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Episode 451

Jordy – endometriosis, excess amniotic fluid, navigating secondary infertility

Jordy has always had long, painful and heavy periods so when she fell pregnant without trying, no one was more shocked than her. Excess amniotic fluid prevented her from monitoring her baby’s movements so she presented to the hospital multiple times and opted for a planned caesarean at 38 weeks. Her birth experience was incredibly positive and after breastfeeding for the first time in recovery, she went on to feed baby Evie for three years. Since being diagnosed with adenomyosis, endometriosis and cysts on her ovaries, Jordy is navigating secondary infertility alongside medication and persistent pain. She speaks candidly about the daily challenges of her pain as well as the heartache of failed pregnancies.

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“Evie was an amazing surprise. I’ve always had painful, heavy, long periods. Before I fell pregnant I tried a lot of different contraceptives, including progesterone-only forms of contraception that wouldn’t help with my bleeding. There was a lot of talk about endometriosis at the time and I was booked in for an investigative laparoscopy but I fell pregnant beforehand. I just had this feeling, this knowing that I was pregnant and as soon as I took the test it showed up straight away.

“It’s was only recently that I had a specialist scan where the professor who was scanning me confirmed that I have adenomyosis, endometriosis and cysts on my ovaries which all explain the amount of pain I have. I’m relieved I’ve got answers but it also explains why I’ve struggled to stay pregnant after Evie. Hopefully treatment will ease my pain.

“They say pregnancy is the best thing for endometriosis which is great if that’s what you want but it’s no good telling someone that if they’re not ready to have children or don’t want them. I had a few early bleeds but once I made the 12-week mark I was really excited. Early on I wanted to do shared care with my GP but I was never really hellbent on having a particular type of birth; I didn’t have strong desires in that regard, I just wanted to do what was safest. I was zoned for the Royal Women’s in Melbourne and we had the best care there.

“I had excess amniotic fluid, Evie was a big baby and I got tachycardia towards the end of the pregnancy. I was big for most of the pregnancy and the excess fluid prevented me from feeling her movements so I went to hospital quite a few times for decreased foetal movements. At 37 weeks I presented to hospital with decreased movements and they couldn’t decipher my heartrate from Evie’s and were concerned I’d developed a blood clot so I was admitted for monitoring. The next day the obstetrician saw me and suggested a caesarean. I just wanted a calm experience so the caesarean was booked for 38 weeks.

“I loved my caesarean. It was calm, the doctors and nurses were amazing, it was the best experience. She was out within ten minutes, we did delayed cord clamping and we had our first breastfeed in recovery. We went on to have to most long and lovely breastfeeding journey.

“Looking back I should have stayed in hospital an extra night but we got sent home after three nights. I was recovering well and Evie was putting on weight so we were discharged and started life together. In terms of pain, I was fine with panadol and I was up and about pretty quickly.

“I was on the endometriosis medication because my period had come back and it was getting quite bad. During covid the laparoscopy wasn’t possible because elective surgery was postponed. I fell pregnant and I knew my cycle and how far along I should be so I knew straight away something wasn’t right because the blood tests showed low hormone levels. I had an ultrasound and it was deemed a failed pregnancy. I was told to go home and wait for my body to miscarry but that can take quite a while with missed miscarriages. I felt sick and tired so it was cruel that I felt so pregnant but knew I wouldn’t get a baby. I booked into a clinic in Melbourne that did abortions and had a D+C as there was a three-week wait at the hospital. I went in, had my blood test, an ultrasound to check that it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy and then I was out within a few hours.

“I was sad about losing my baby but I also had guilt that it was grief for a baby I’d never planned. Secondary infertility is really hard and I’m honest with people when they ask when we’re planning another baby. I live with so much pain but I don’t want to rely on pain medications for the rest of my life. I feel the pain of ovulation and then I’m in pain till my period and there’s so many associated symptoms that affect my day to day life.

“I’ve got a fantastic GP who referred me to the right specialists, advocated for me to see surgeons sooner and really helped me feel okay about taking medication to manage my pain. I feel really lucky to have her in my corner.”

Topics Discussed

Breastfeeding, Endometriosis, excess amniotic fluid, fragmented care, Missed miscarriage, Planned caesarean, Secondary infertility, tachycardia

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