In June 2020 I gave birth to my first daughter and hemorrhaged at birth. I didn’t think much of it until I hemorrhaged 3 weeks later at home. I thought I was dying, there was a lot of blood loss and I was taken by ambulance to the hospital I delivered at. They couldn’t explain the bleeding but performed an embolization on my uterine artery. It stopped the bleeding but I ended up in the hospital a week later for infection and blood clot/hematoma. Once that resolved I was sent home. Many many scans later (MRI, CT and ultrasounds) they told me the embolization “fixed” my AVM. To note, it took over a year for them to understand ot was an AVM. Thankfully the dr told me she had no experience with AVMs. My husband and I really wanted a second child but we weren’t sure it it was safe. After some very unfortunate meetings with doctors and high risk specialists at various hospitals, including the one I delivered my daughter at, we finally found a doctor that was educated, confident and was able to speak to us clearly. She made us feel safe and we were under the best care. Of course, getting pregnant after an embolization comes with its own host of potential complications and higher risks but we felt we were in safe hands. They said there is no way to guarantee the AVM wouldn’t return but they were prepared for any complication. In the end, my son was born with no hemorrhage and a scan 8 weeks after delivery shows that the AVM is still “fixed”. For the first time in over 3 years I finally feel my body is my own.
I want to share that there can be happy endings. And for reference, if anyone is in the Philly area, I can’t say enough about how amazing the Hospital at the University of Penn (HUP) is. Truly the best doctors and nurses surrounded us on this multi year journey and we would not have our son if it wasn’t for them.