At just 22, mother-of-two Kiera Elton's dreams of having a big family, and experiencing pregnancy with her friends, were over.
She'd had two somewhat unexpected but welcome pregnancies, both of which ended in difficult childbirths to deliver her darling daughter and son, Lillian and Lochlann.
A week after her first birth, Kiera, a Brit living with her 26-year-old husband in Canada, started hemorrhaging blood clots, and it transpired she hadn't fully passed the placenta.
Three weeks after the second, the same: she lost a liter of blood, had two blood clots the size of golf balls in her womb, and was slowly fading.
Doctors were forced to perform a life-saving hysterectomy, removing her uterus and ending her chances of conceiving again.
Unlike most 22-year-olds, Kiera already had two kids, which she takes as some consolation.
But that doesn't make the loss, the grief, and the shock any easier, she says.
Kiera Elton, 22, (pictured) hopes to normalize young hysterectomies and connect with other women in the same situation. She had an emergency hysterectomy on June 5
Kiera, pictured with husband Preston and their daughter Lillian, had hoped for a big family
Now, the couple has two children, but Kiera says she still mourns losing the option to have more kids
'Initially, I was just happy that I had two kids and I was able to start raising my family without any more problems. I was thankful that the doctors didn't wait any longer and just did the surgery,' Kiera said.
'Once it started to sink in, it really hurt me and still does. We always wanted more kids, so knowing I'll never be able to get pregnant again makes me emotional. Most of my friends aren't having kids for many years, so I'm sad I won't get to experience pregnancy with them.
'Having a hysterectomy at such a young age was an eye opener. I will be 23 this year and I can't have any more children, which is heart-breaking. I've been through the ringer and back and I'm not even 25 yet.
'I know one day that my kids will ask me for another sibling and it's going to be very difficult to tell them no. But at least because they are still young, I will have years to mentally prepare myself for it.'
Kiera's delivery of Lochlann (pictured) was fairly smooth, but she developed blood clots in her uterus and didn't fully pass the placenta
Kiera and Preston after welcoming Lochlann. Kiera endured over a week in and out of the hospital, fainting and losing blood
Kiera, born in Milton Keynes in south-west England, met Preston in 2014, and they now live in Alberta, Canada.
She was 20 when she became pregnant with Lillian in 2017, and gave birth on February 23, 2018.
Following Lillian's birth, Kiera lost a lot of blood and doctors discovered that she still had some placenta inside her.
It meant she needed a dilation and curettage (known as a D&C, which is also used in an abortion) to remove the remains.
A week later, Kiera hemorrhaged again and passed large blood clots, requiring another D&C.
Following Lillian's birth, Kiera lost a lot of blood and doctors discovered that she still had some placenta inside her. It meant she needed a dilation and curettage (known as a D&C, which is also used in an abortion) to remove the remains. A week later, Kiera hemorrhaged again and passed large blood clots, requiring another D&C