Kaitlin

Mom to Jordan
Lost September 9, 2011,

Ectopic pregnancy, September 2009

and

Missed miscarriage, March 2009

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

My name is Kaitlin and I am 29 years old. I am married to Scott and have a daughter Emma.
I am sharing our journey with you as demonstration of our commitment to this process. Please take the time to understand where we have been and how we got to this place.

In March 2009, I was 6 weeks pregnant when I developed a horrible rash. I was covered head to toe and felt quite ill. No doctor could explain it or help me. The rash eventually disappeared and I began to feel better. Six (6) weeks later, at 12 weeks gestation, Scott and I went to our first ultrasound to finally see our baby. It didn’t go as planned. The ultrasound technologist, after about 10 minutes, asked me to get dressed and said the radiologist would come and see us. We had no clue what was about to happen. We were told that the baby had passed away at around 8 weeks. I had no idea that this had happened, but it had been when I had that rash.

In August 2009 we discovered I was again pregnant! Right away we got blood tests done to confirm everything was moving on well. My blood count fell and I was told that the pregnancy had ended and to follow up with another blood test in two days to confirm. My doctors’ office called me after three days and said that I was still pregnant!! An ultrasound was booked at the hospital in 6 weeks to confirm.

When I went to hospital for the ultrasound I didn’t know what to expect, I was terrified. My fears were confirmed. The technician took a really long time and kept asking me a lot of questions. She then brought in another technician to confirm what she found. Scott was asked to come in and we were told.

The fetus was not growing in the right place. It was in my tube, they said on the right side. I was in no pain and completely shocked. I was then admitted to the hospital as they thought surgery had to be performed.

Eight (8) hours later the on call OB finally came to see us. She said that she did not trust the ultrasound machine at the hospital and to come see her in her office the next day. When I went there I had another ultrasound done and went straight to her office. She confirmed that I had an ectopic pregnancy but that it was on the left side, not the right as the hospital had thought. I was by myself and scared.

She convinced me to use a “better” approach at ending the pregnancy. She gave me a shot of a cancer drug called “methotrexate”. This should quickly and painlessly end the pregnancy without problems. Four (4) long painful days later I ended up in the hospital, still pregnant, and in a lot of pain. I was there for a week while they waited to see what would happen. They ended up removing the fetus laparoscopically and I lost a fallopian tube.

Scott and I were becoming extremely frustrated at our infertility and requested my OB do some tests. It turned out I had something called “Asherman’s Syndrome”. In 2002, I had a daughter, Emma. Three weeks after she was born, I was still cramping and bleeding. It was discovered that I had retained placenta. I underwent a D&C to remove this. During this operation, my uterus was perforated, causing internal bleeding and a weak spot in my uterus. This is what caused my Asherman’s Syndrome.

I had so much scar tissue I developed Endometrioses, fibroids, and infertility. It was a very uninhabitable place for a baby to grow. I had a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy to have all of the scar tissue and endometriosis removed. We waited a couple of months for my body to get back to normal and heal. We started to “try” again. But it still wasn’t working, so my OB started me on Clomid.

Two months later we were pregnant!!!
We were very surprised, scared, relieved, etc…all of the tests showed that everything was perfect. We passed the three month mark with no incident. Then 4 months. We were actually going to have a baby.

On the morning of September 8th, 2011 I woke up just like every other day. As soon as I sat up I got a bad burning, ripping feeling at the top of my stomach. I ran to the bathroom and started dry heaving and crying from the pain. My mom and sister thought it was probably heart burn and to get some Tums. I was watching my neighbours’ two little girls and my daughter Emma that morning. I ended up curling up in bed for about 30 minutes or so not knowing what to do as the pain wasn’t going away. I called Telehealth and they told me to go to the hospital right away.

Scott was at work and I had three kids with me, how was I going to do this? I messaged Scott’s sister Janet to come over and watch the girls and take them to the bus stop so I could go to the hospital. I drove myself. I was 19 weeks 6 days pregnant. At 20 weeks, you can go straight to the maternity ward to be looked at. They turned me away because I wasn’t 20 weeks yet.

I walked down to emerge, and thankfully it was empty. I saw the triage nurse and got into a bed right away as the pain was getting worse. Before anyone could even come and check on me, I was in labour. A contraction had started and wouldn’t go away. So a nurse did an internal check to see if anything was happening. Nothing, all was good. But the pain was getting worse and they had to give me morphine at this point. I called Scott and asked him to come to the hospital as soon as he could. The nurses kept me comfortable while I waited to have an ultrasound. They explained that I was in labour and they couldn’t stop it. They didn’t know why. My ultrasound didn’t help. My contractions were so strong they couldn’t see what was going on in there.

I was brought up to the maternity floor and was admitted. No one could figure out what was happening. I then started getting a lot of pain when I took a breath in and under my collar bone really hurt. I could barely get up and go to the bathroom.

My doctor re-ran my blood tests. It showed that my hemoglobin level dropped from 129 to 88. It’s kind of a blur from there. I was moved to right in front of the nurse’s station and was constantly poked and prodded so they could figure this out. I received three blood transfusions and then a general surgeon came in to see me. He said it could be three things: a tumour on my liver, an aneurism in my spleen, or my uterus had ruptured (from the weak spot from nine years earlier). He needed to do a CT scan to see if it was the first two. There was a risk to the baby but he said that I had to do it. The scan came back fine.

They then got on the phone with McMaster hospital. It was agreed that Grand River couldn’t help me and that I should go there. I was transferred by ambulance at 2am. I arrived at McMaster ICU at 3am, I had no idea what was going on or what was about to happen.

At 7am I had another ultrasound. This time they brought a machine to me. Tilted my bed so my head was down and my feet were up in the air. There were four specialists in the room and Scott. The ultrasound took 45 minutes and I required a lot of morphine. They all left and said they’d be back. I’m not sure how long they were gone but it was about 30 minutes.

They all stood at the end of my bed and stared at me. One doctor started to talk, Dr. Sibley. She asked if I was coherent enough to understand what was going on. I said yes. She continued to tell me that my uterus had ruptured and to save my life that they would have to perform an emergency hysterectomy and end the pregnancy. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t cry, nothing. I was in complete shock. I tried to cry but from all of the bleeding it hurt too much.

My sister and Scott were there.

About 20 minutes later I was lying in the operating room as about 10 people rushed around me. Then I woke up.
Jordan Donelle’s angel date is September 9, 2011. He was 20 weeks gestation and weighed 9.9oz.; a perfect, healthy baby boy. McMaster hospital was great and helped us a lot with what we had just gone through. I was able to keep my ovaries and we are now keeping hope alive for increasing our family by looking at surrogacy. Scott’s sister has offered to carry our baby for us.

I am currently in my third month of trying IVF. They have all been cancelled before we could even start the injections. I am on CD12 now and have been taking Puregon. Started out at 300mls and now at 400mls. I have 7 immature eggs. 2 have started to grow but not as my doctor would like. They are giving me until tomorrow (This was last Friday). If still no change this cycle will be cancelled and we will have to start from scratch

My cycle was cancelled and it looks like we won’t be starting the hormones again until May.

You can contact Kaitlin at kaitlin.donelle@rbc.com.

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Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    Kaitlin, you are beautiful! I’m so sorry for your losses. It sounds like everything that could have gone wrong did. It’s frustrating when you think about how natural getting pregnant and giving birth should be, and how some women have no trouble when others have every trouble imaginable. I’m so glad you have your little Emma! But I’m so sorry for the angels you wish could’ve been a part of your family, too. I pray for the best for you and your family! Hugs!

  2. Danyelle says:

    O h Kaitlan you are so amazing. I am so sorry that you have had so many proble. My heart goes out to you. My thoughts are with your family as you continue to add to your family.

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