Woman who spent years trying to become a mum almost dies giving birth and wakes up with full hysterectomy – Wales Online

A woman who tried for years to have a baby almost died finally giving birth only to be told she'll never conceive again.

Holly Campbell-Carden, from Clydach Vale, woke from a harrowing 12 hours in surgery to discover she'd been given a full hysterectomy after complications caused her to lose 10 litres of blood.

The 29-year-old community dental nurse had to have several transfusions and has praised the staff at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil for saving both her life and that of her long-awaited baby boy Rupert.

"My husband Rory and I had been trying to have children for seven and a half years but due to me having polycystic ovary syndrome, as well as other still undiagnosed infertility issues, we'd had no luck," said Holly.

"So we got a referral from our GP and started getting help with the problem about five years ago only to give up just before Covid started.

"We'd begun looking at adopting when some midwives I work with told me about a private IVF option I might be able to afford in Cardiff."

And that provided almost immediate results with the couple ending up with four embryos which were then frozen one of which was successfully transferred to Holly's uterus last September. But the pregnancy would not be without serious complications.

"I had a very big bleed five weeks in, which made us think we'd lost the baby," Holly said.

"Luckily that wasn't the case although I also later suffered with high blood pressure and gestational diabetes," she added, the latter of which being when excess glucose develops during pregnancy. She also developed polyhydramnios a condition where excess fluid builds up in the uterus, surrounding the baby.

"So last Wednesday (May 12) the decision was made to induce me and, by mid-afternoon the following day, I was ready to push although my temperature and blood pressure had risen by then and I was struggling to stay awake.

"What is more, no matter how much I pushed the baby would not move, which started causing his head to swell. So the doctors decided to give me an emergency C-section."

From that point on Holly said she only remembers certain moments. "I can vividly recall the consultant holding Rupert up and showing him to me. He was 7lbs 1oz. I also remember my husband getting very emotional.

"But I was in and out of consciousness as they were stitching me back up. However the bleeding wouldn't stop so they had to re-open me and try again.

"I had to have an anaesthetic but before I went under I asked the doctor if I was going to die he told me not to worry, that he wouldn't let that happen."

Holly was moved to intensive care later that evening only to end up being taken back down to theatre with more haemorrhaging.

"A vascular surgeon from Cardiff was called to come and assist with the bleeding that 's the first time something like that's happened, I think.

"Apparently I lost 10 litres of blood and needed several transfusions. I was in theatre for about 12 hours in total."

And the worst news was to come when Holly finally woke up the medics had been left with no choice but to give her a full hysterectomy, meaning her uterus and cervix had been removed.

"To be only 29 and told I'll never have another child, it's devastating," she said, speaking from the hospital bed where she's still recovering.

"There is some comfort in knowing we still have three embryos frozen. That way if we ever want to try again biologically we can with the help of a surrogate. But, to be honest, the full extent of that news hasn't completely sunk in yet."

Holly was keen to praise the team at Prince Charles Hospital who worked so hard to deliver baby Rupert and save her life.

"My lovely consultant George Haroun and all the other doctors and nurses there that day they deserve to be known in Wales as heroes," she said.

"If it wasn't for them I would never have got to meet my little boy and my husband would've been made a widower at the same time he became a dad.

"I can't thank them enough."

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Woman who spent years trying to become a mum almost dies giving birth and wakes up with full hysterectomy - Wales Online

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