So Here Is Where I’m At

So Here Is Where I’m At

** Firstly, apologies for the poor formatting or any mistakes – I wrote this on my phone as I don’t have an Internet connection at home at the moment **

Ok, so, here it is. The update I promised earlier in the week.

As you know, I went for my scan on Tuesday. I was massively nervous and spent the whole day at work with my heart in my throat and a serious case of nervous butterflies.

For those of you that don’t know, when you have an ultrasound scan you have to have a full bladder, so they ask you to drink a pint of water an hour before your appointment, which I did. Now, this is modern science and I understand that, but I can’t help but think there must be a better way of doing this – I was nervous, sat in the waiting room shaking like a leaf, and a full bladder which was desperate to empty itself. Not a great combination.

After spending a good 20-minutes staring at the toilet across the waiting room and pleading with myself inside my head not to wet myself in public, the nurse called me in. I hopped on the bed, told her I was desperate for the toilet and asked her not to press too hard with the scanner as there was a risk it would make me pee all over the bed.

As you can probably tell, although I was nervous, I had absolutely no expectation of being told there was anything wrong with me. Although I’d sat there thinking of loads of different things that could be wrong, in my heart of hearts I thought I’d go in there, have a scan and be told there was nothing wrong and the weirdness of my body was just “one of those things”.

The nurse rubbed the gel on my stomach and started running her scanner over me. She was a lovely lady, probably in her late 30s or early 40s and she was laughing and joking with me. Then it all changed. She looked up from my stomach and at the screen and the only way I can describe it was to say the smile literally dropped off her face. Suddenly the cheery nurse had gone and instead there was one frowning, staring at the screen and asking me to stop talking as she needed to concentrate.

At this point I thought maybe she could see my coil was in the wrong place, or there had been some damage caused by the Endometrosis that the specialist last week told me she thought I had. A short while more of silence and then the nurse said “Sorry, sorry I’m not talking to you, but I need to concentrate on this as it’s not that common.”

I looked up to the ceiling and said “Ok, no worries!” when in fact, inside my head I was screaming “What? What’s wrong with me?”

It probably wasn’t even 30-seconds, but after what felt like a long time the nurse explained I have a Bicornuate Uterus. I asked to look at the screen and she showed me what she meant. The best way to describe it is to say that when I was a foetus, my womb didn’t form as it should and it’s split in half down the middle, so I have two separate womb areas, each with ovaries coming off of them. (My ovaries are fine though).

I told her I couldn’t understand what I was seeing on the screen (I can never see babies in those ultrasound images – it’s all just a lot of fuzziness to me) so she went and got a book for me.

Being me and awkward as I like to be, I haven’t got the most common kind of Bicornuate womb. Oh no, I have the uncommon version and the version that causes the most issues.

The most common kind of Bicornuate means the womb has a split at the top making the womb into a heart shape. This affects the ability to have children but it’s still possible.

The kind I have is known as a ‘complete split’ which basically means what it says – the split is complete rather than just slight, meaning the womb is split in half all the way down.

With my ovaries being fine, I shouldn’t have any issue actually falling pregnant, it’s do-able. The issue I will have is keeping any baby alive long enough to give birth to it. With the womb being split in half, the baby won’t have the amount of room it normally has to grow, therefore, it will get to as big as it can in the half it’s locked in to and then it’ll decide to come out – making it premature. There’s a higher risk of any baby I do conceive having something wrong with it. And miscarrying is very likely. Any pregnancy I had would be considered high risk and would have to be monitored closely by doctors.

So, although it’s not completely IMPOSSIBLE for me to have a child, it is UNLIKELY. As I said, getting pregnant shouldn’t be too hard, but it’s quite likely that I won’t be able to keep it alive.

All my life, even when I was a little girl, I said I didn’t think I’d be able to have children. I had a feeling that I wasn’t able to – which sounds weird now and I sort of feeling guilty, like I deserve it for saying those things, but it’s just how I’ve always felt in my heart of hearts. However, hearing those words and now knowing for a fact that it’s unlikely has torn me apart. I’m absolutely devastated. I can’t explain the pain I’m feeling, I can’t get the words out. I don’t like showing emotion at the best of times, but to be dealing with a grief that I can’t even comprehend makes it all the more impossible to talk about it. People have told me to talk to them – my family, Kris, my best friends – but even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. I don’t have the words to describe how I feel. There are no words.

I’ve sat down a few times to write down what’s happening in my head, but without the words to describe it, it’s impossible, so instead of trying to form a cohesive, understandable document, I’ve just been writing down the thoughts in my head as I’ve had them. It’s been pretty therapeutic. Writing has always been my escape and my vent, it’s always been easier for me to write what I feel rather than say it out loud, but even that isn’t enough now.

So, I think the only way I can explain it is to write my thoughts as bullet points. I know some of them probably look crazy and melodramatic from the outside, but this blog has always been open, honest and transparent and as this is one of the most major things that has ever and will ever happen to me, it’s important (for me) that I cover it here.

And sure, crazy and melodramatic may be what you think when you read this, you may think I’m making a huge fuss and that there are people worse off in the world than me – I know there are, I’m lucky to have the life I have, I know that – but, my heart hurts at the moment, my brain can’t cope with the information and emotion it’s got to take on board, and so those thoughts aren’t perhaps understandable, but I’m just being honest.

Inside the mind of a woman with a broken womb and a broken heart…

• The sole purpose of a female in any species on this planet is to make a baby, keep it safe and give birth to it. • The fact that I may not be able to do that makes me feel like a failure.
• Kris told me once that he would love to have twins. Sure, twins are rare and never a ‘given’, but now I know that if I did fall pregnant with twins then it would certainly be impossible for me to bring them into this world alive.
• How can I expect any man to want to be with me when I may not be able to give him children? How can Kris want to be with me? It’s not the man’s fault that I’m broken, but they’ll be ‘punished’ by possibly not having children because of my fault.
• I understand there are options for women that can’t have children, surrogacy for example, but how can I watch another woman carry my child? • A couple should go through the pregnancy experience together – I’ll be taking that opportunity away from any man I’m with.
• I may never have a baby bump to look down at or mad cravings I can tell everybody about. I may never feel a baby move or kick inside me.
• I feel like I’m not a proper woman. I feel unfeminine, unsexy.
• I feel useless – my womb is broken.
• I may not be able to give my parent’s the gift of grandchildren. After all they’ve done for me through my life and grandchildren would be the ultimate gift.
• I had a sister, Katy, who died when she was 2½ years old. She died, but I’m alive and I’m broken inside. It seems so unfair.
• The whole point of life is to procreate – without that ability, I’m pointless.
• Why do I have stomach pains? I know my womb isn’t formed properly, but why does it hurt me?
• Every twinge I have is a reminder that I’m not right.
• All of my friends are at an age now where they’re having children. I’m seeing announcements on Facebook of new pregnancies, photos of babies being uploaded. Of course I’ll be happy for them all, it’s a fantastic thing, but will I always feel jealousy and sadness when I see another person doing what I possibly can’t?
• How will any man I’m with feel when his friends are taking their children down the park or to a football game and he’s without a child?
• Kris’ brother and sister-in-law found out the sex of their baby yesterday. There’s so much excitement and happiness – what if I can never give Kris that joy?
• I’m ashamed and embarrassed.
• I’m being totally selfish and unreasonable – I’m annoyed at the people who haven’t contacted me to see if I’m ok but when people ask if I’m ok I just say “Yes” rather than admitting that I’m really not ok.
• I want to talk about it constantly to anyone that will listen, but I also don’t want to talk about it to anybody, I don’t want to acknowledge it.
• I want to run and run and run to somewhere where I don’t know anybody, but that won’t change what’s wrong inside me.
• I want to sleep all the time. When I’m asleep, if I dream of this then it’s a nightmare – it’s when I wake up I have to accept this is my reality.
• Why me?

So, there you go, that’s just some of the thoughts flying around my brain. Dis-jointed, un-related, confusing and perhaps (some of you may feel) completely ridiculous. But, that’s what’s happening. That’s how I feel.

LilliesandLove xx

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17 Comments

  1. EJW
    July 6, 2012 / 3:39 pm

    Nothing you feel is ridiculous and everything must be a constant reminder of your pain….like getting salt into a fresh wound….My situation is not exact but similar and I can sympathise…I have found counselling to be very useful and although it doesnt fix anything it gives you the coping skills…especially for those days when you want to press the unconscious button and sleep it all away….thinking of you x

    • July 9, 2012 / 4:41 pm

      Thank you – it’s such a strange thing to be told. It’s there, it’s something wrong with you, but there’s nothing really to “show for it” if that makes sense? And there’s no real knowing what will happen in the future. I can’t explain it, but I guess you sort of know what I mean.

      Thanks for your support xx

  2. July 6, 2012 / 7:17 pm

    Hi honey! So sorry to hear your news. It is still so new that’s why it’s hurting so much! I know friends who have used a surrogate ad family that have adopted. You would be a great mum and ok you won’t have nine months of pregnancy, but when that baby arrives you will forget all about t.
    You will be a wonderful mum don’t deprive yourself xxxxxx
    Love you lots x

    • July 9, 2012 / 4:43 pm

      Thank you. I’m very lucky that this is my only problem – I need to pull my socks up and stop whinging 🙂 xx

  3. July 6, 2012 / 9:21 pm

    I can’t say that I can begin to understand, I have been blessed with children. But I can say I feel your pain through your words. I too have been through some extreme life trials and find the written word some vague comfort, but have never been brave enough to publish to the world.

    Time they say is a great healer, I am never sure if this is true, time changes things, but sadness remains, you just no longer feel it every day.

    Carrying your own child is giving a gift of life, but fundamentally no matter how you become a parent, be it naturally or otherwise, giving the gift of love to a child, growing with it, learning by it, and allowing a child a bright and happy future is what counts. You may be feeling right now that you are incomplete, but you are in shock, you, in a way need to grieve for what can’t be…

    Life takes strange twists and turns, some very cruel, others unexplained and unexpected. We adapt, sometimes unwillingly to circumstance, and we often surprise ourselves along that rocky road that we have got through. It’s not as we may have expected, but things have a funny way of working out.

    You can and will get through. xxx

    • July 9, 2012 / 4:44 pm

      Thank you for this lovely message. Life does have it’s own way and we’re just along for the ride. I just have to be thankful that (aside from the dodgy womb!) I have my health and the people I love around me.

      xx

  4. dreamer5565
    July 11, 2012 / 2:07 pm

    Nothing helpful to say, but sending love xxxx

  5. cheerfulwaster
    July 19, 2012 / 8:46 pm

    Hey, you’ll know me as cheerfulwaster on Twitter (a.k.a Dan O’Mahony) and, as you’ll also know, my wife and I went through *exactly* the same situation as you and your BF are going through now: a complete bicornuation of the uterus.

    We didn’t find out until we started to try for a family and then only after 1 year of trying. We were placed under the care of a specialist at Hope Hospital, Salford: he was one of the team who pioneered the first test tube baby and boy could you tell. He had a David Dickinson tan, a perfectly coiffured mullet, hand made suits and shoes and a massive Rolls Royce in the carpark. You knew it was his as his reg plate was his initials. Anyhow, unlike the GP he was amazing. He understood our plight, our feelings and our concerns. He wasn’t your normal senior consultant, i.e. all knowledge and no bedside manner. There’s one thing he said that I remember to this day: “We don’t understand how pregnancy works. We know what happens and how babies are conceived and born. But as to how it works, well that’s one of Nature’s wonders”. And he’d been in his medical field since the 60s…

    We underwent hormone therapy, weight loss programmes, vitamin treatments, and even had a hystiosalpingogram (sp?) which sounds a lot worse than it is. We were on the verge of going for IVF when it just happened. Life found a way. That will be 8 years ago on February 4th 2013. I’ll say it again: life found a way.

    Because of the severe bicornuation we were something of a medical marvel and every time we went for a consultation (about every week to keep track on what was going on) there were student doctors there: that was fine, everyone has to learn and what an opportunity! Natalie carried Ethan to just under full term – he was born at about 36 weeks by C-section. Natalie wanted to deliver naturally but, as he didn’t have much room (the uterus does grow with the baby), Ethan was in breech position. In fact he was a Franks Breech: i.e. one leg tucked up under his chin, the other stretched out below him so he’d have been born one foot first. C-section was the way forward and again the theatre was full of students and other consultants such was the rarity of the bicornuation.

    So why am I telling you this, and other readers of your blog it suddenly occurs to me? Well, because in your bullet points you make some points that I both understand and wonder about. I do understand that you brain dumped whilst you were going through something of a turmoil. But let me make some comments if I may…

  6. cheerfulwaster
    July 19, 2012 / 8:47 pm

    • The fact that I may not be able to do that makes me feel like a failure.
    – So let’s stop thinking like that from day one! Do this for me, if you will: just spend 10 minutes looking around you and write down 5 things that you a) do well, b) are proud of, c) love, d) enjoy doing. Now think about why. I doubt you’re a failure at any of them. And that’s just 5 things. Put your mind to it and the list will grow.

    • Kris told me once that he would love to have twins. Sure, twins are rare and never a ‘given’, but now I know that if I did fall pregnant with twins then it would certainly be impossible for me to bring them into this world alive.
    – Twins are indeed a gift. I always said I wanted girls and I have two boys. I still love ’em. 🙂 It’s not impossible to carry them and do you know something? Babies can live when born prematurely from about 20 weeks – albeit an extreme event. Don’t write off your body to carry children, and don’t write off medical science to protect and nurture them if your body can’t.

    • How can I expect any man to want to be with me when I may not be able to give him children? How can Kris want to be with me? It’s not the man’s fault that I’m broken, but they’ll be ‘punished’ by possibly not having children because of my fault.
    – So when this happened to Natalie and I, Natalie had the same feelings. I couldn’t understand this to start with as I love Natalie for being Natalie not for what she can give me. I love Natalie in a holistic sense: i.e. she is what she is. She’s still got a broken uterus and if we hadn’t been blessed with children we’d still be together; probably with less grey hair. Kris will love you irrespective of children, I’m sure.

    • I understand there are options for women that can’t have children, surrogacy for example, but how can I watch another woman carry my child? • A couple should go through the pregnancy experience together – I’ll be taking that opportunity away from any man I’m with.
    – Cross these bridges when they happen. You sound a lot like me: solving problem A by jumping to problem Z straight away. It’s natural to think forward but perhaps think about the things you can do to help your body prepare for pregnancy before thinking about how to prepare for what to do if you really can’t get pregnant…

    • I may never have a baby bump to look down at or mad cravings I can tell everybody about. I may never feel a baby move or kick inside me.
    – No. You may not. Again though, you’re only just starting on the road to understanding and the road is a long one before pregnancy is written off. Don’t write it off before you’re sure you’re at the end of the road…

    • I feel like I’m not a proper woman. I feel unfeminine, unsexy.
    • I feel useless – my womb is broken.
    – Gosh. I do my fair share of counselling, coaching and mentoring and this is clearly a profound set of statements. All I can say is that many things make up a woman and I can’t do your statements justice in a blog comment. Your womb isn’t broken: it’s just different. It’s still capable of carrying a child and you are still capable of being a mother through a natural process. Please try and remember this.

    • I may not be able to give my parent’s the gift of grandchildren. After all they’ve done for me through my life and grandchildren would be the ultimate gift.
    – As a child I was paranoid about not carrying on the family name. Seriously, at the age of about 11 I was aware that the sexing of a child is down to the male. It turns out that my Dad couldn’t give two hoots about the name. When my parents found out about Natalie’s womb they were more concerned about her and how she was rather than whether or not they were going to be grandparents. My mum cried in empathy and my Dad echoed my thoughts: if life doesn’t find a way, don’t worry, you have each other. Parents have a habit of surprising you.

  7. cheerfulwaster
    July 19, 2012 / 8:47 pm

    • The whole point of life is to procreate – without that ability, I’m pointless.
    – I only started to know you through Twitter tonight and I can see that that’s not a true statement 🙂 The whole point of life is only what you make it. Some people travel, some people do charity work, some people throw themselves into the job, some into sports. Life is what *you* make it rather than what other people expect you to make it…

    • Why do I have stomach pains? I know my womb isn’t formed properly, but why does it hurt me?
    – Some bicornuation does bring abdominal pain. Natalie didn’t get pains, although she did continue to have periods whilst she was pregnant though – two halves doing two seperate things!
    Now you have a diagnosis if the GP doesn’t help treat the symptoms then you should ask for a referral.

    • All of my friends are at an age now where they’re having children. I’m seeing announcements on Facebook of new pregnancies, photos of babies being uploaded. Of course I’ll be happy for them all, it’s a fantastic thing, but will I always feel jealousy and sadness when I see another person doing what I possibly can’t?
    – Again, i’ve already mentioned that you shouldn’t pre-empt the future. I’ll say it again…the future is hidden right now so deal with the things you can deal with today.

    • How will any man I’m with feel when his friends are taking their children down the park or to a football game and he’s without a child?
    – If he’s in love with you then he’ll be all eyes for you. You will be the person he’s at the park with. End of. If he’s the one for you, and you’re the one for him, it won’t matter. Seriously. If Natalie and I couldn’t have had children then we’d still be a couple, still in love, and still besotted with one another.

    • I’m ashamed and embarrassed.
    • I’m being totally selfish and unreasonable.
    – Totally natural reactions. Once you understand what you’re dealing with those feelings will subside, trust me – I have massive self esteem issues and huge hangups that I’ve dealt with only through understanding the root cause and then understanding how to move forward. Some of it I’ve had to reach out to professional help to solve: but solved they have been.

    • I want to talk about it constantly to anyone that will listen, but I also don’t want to talk about it to anybody, I don’t want to acknowledge it.
    – So, talking about it to anyone is a natural reaction to dealing with the shock of the news. To get any sort of information, any sort of connection, any sort of feedback: that’s all important and you should keep doing that until you’re in a place where you have the information you need and can deal with it all and start to look forward.

    • I want to run and run and run to somewhere where I don’t know anybody, but that won’t change what’s wrong inside me.
    • I want to sleep all the time. When I’m asleep, if I dream of this then it’s a nightmare – it’s when I wake up I have to accept this is my reality.
    – As above, really, this will pass and subside and will fade in time: once you understand and can deal with it. That understanding will take time and will be driven by you. We’re here to help in that journey!

  8. cheerfulwaster
    July 19, 2012 / 8:48 pm

    • Why me?
    – It’s not just you 🙂 It was us, too. That’s why I’m writing this. There’s no answer to this…it just happens. I said the same thing when I went through a period of depression. Once I realised that I wasn’t the only one and realised that I could get through it I could deal with it. Take comfort in the fact that Twitter has actually helped you, through some twist of fate, to find someone who’s wife has *exactly* the same condition.

    I do hope this has helped. You have my Twitter name and you can email me at dan.omahony2@gmail.com if you need to.

    Take care. x

    • July 20, 2012 / 8:31 am

      Wow. Just, wow. Such an amazing response, you made me cry and smile at the same time – it’s so good to talk to someone that has direct experience of it.

      Thank you so much for your words, I just know I’m going to come back and read them time and time again. It’s such a huge comfort. Thank you xx

  9. January 23, 2014 / 2:52 pm

    This is such a horrible situation to be in! I haven’t got any advice or much to say, except I hope you don’t feel this way (or at least anywhere near as much) anymore, and that you feel you can talk about it now and have the support you need. From what I’ve read from your blog and twitter, you seem really strong so it may be horrible and not at all what you want but I think if you’ve got support you’ll be able to cope 🙂 this is a really brave post! India xxx

    • January 24, 2014 / 10:26 am

      Thanks India, I feel a lot better than I did back then but it does still move me to tears sometimes. I try to remember everyday that I’m lucky this is what I have wrong with me and it’s not something worse. xx

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