Renee Boston, MA

Boston, MA

In 2009 I married my husband. We decided to go off the pill just 4 months later. I tracked my ovulation days and thought it would take us 6 months to a year since I was 35 at the time. On Aug 16, 2010, I saw a picture of myself from that day and thought: something looks weird. We tested that night and got 2 lines, but one was very faint. We were unsure, being new to all of this. I waited 2 days and tested again, and we had a BFP!  We were in complete shock that it was that easy. One try and we were expecting our first baby April 27, 2011.

My first ultrasound of many was Sept. 9, 2011. That morning I heard my daughter’s heartbeat strong and loud. I left there on cloud 9 – I was 6.5 weeks pregnant. My next dr. appointment was Sept. 29. We had just returned from visiting family and had shared the news with them, so that’s all we talked and thought about the entire trip. At my 10-week appointment, my OB tried to find the heartbeat with just a doppler and was having trouble. We thought it was because it was early, but I reminded her of the 6.5-week appointment. She sent me to the hospital to have an internal ultrasound to be sure all was well. I was nervous but positive it would be OK. As soon as I had it done the dr.’s face dropped. I thought I was in a nightmare. The baby only measured 9 weeks, no heartbeat. I was alone again and devastated beyond belief. I called my best friend who had miscarried a year before as soon as I got in the car and she was repeating, “It will be OK, just have the D&C and it will be over quick and you can try to conceive in a few months’ time.” We made the appointment for Oct. 2, one day before our first wedding anniversary.

I signed the paper and the dr. briefly told me there could be complications but it was not stressed. I was told I would be out in 35-45 minutes. I went in for the surgery at 7 a.m., praying it would be quick like they said. My husband waited and waited. He was finally told complications occurred. I woke up in recovery and was crying, and when I saw a clock across the room it said 10:40 a.m.! During my hellish D&C with my young and inexperienced OB, I hemorrhaged and she could not get my uterus to contract back down. I lost 2 liters of blood and was one step away from having a blood transfusion. I felt terrible, I was confused and when I saw my husband he looked lost. He said he waited and had no idea what was happening to me.

The first thing I did when I saw my dr. was ask if I could have children again. She said of course – just wait one cycle after my cycle returns. I ended up being admitted the hospital and had to stay overnight on my wedding anniversary. Fast-forward to two months later. I had yet to get my cycle back. I had ultrasounds weekly and constant blood work, and was now anemic. I had to get healthy again. I was eating pomegranates and doing what I could to get back to myself. Finally, I got a period on Dec. 9. It was light to moderate, but that seemed to make sense seeing as my body went through so much trauma. It lasted 3 days.

We were cleared to TTC January 2012. In February we conceived baby #2, a son, but we had no idea. I bled for 2 days on the day my period was due. But in April, we got a BFP! Again, we were in shock. When I had my ultrasound, we were so nervous to see the screen. I prayed this time for a heartbeat and bean that stuck around. When the tech did the test she was quiet, and we knew right away. She could find a sac but no yolk sac, fetal pole or heartbeat. We were measuring almost 7 weeks – still early. I spoke with my dr. that night, and she decided to do tests to make sure it was not a cyst or ectopic. I was not in pain but my heart was broken once again. A sonogram confirmed the sac stopped growing and there was still no baby. We knew we did not want another D&C, so we opted for the at home medicine route. I took the pills vaginally for 3 days and I bled like crazy. It felt like I was dying. I could not even walk from the couch to the bathroom I had to be carried. Fast-forward 1 month later, my HCG numbers were not down yet. Sadly, I had to do round 2 of the meds.

I bled again, although not as much this time. One month later we were thinking we were on the road to TTCing again soon. No period yet. I went in for the blood draw and my numbers had yet to return to zero.  Next option was a shot called methotrexate. I did my research because we still refused a D&C. This is a drug given to cancer patients and pregnant woman who miscarry and are trying to get rid of the growing tissue. Two weeks later I woke up early to get ready for work and it was in a puddle of bright bred blood in bed. As I stood up I was hemorraging. I was in shock but thought, OK, this is it this is what we were waiting on. I went to see my dr. and we did another sonogram. Bad news again: still tissue remained in my uterus.

My dr. promised that the D&C would go better this time. We were just spent emotionally and I could not believe this was upon us. We were on the phone with my OB till midnight and the next morning at 7:30,I had my 2nd D&C. I woke up shortly after — she said it went much better. She said she got the last of it, but she had to be aggressive because she wanted to be sure this was over finally and we could move on. She mentioned, “By the way, I got a little piece of muscle too. You should be just fine though.” That freaked me out, but I was still a little drugged up. That was June 14, 2011.

That summer, we waited for my period. Every month I had PMS and felt it coming, then nothing. It was a phantom cycle. I reached out to a friend and she sent me to a fertility clinic that is well known in my area. They did a hysteroscopy Sept 22.  I was told my uterus was scarred shut and I had a 1-3% chance of ever having children and we should consider a surrogate. I drive home hysterical. How could it be? I was 35 and had conceived so easily. It was unfair and we knew we could never afford a gestational carrier. I went online and after seeing a show that talked about scar tissue, found a Facebook page called Asherman’s. The fertility clinic had never even mentioned it could have been from my D&Cs and never suggested Asherman’s Syndrome. I started reading posts and was mortified. But one post changed the course of my life. Jess posted about her great RE in Newton, MA: Dr Issacson. He is an A-lister and #2 in the country for Asherman’s Syndrome. When I saw he had an office 15 minutes from me I found his email and begged for his help. I had diagnosed myself with Asherman’s. He emailed me that night and made me an appointment ASAP. Funny my first meeting with him was Oct. 3, 2011 – my 2nd wedding anniversary! It was in-office hysteroscopy, and it hurt. I was screaming, with my hubby there for support. Dr. Isaacson suggested we do it under the anesthesia so I could deal better with the pain so he could be more aggressive in snipping away the scar tissue. I told him they told me I would probably not have kids. He said, “Let’s wait and see.”

My surgery was Oct. 21, 2011 and it changed my life. The people there were wonderful and Dr. I was amazing. He assured me I had 25% scarring at the opening of my uterus and at the top right. He got most of it and prescribed hormone replacement therapy. Just 3 days later my period returned in full force after none for 9 months.

I stuck to the hormones, worked out and did acupuncture 3 times a week along with yoga. I was treating my body right. I had 2 follow-ups with him. In December 2012, I was finally cleared to TTC again. Approximately 10 days later, my husband and I joyously conceived my beautiful son.

Dr. I saved my uterus, my fertility and gave me what we had been waiting for 2 years now. He saw my perfect pregnancy through 8 weeks. He was there when I saw my baby on-screen and was so tearfully happy again. I cannot thank him enough. My son was born Aug. 23, 2012 via planned C-section by an amazing OB surgeon whom I adore and was referred to me by Dr. I. I loved being pregnant. It finally worked out for us after all the heartache. My health and the baby were perfect. I was able to breastfeed for 7-8 months and got my cycle back at 7 months.

Around Julian’s 1st birthday I decided to be proactive, thinking about baby #2. I had talked to my OB right at my 6-week post-partum check-up and asked if I should be concerned of returned scarring from the C-section. He said probably not, but he could look if I wanted him to. After the hysteroscopy he looked and me, not smiling and said, “You do have more scarring, and if you want to TTC, I want you to see Dr. I again for surgery ASAP.” I left in shock and cried all night. The next day I was on phone with Dr. I’s office and before I knew it, I was in for a hysteroscopy. I had some scarring near my surgery lines, as most woman do, and some small amounts in the same places as before, but Dr. I said it was fine. He told me to TTC and if we are not pregnant after 4 tries to see him February. He knows we always conceive quickly even with all my issues.

So again, I am a patient of Dr. I’s, who I adore so it’s fine. But again, I share my very long road with you and with everyone out there. I want to let women know, BE PROACTIVE. Thanks to Dr. I, I am hopeful our family has a chance to grow and we will conceive again on our own.