Having already had two children, Alabama mum Lucy Hellein and her partner decided to prevent further pregnancies by having her IUD inserted. However, Hellein found out in December that she was pregnant, and gave birth to her son Dexter last Thursday — managing to snap a now-viral photo of her son clutching the device that was meant to prevent his birth.
Hellein told Metro that she had her third IUD inserted in August, and found out in December that she was 18 weeks along in her pregnancy.
"This was actually my third Mirena, my first two worked great. I had this one inserted back in August," she said. "I found out I was pregnant in December and I’ll admit I was scared because of the Mirena."
Even more surprising was the fact that her doctor couldn't locate the IUD.
"My Mirena was nowhere to be found on ultrasound so my OB assumed that it had fallen out, but I wasn’t convinced," she told Metro.
But when she gave birth via c-section last week, the surgeon was able to recover the implant.
"During the c-section my OB planned on searching for the MIA Mirena," she told Metro.
According to Hellein's caption, the surgeon found the IUD behind her placenta.
"‘For those wondering, no I did not push him out, he was a scheduled c-section," Hellein told Metro.
Of course, this is an extremely rare occurrence — IUDs are amongst the most effective forms of birth control, and the Mirena, which is meant to last for five years, has a 99% effectiveness rate. As a hormonal IUD, the Mirena works by preventing the hormone surge that triggers ovulation, the process that facilitates pregnancy. While IUDs can and do get dislodged, the specifics of Hellein's case are unclear.
Refinery29 has reached out to Mirena for comment and will update this story when we hear back.