Friday, October 24, 2008

Lucky Unicorn.

Well, yesterday was the day I finally got to go see my O.B.G.y.n. I've been looking forward to that day since the two little lines first appeared on my little stick. And because this pregnancy has been a bit rougher on my back than the previous two and something has just felt "not quite right" the whole time...I was extra excited to be driving off to her office once again.

It was so wonderful and very cool walking through the doors of my O.B.'s office 4 years later. It does not feel like 4 years have past, but they have sure enough. I was greeted instantly and given a refresher course in the way things go at the office: check in, check your own urine, weigh yourself (blahh), and then give your results to the receptionists. I am up almost 20 lbs at month number 6 so, despite that being a bit frightening to see on the scale, it puts me about on track for where I was with Maddie and Jamie (I gained exactly 35 lbs with both of them. Sadly they each weighed just under 8 lbs, but whatever. BTW...did you see that clip of Minnie Driver saying "Oh, well...all my weight gain was baby so that is why I look so great now just 2 days after giving birth" or something to that affect. Good for you Minnie.) :-P

Then I was shown into the exam room and the very nice and friendly nurse came in to update all my info., take my blood pressure, measure my "fundal height" (I believe that is what it is's just them checking to see where your uterus has expanded to now), and get the baby's heart rate. And, yes, she let me listen to it for a nice long time. I swear, I almost cried. It's just one of those incredible little moments. The baby's heart rate was 139 and so, despite the fact that she and I both know there is no medical evidence behind this old wives tale, the nurse could not help but kid with me and say, "Ah! It's a boy!" {I had told her about my 2 ultrasounds - the first lady saying she was "quite sure it was a boy" and the second lady, at the horrible ultrasound, saying "well, I don't see any boy parts"}.

Then I heard the familiar voice of my wonderful doctor coming down the hall. She greeted me as "Norma", but I'll forgive her for that (for now. I'll have to correct her next time lest she drive me crazy). I was so happy to see her! I could have hugged her...but I kept my looney-preggo-girl hormones in check for the moment. She brought a student doctor in with her (asked if I minded first) which actually worked out great because then I got to hear all about "my case" which is "an interesting one".

Hmmm. I knew I had some weird things about me, but I didn't know all the details and the ones I thought I knew I had wrong! It's amazing how little you can know about yourself!

Turns out what I have is actually called a "Unicornuate Uterus". I'm a unicorn! The girls will be thrilled. What this means in a nutshell is..."A unicornate uterus is one that hasn't developed completely. It is smaller, generally only half the size of a normal uterus, and only has one fallopian tube. This makes conception and pregnancy difficult."

I had no idea. Here is a blurb off of one woman's site on the web:

"This web page is dedicated to the uterine anomaly unicornuate uterus. I put this web page together because I have this anomaly and I have found there is very little information on this condition. Although is it similar to the bicornuate uterus, which is unfortunately much more common, they are totally different in that research for one does not encompass the other. As of this date there are over two dozen of us [Two dozen! That's IT?!? O.M.G.] with this same condition. Some of them have children, some have had miscarriages, some have lost their babies and some of them went into pre-term labor. All of us have gone through some ordeal to get pregnant and that is usually when we have found out about our rare condition. There is, however, hope for all of us to one day to become a parent. Just knowing that I was not alone was an enormous comfort.

I have e-mailed other women who have this condition and asked them for their own story. Even though we all have the same anomaly our situations and conditions are different. Besides Our Stories, I have included articles that I have found on unicornuate uterus. If any one knows of any other sources please let me know. All of the articles have been used without permission from the authors. If you want full reprints I have put the addresses where you can obtain them. My best to all of you who have this anomaly. The best suggestion I have is to find a doctor who understands your condition, is willing to listen, and for pregnancy purposes, treat you like the high risk patient you are. Even though I went full term no one knew if that would be possible. Everything worked out in the end but it took a lot of prenatal care on my part, my husband, as well as my doctors."

Wow. Okay. Yeah, now I'm a bit scared.

Yesterday my doctor re-measured my uterus as she felt it was quite high...and it was. I'm at 29 cm whereas I should only be at about 24-25. This puts the baby about a month ahead of schedule - "size-wise" and that is because he/she doesn't have as much room to "roll up in"...he/she can only "stretch out" up my one, left, side. This also, btw, explains all the pain on the right side of my back. Not only am I carrying a heavy load - it is an off-balanced load! And, the RMT on Wednesday was right...the baby is up under my ribs already. But, the big problem with this is...the baby only has so much room to grow and once he/she is out of room it signals labour. Pre-term labour.

My doctor is very concerned about this and she said she will need to watch me very carefully and keep a close eye on the baby to see how he/she is doing. She has put in an order for another ultrasound a.s.a.p. and I will be going for several more throughout the rest of the pregnancy.

{Ok. This is about where my jaw drops all the way from the exam table and hits the floor}.

How could I have two children already and not know this?! I mean, I had NO IDEA that I was a "high risk" pregnancy. I had NO IDEA that it was extra difficult for me to get pregnant (having 50% less chance than other woman from the get-go). And I had NO IDEA that I was at risk for delivering pre-term. All I really knew was that I had a funky uterus, the baby would lay kind of sideways across me and, therefore, had to be delivered by c-section.

My gawd! I'm so lucky it is amazing. I got pregnant with Maddie on the first try. I got pregnant with Jamie on the second try. And I got pregnant with this baby on the fourth try. I always thought that was very, very, lucky but knowing now how the odds were really stacked against's pretty incredible. I'm literally shaking to find all this out.

So, well, I just can't even say anything more about all of this right now. I'm sort of in shock. Even more so than I was yesterday as it all begins to sink in, I guess. Maybe I should have left the office feeling scared or upset or something...different. But, all I really felt was a huge sense of relief. Is that weird?

I don't know. I just felt like this all explained a lot about how I've been feeling and the knowledge that I was now with someone who knew exactly what was going on and who was going to look out for me, carefully, was a huge weight off my shoulders.

Now I'm just freaking out a bit...learning more about my condition and how rare it is...on the internet. But, still, feeling very




Shan said...

Oh my gosh! That's incredible!! I can't even believe it. That's a lot of information to take in. If you need anything we're just across the street.

Widney Woman said...

Wow! You always were 'different'. Knowledge and answers can be such a relief. I'm so glad you have a smart doctor who knows what she is doing.

NAMK, I want you to keep some things in mind. This is not a new condition for you. You have carried and you have delivered 2 healthy babies in the past. Please remember this when you start to feel doubt and fear creeping in - you did it before and it was fine. Twice. This baby will be fine.

Boys - what can you do?!

Norma-ann at The Mommy Project said...

Shan-thanks. I'm ~still~ trying to take this all in right now. It feels a bit surreal.

WW-Thank-you, too. But...the fact that I've done it twice before is just making me feel more like I'm pressing my luck or something. Like, how much fortune do you get? I'm generally waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me at the best of times. This is really getting me scared/worried. Plus, when I was pregnant with Maddie I got checked out at about 7 months and was already 2 cm dilated (I had no clue)!! Which...looking back...has me worried about the strength of my cervix. And, when I was pregnant with Jamie I was SURE I was having contractions while we were packing up and moving. I called the doctor and she told me to stop with all the heavy activity and rest more (I tried and then they went away)...but now I wonder about that, too.

Ahhhhhh. I think it will be a long 12 weeks (at least...I hope so)!