Sunshine Coast mum Shannon Hubbard will forever remember the Easter of 2018 as the weekend she came terrifyingly close to bleeding to death in hospital.
On the morning before Good Friday, the 25-year-old mother-of-three had a Mirena – a popular hormone-releasing IUD – inserted by a GP. She’d been excited about getting it, having tossed up the idea for many years due to the poor side-effects she’d suffered from the contraceptive pill.
Now, after the birth of her third child Harry, who was eight weeks old at the time, she thought it was the perfect moment.
The procedure went smoothly. But about 30 minutes later, as she sat down at home and poured herself a coffee, she realised she was bleeding profusely. She found herself having to change maternity pads every half hour. She knew something was wrong, but she tried to just push on with her day. It was 11am on a weekday. She had errands to run, a newborn to tend to, children to feed, and pick-ups to do for her two eldest, Aidan, five, and Sydney, three.
She had no idea that the bleeding wouldn’t stop for three entire days.
That night, at 9pm, she went to emergency with her mother. Ms Hubbard said doctors had an “aha” moment when they did a scan and saw the Mirena had been placed in the wrong position because she had a retroverted uterus – an common condition affecting a quarter of women, but one Ms Hubbard didn’t know she had. Women with a tilted uterus can safely get a Mirena inserted if angled appropriately.
Medical staff removed the Mirena, and she hoped that would be the end of it. But she said the bleeding worsened and the clots were “enormous”.
“One clot was about 8cm, bigger than my hand,” Ms Hubbard said.
“When all that was happening, I started to worry. You start thinking, ‘how much more blood can I lose’? But it was still yet to get a lot worse.”