I’ve been meaning to blog about this since I had Brady last year but apparently haven’t gotten around to it. There’s no way that my life as a pregnant woman and as a mother could be documented correctly without mentioning this sort of huge discovery.
When I was laying on the operating room table getting pieced back together the Dr says to me, “Well! Wanna know something interesting about yourself?” Umm, ok, sure. She tells me that I have a unicornuate uternus which now explains to her why Brady was breech and was early… and why every other pregnancy I have will be the same. Later that day she drew this picture on the board in my room:
In her simple explanation that I understood still on large amounts of drugs, was that it’s an odd shaped uterus and only one connecting fallopian tube. This is something I was born with.
I really didn’t care much (but it did give me a little insight on why it took so long to get pregnant, hello, one fallopian tube) until yesterday when I started researching it.
I had no clue the severity of this abnormality. Here is a quick explanation of what it means:
A unicornuate uterus is half the size of a normal uterus and there is only one fallopian tube. Because of its shape, it is described as a uterus with one horn. It is a very rare abnormality. It develops in the earliest stages of life, when the tissue that forms the uterus does not grow properly. If you have a unicornuate uterus, you probably have two ovaries. Only one will be connected to your uterus, though.
My uterus is even more rare in that I have a second “horn” that doesn’t “communicate”. You are able to get pregnant, obvi, but you are doomed for complications like: spontaneous abortion, premature labor, ectopic pregnancies and breech positioned babies. This totally scares me and makes me insanely thankful for that little boy napping in the other room. Not that I wasn’t already. He just may be our little miracle baby.
The other fascinating discovery I found was the reason for such awful period pain I experience. When I went into labor with Brady I never felt a single contraction even though I was contracting and was dilated to 5cm and almost completely effaced. I’ve said over and over this last year that I just can’t understand why the same exact muscle that contracts in labor and during my period would only cause pain during the latter. My period cramps are AWFUL, always have been. I sit in a ball for hours with a heating pad and a bottle of Motrin. Oh but the lovely Internet solved the mystery:
A unicornuate uterus can be asymptomatic. However, women with a functioning non-communicating horn may experience pain during periods, because there is no outlet for the menstrual fluid.
That just sounds painful.
Even though we and I haven’t decided if we will have another baby or not, this makes me think maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe we got lucky this time and maybe the next time will be even harder, maybe we’d end up loosing a baby. Or two babies. Maybe I’d have an ectopic pregnancy and what if something happened to me?
I’ve pretty much been ignorant this past year because I haven’t done any research and my Dr didn’t explain it very well. Now I’m feeling totally freaked out. But also, incredibly, overwhelmingly, lucky.
Read more about this condition here.
*Quick update! We DID have another baby. 🙂 In 2012 I had a premie little girl who is now five and absolute perfection. I had a rough pregnancy with her which you can read about here. After that I had my tube tied*
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.