Diagnosed with endometriosis at aged 13 and at 23 with endometriosis, Kellie De Sa would go on to have 11 laparoscopies, and a seven-year wait with infertility before her son was born. Kellie shares her journey from infertility to mom of two.
At the age of 13, I was diagnosed with endometriosis and over the following decade, I underwent 11 laparoscopic procedures to remove cysts from my ovaries. I was always in pain and bloated. When I was around 25 years old, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). My husband was also tested and his results revealed that he had low sperm mobility, which lowered our chances even further. After the testing, we were both put on different medications to try and assist with our infertility. I tried Clomid a few times but never managed to conceive.
“Two weeks later we went back to have another scan done and my little lump had a heartbeat.”
We started trying to conceive in 2004 and at that time we only knew of my endometriosis. I couldn’t have further operations done due to my scar tissue, so we tried to conceive naturally for a few years but were unsuccessful. That’s when we had my husband tested, and I also found out that I had PCOS. After these test results, we were put on a number of treatments, which were also unsuccessful.
In September 2011, I saw my gynae regarding my existing endometriosis scar tissue that was acting up again. I couldn’t have another operation because I’d had 11 laparoscopies and my gynae was concerned about the amount of scar tissue I already had. She said another op was not an option, so we decided to try Zolodex, a hormonal implant. Zoladex was actually made for cancer patients but my gynae had heard that it could assist in removing the cysts from my ovaries and at that stage, I was prepared to try anything that would help. Thereafter, it was business as usual and we kept trying the natural way.
Four months later, in January 2012, we found out we were expecting. At first, the doctor could only detect a lump in my uterus and was concerned that it might be a growth. Two weeks later we went back to have another scan done and my little lump had a heartbeat.
I had a fairly good pregnancy; it was all very surreal. Then suddenly at 31 weeks, I lost my mucus plug and went into labour. I was given injections to help develop my son’s lungs, and I was put on bed rest. My gynae was concerned that I might get an infection so, at 32 weeks, I was induced. My husband and I knew that our baby would need to go to the NICU but neither of us really understood what that would entail.
My son was born NVD (normal vaginal delivery) at 2.2kg and was sent straight to the NICU. I was only allowed to see him the following day. He was perfect – tiny, but perfect. He was resilient and on day six, I was told he would probably be able to come home with us. I had only been expressing until then, so the nurses helped me to breastfeed him. One of the head nurses became concerned about his colour and wanted to keep an eye on him for a while longer.
While I was breastfeeding him, the nurse suddenly pulled a little blue baby out from under my breastfeeding bib. He had stopped breathing and I was sent out while they tried to revive him. We were very blessed that they were able to resuscitate him and they sent him for scans. They think that he forgot to breathe, but they couldn’t find a medical reason for why he stopped breathing. After that episode, he was put back on oxygen, slowly weaned off and closely monitored so that they were more confident that he wouldn’t stop breathing again. I took him home on day 17.
When he was two, we decided to try for another child and we fell pregnant almost immediately! She was born NVD and premature at 35 weeks, weighing 2.75kg and perfectly healthy, and we could take her home immediately. It was an amazing experience to have my baby with me from birth. Although this birth was harder on my body, it was absolutely worth it!
After my daughter was born, I discovered the banting lifestyle and haven’t been affected by PCOS or endometriosis since I started eating healthier. It took three months of eating the correct foods to ensure that I was no longer in pain and that my bloating was a thing of the past.