my uterus is a unicorn

The Last Unicorn

I have a unicornuate uterus.

Basically, it all boils down to this one unalterable fact.

When I was first told this a few years ago, after having a laparoscopy, the words kind of floated around in the air above me, never quite making contact and sinking in. Okay, so I have a misshaped uterus. My RE seemed unconcerned by this fact, so I put it out of my mind.

Fast forward to a few days ago, when I met with our new RE at a new infertility clinic. He went into great detail about what our options are, considering this abnormality. There is only one option: IVF. See, with a unicornuate uterus, I cannot have multiple births. Twins are completely out of the question because the risk is too high for a host of complications (highest on the list being preterm delivery). So, that rules out inject-able hormones.

Did you know that the risk of twins jumps from (approximately) 5% to (approximately) 35% with inject-able hormones?

Yeah, I had no clue.

Naturally, I went home and immediately googled the term unicorneate uterus. Here are some of the facts I found:

  1. A unicornuate uterus occurs in the womb, when the uterus never full develops. It is half the size of a normal uterus and there is only one fallopian tube.
  2. It is the rarest form of uterine abnormalities (present in 0.1% of the unselected population, or approx. 1 in 1000 women).
  3. It is associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, preterm premature rupture of membranes, breech presentation, cesarean section, placenta previa, placental abruption and intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). (Yikes!)
  4. Considered to have the second worst obstetric outcome.
  5. Spontaneous abortion rates are reported to range from 41-62%. Premature birth rates (reported) range from 10-20%.
  6. Fetal survival rate is approx. 40%.

Frankly, those stats scare me half to death.

As much as I may wish for some sort of different outcome, there is no procedure that exists to fix this sort of problem. They cannot fix what, in essence, never existed. I am left with a feeling of, “Lord, what now?”

However, I refuse to give up. Not yet. I have read lots of successful birth stories with this abnormality (thank you, Internet), and Dr. Allemand seems confident that it can be done. So, despite this immense dose of reality, a flicker of hope still remains. We will continue with the process of preparing for IVF. I feel like I have to give it at least one shot, exhaust all my options, you know?

Otherwise, I would always be plagued with the dreaded “what-if…”

D.

Unicorn in featured image (c) The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. 

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hormonal

The human body never ceases to amaze me. We are like a tapestry with hundreds and thousands of tiny little threads that interweave to make up the whole. When even one thread gets pulled out of alignment, the tapestry can completely unravel. Likewise, when even one tiny piece of our bodies are out of sync, it affects the whole body – and that makes conception (which is already a slim chance) next to impossible.

I know I have been quiet for about two weeks. Sorry about that. I just need to take some time to get my bearings. You see, my hubby and I thought I was pregnant (ah, how many times have I uttered those words in the past 5 years?), so for one of the weeks, I was too anxious and (naively) hopeful so I didn’t want to write about anything and jinx it. Then, when I got my period, well – the second week was a period of mourning. By now, you would think I would not let myself get too hopeful. I know, it’s kind of a morbid thing to say, but when you wish for something so much and then have to watch the dream get dashed over and over, it really takes a psychological toll.

So, no, I’m not pregnant. But, I think this is a positive step (or at least that’s what I am trying to convince myself of) because of a few reasons:

  1. (And, to me, most important,) I was not on any medication that enhances “pregnancy symptoms” (like Clomid). I’ve done that before, and I loathe Clomid because (before I figured out that the drug can make you feel like you’re pregnant when you’re not) I would get so excited only to be so completely wrong.
  2. I had stronger symptoms then those times on Clomid.
  3. I had symptoms I never had before.

That tells me that the supplements I am taking must be getting all the out-of-whack things in my body straightened out. Not quite there yet, but I must be getting closer, right?

In the meantime I have been instructed to begin checking ovulation. So far this month I haven’t had any indication other than a faint pink line on cycle day 9. Oh, and that’s another thing. My periods seem to be getting closer together. They are averaging 26 days, and I have no clue if this is bad or not. I guess it doesn’t matter if I’m not even ovulating. Or maybe I am ovulating but the hormones are not getting to the level they need to be…

Like the title states: I am hormonal. There are so many hormones that play a part in this process and with my autoimmune disorder, it’s so hard to tell what’s working and what isn’t. Progesterone, estrogen, thyroid hormones, etc. Ugh. And, I have an appointment to check my thyroid levels next week (here’s hoping they’re correct!).

I feel like an old puzzle that you pull out and start to put together, only to find at the very end that the last couple of pieces are missing, and you can’t finish it.

Yep, that’s exactly how I feel.

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be kind

bekind

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

A friend posted this on Facebook in regards to the death of Robin Williams. It is a beautiful sentiment and kind of ironic that I touched on this very thing in my last post.

We cannot see the inner struggles behind the masks people wear in their daily lives. Whether it be depression, anxiety, infertility, alcoholism, drug addiction… the list goes on. So the quote above says it all.

Be kind.

For Robin Williams, I sincerely hope that he has found peace.