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Emergency hysterectomy following c-section – Lindsey’s story

I was overjoyed when I found out I was pregnant at the start of 2014 and had conceived really quick which was great as I felt at 28 I was ready to start a family with my husband of 8 years. I had done all the mad girly holidays and travelling so 2014 was going to be my year of entering a new phase, motherhood!!

My pregnancy was fairly straightforward as far as pregnancies go, I had to finish work early at 29 weeks though as I had got SPD which was extremely uncomfortable for me whilst working in my job as a support worker doing 12 hour shifts! So from 29 weeks I started to take it easy.

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The last month of my pregnancy was difficult I had put on a lot of weight at the end; I had the usual swollen feet, but also swollen hands and arms. In the last few weeks I also had protein in my water and had raised blood pressure!! But always checked over by midwife and reassured everything was ok.

My labour to begin with seemed ok, my waters broke Tuesday morning at 5.30 am, I was overcome with excitement! Finally we were going to meet our baby girl! As it was my first I didn’t really know what to do so I rang the hospital to inform them and was told to come in at some point that day. We did do and I was put on a monitor for a couple of hours, as nothing was happening I was told I could go home and come back the following morning.

Overnight nothing really happened and I was hoping not to be induced so willing the contractors on….the next day we went back to hospital where I was informed I was to be induced. To start with they would use a pessary and hope that would kick start my labour. 28 hours later I had started contracting but they were sporadic and sometimes strong, sometimes not!!
Later on after numerous examinations I was sent for a scan as one midwife thought baby had turned breach. I also had the doctor ask if I had ever been sent for any growth scans. I hadn’t as I was midwife led and classed as low risk. However looking back I had got extremely big quite fast in the last few weeks.

Finally after a long labour and hitting a wall the doctors sent me for an emergency section as baby’s heart rate dipped. This at the time did not scare me at all as I felt so weak and after two failed epidurals I just wanted my baby. In theatre I felt fine as they showed me my baby and my husband was over the moon as he held her with such joy. The surgeon told my husband at this point he would be about 40 minutes finishing off. Hours in and out of consciousness later felt like ten minutes to me but as time was passing I felt weird. Almost like I was burning inside my chest, my arms were going limp and falling off the operating table. I tried to explain to the anaesthetist that I didn’t feel right but I think this was me drifting in and out of consciousness. I remember seeing more and more doctors and nurses but not really understanding what they were saying. Then the main surgeon asking me for permission to be re-opened and to take my womb; the nurse by my head was stroking my face, I think trying to get a reaction!

Then I remember asking her and realising something’s just not right, so I asked ” I am going to be ok aren’t I?? Subconsciously I think the last thought in my head was “I need to be ok, I’ve just had a baby!!!” That’s the last I remember of being in theatre. As time’s gone by I have had flash backs and remembered more and more.

I think I was in theatre for about 8 hours, I had lost about 8 pints of blood all together. When I woke up it 11 am the following day, I had been put into an induced coma as the surgeons thought I would be in HDU for a few days after the trauma of loosing so much blood. I just felt like I was not really asleep and instead felt like I was on a treadmill, racing to wake up.

When I did come round I remember just trying to speak and thinking “what the hell has happened to my voice?!” I had been ventilated and had tubes, wires coming out of everywhere. The nurse that was by my side was Australian and I will never forget how nice and calm she was. That kept me unbelievably relaxed and calm, well that and all the drugs I guess. As soon as I could speak I just wanted to know where my baby and husband were.

I ended up being in HDU just for the day as I seemed to be coming round quite quickly, but I think I just have to thank the unbelievable staff at my local hospital for that as they were so calming and relaxed which I really think helped me stay very positive and strong. When I saw my husband bring our baby to me in HDU I just thought OMG!! I had the most beautiful baby girl, but my husband and family all looked completely terrified and extremely worried.

Now looking back I can understand why…but at the time I really didn’t quite get it!!! It was a life saving procedure, that’s all everyone kept saying. I just kept thinking that I felt so weak and frail. I couldn’t even do anything for myself let alone look after a newborn baby. The next couple of months we’re probably the hardest of my life.

I expected to feel sore and weak but this was something else, I literally for days/weeks couldn’t even sit up, I relied on my husband and the midwives for everything. I was in hospital for two weeks in the end and it was so hard. It constantly felt like one step forward and two back. I caught a bug in the first week which halted my healing. I still couldn’t move at this point so I was in a mess!! In hindsight I think I just was in such a rush to get out of hospital I tried to push myself a little to much!!

Throughout all of this my husband and baby girl have gave me so much strength that I just feel so lucky to have them. I might not be able to have anymore children but I do feel so unbelievably fortunate to have the one, however it still breaks my heart. I won’t carry again; even more when I’m in those awkward situations, when ppl don’t know and say things like “oh well next time this and next time that” I don’t have the courage to say anything so I just stay quiet. It’s just disappointing really more for my husband and daughter. I just hope that in time I will feel stronger so I can explain it well enough to my daughter when she’s older. My daughter is 5 months now and the whole journey has been bitter sweet. I’ve always been a strong person but this has definitely made me even stronger, however my marriage is solid and for that I am truly blessed.

I’m really happy to have come across this site as I don’t know anyone else that has had a hysterectomy at a young age and it’s really helped xxx

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in my own words book coverNow available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.

Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.

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Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational coach and founder of the Hysterectomy Association. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in the adoption and engagement of digital technologies. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Looking for someone will a similar experience to mine and your story is spot on…so nice to know there is someone like me out there. This past June I had my baby girl via c-section and hemorrhaged shortly after…I also experienced the in and out of consciousness…I had no idea what was going on! After blood transfusions my husband had to sign the consent form for my emergency hysterectomy because I was so out of it…and I also had a failed epidural during labor…I find myself very sad some days knowing I can’t carry another child but I’m so thankful I have a healthy beautiful baby girl to take care of…thank you for the book suggestion…wishing you all the best xoxo

  2. Thank you i love being a mummy and feel blessed! Sometimes one has to focus on what you have and not what you can’t have…. If you know what I mean.

  3. Hello my love, what a heart breaking time you have had, I’m glad things are getting better and you can now enjoy your daughter. Just remember keep resting and let people help you. Xxx

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