnancy test in my bathroom cupboard earlier, and it literally hit me like a tonne of bricks – I will never have to even think about using one again. I’m not entirely sure how you process the loss of a body part. I’m grieving for my little boy and also grieving for my fertility. I’m grieving for all the babies that could have been but never will be.

Aside from the obvious lack of uterus, having a hysterectomy leaves you with an incredible amount of physical pain. The recovery from my c-section was nothing compared to the recovery from this. The surgeon used my previous c-section scar, to re-open me up, but I now have a smaller 5p piece scar from the drain I had inserted during surgery. My uterus being removed, means my bowel and ovaries will have shifted in their position, which causes an insane amount of pain – particularly in the bowel area. Sometimes the internal pain it can be so bad it actually brings tears to my eyes.

I wasn’t under the care of any gynaecologists at any point during my stay in hospital, so any questions I had about the surgery were answered from a little leaflet. My first thought, which on reflection was probably a little silly, was would I still have a period? Of course, I don’t. Most woman would celebrate the fact they never had to buy sanitary products again, but I would give anything to still have a period. However, I do still ovulate. This means I still get all the hormonal affects of ovulation, boob pain, horrid skin, rubbish mood and it’s all for nothing. Just another monthly reminder of how different my life has become.

I’m not sure there is much else to say on the infertility topic. Other than, sometimes its actually harder to accept than losing Jonah. You know from the start of your pregnancy that you are not guaranteed a baby at the end. I knew my pregnancy was far from plain sailing and I knew there was a real possibility we would lose Jonah. However, losing my womb never even crossed my mind. I miss my little boy more than words can describe, but I also miss the possibility of more children. And knowing I will never get to grow a baby, to feel them dancing around and have that magical connection again, is truly one of the hardest things in the world.

Katie xx

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