A woman who almost died giving birth to her “miracle” baby has been told she will never be able to have children again.
Holly Campbell-Carden, 29 and from Clydach Vale, Wales, spent seven and a half years trying to have a baby before getting the fantastic news in September last year that a private IVF treatment had been successful.
But the community dental nurse woke up after 12 hours of labour to the “devastating” news that she couldn’t have kids anymore as doctors were left with no other choice but to remove her cervix and uterus due to complications.
Holly was given a full hysterectomy after complications caused her to lose 10 litres of blood, WalesOnline reports.
Recollecting how she was in and out of consciousness throughout the frightful experience, she remembers being in the theatre and asking her doctor “if I was going to die – he told me not to worry, that he wouldn’t let that happen”.
Holly 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.
Holly had been unable to conceive due to her polycystic ovary syndrome as well as other infertility issues she said are yet to be diagnosed.
The dental nurse said she and her husband had almost given up after five years of trying..
When the pandemic broke out they started looking into adoption, but they were then directed to a private IVF option which they could afford.
They treatment was immediately successful as the couple ended up with four embryos, three of which were frozen while one was transferred to Holly’s uterus.
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.
Holly continued: “So last Wednesday 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,” she continued.
“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,” she said.
“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.”