Birth Story: ‘I’m Australia’s First Woman to Give Birth After Uterus Transplant’

Posted in Birth Stories.

Kirsty Bryant and her baby boy Henry

After a life-saving hysterectomy following the birth of her first child, Kirsty Bryant was devastated to think that she couldn’t have any more children. Little did she know, Kirsty would become the first woman in Australia to give birth after undergoing a uterus transplant.

After getting engaged in 2019 Kirsty and Nick’s lives seemed to jump onto a neverending rollercoaster with all kinds of ups and downs, twists and turns.

Following a cancelled wedding in 2020 thanks to the pandemic, and a cancelled honeymoon to Japan after finally having a small ceremony in their backyard with just their parents and a celebrant, the couple were ready to start their family. Unfortunately, after seven weeks of being pregnant with their first baby, Kirsty suffered a miscarriage.

Two months later Kirsty fell pregnant again with a baby girl. In April 2021 Kirsty gave birth to their daughter Violet via an emergency caesarean, but following complications of postpartum haemorrhaging where she lost eleven litres of blood, the doctors had to perform a hysterectomy.

Sydney woman Kirsty Bryant after giving birth to her first baby Violet

‘I was told that I would never carry another child’

Speaking with the University of New South Wales Kirsty explained that she had always wanted more than one child.

“I’d grown up with such a good friend in my brother. If something went wrong, we could lean on each other… Because of that love of having a sibling, I knew that when I had children myself, I wanted more than one.”

Even though she was told it would never happen, she desperately wanted to carry another baby. Explaining on the television show ‘Insight at SBS’ she said,

“Carrying a baby doesn’t make me any more of a parent or a mother. But I knew that I wanted to be pregnant again and that I wanted to carry another baby.”

That’s when the 31-year-old came across a clinical trial in Sydney for uterus transplantation. Taking over a decade Associate Professor Rebecca Deans established the uterine transplant clinical trial in Australia with the help of her team and in close collaboration with Swedish Professor Mats Brännström, who was the first in the world to successfully perform the uterine transplant procedure.

Kirsty called her GP to get him on board with getting her into the trial and harnessed the support of Nick and her family.

Without a second of hesitation, Kirsty’s mother Michelle offered to donate her own uterus stating that she didn’t need more than a moment to think about it – she just wanted to help Kirsty ‘fulfil her heart’s desire to grow her family.’

Michelle and Kirsty hugging in hospital before their transplant surgery

Kirsty went through blood tests, ultrasounds and exploratory surgery as well as two rounds of IVF and finally both Kirsty and Michelle were accepted into the trial.

In January 2023, after an incredible sixteen hours of surgery, Kirsty became the first woman in Australia to undergo uterus transplant surgery.

Kirsty before going into surgery

Dreams come true

Four months later, Kirsty was carrying a baby in the same uterus that she had grown in.

“I’m so grateful that I found this trial and was accepted and have been able to go on this journey… And then who would have thought that by having a uterus transplant in January, I’d have another member of the family by Christmas?

“The idea of potentially having a new baby by Christmas, it’s just insane. I got to see the heartbeat on the ultrasound, and that really hit home that this is happening. I’m pregnant.”

Kirsty and her family in a professional photo

In July Kirsty shared the news that she was expecting on her Instagram where she has been documenting her journey.

“Violet actually can’t decide whether she wants a brother or sister – she says she just wants a baby. At least I can definitely bring home a baby.” Kirsty said to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kirsty announcing her pregnancy

‘He’s here’

Henry Nicholas Michelle Bryant arrived by c-section at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney on December 15 at 9:16 am weighing 2.99kg. Sharing his arrival on Instagram, Kirsty wrote:

“Myself & Henry are doing well. My family and I would like to thank everyone involved in making this clinical trial and dream of ours a reality.”

Returning to Australia for Henry’s birth, doctor Mats spoke with the media saying:

“This gives hope to other women with uterine factor infertility that they can carry a child of their own without the need for other options such as adoption and surrogacy.”

Following Kirsty’s transplant, two additional women at the Royal Hospital for Women have undergone successful surgeries, with one now happily expecting.

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