If you're confused as to why I'm even writing about something so personal as infertility or weird health problems, I can only assume we aren't real life friends. And also, you have never read any of my blogs before. So, let me introduce myself. I'm Brit, and I'm about to talk about my uterus now, ok?
I can honestly say that I'm not writing this to silence the constant barrage of "when are you having kids?" that started almost immediately after turning 24, but that might be a nice side effect. My response to those questions at this point are: "Kids? I'm just trying not to die." Hopefully that'll make sense by the end of this post.
I'm writing this for the same reasons I've written every blog or poem or article in my life - so that other people in my situation might feel an odd sense of comfort knowing they aren't the only one. In this case, however, that will be an extremely small number of people considering this is the weirdest infertility problem ever. But I know that when I first got diagnosed, I was frantically searching for others in the same boat. Infertility is a broad topic spanning all sorts of malfunctions, defects and mysterious issues. This is just another page in a textbook of problems that doctors don't see very often.
I've decided I'm going to be using a lot of visual aids in this post.
Breakdown of Kid-Related questions:
This whole thing took two years from the time I found out til I actually got an accurate diagnosis and doctor who knew what to do. But I'll start at the beginning. So, I got married in May 2013. Shortly afterward, I got the bomb dropped on me that my body, hormonal system, thyroid, GI tract and kitchen sink were falling apart. That was the most overwhelming time of my life and I immediately immersed myself into medical research between bouts of random hysteria. A few months later, I went for a regular OB checkup. Now don't ask me why, because I can't really explain it, but I had a hunch. I made up some excuse and asked my Dr. if she'd do a pelvic ultrasound. She actually did it. I remember laying there as the nurse sort of got a confused look on her face and said, "I think there's two in there." "Uhhh, two of WHAT exactly?" I asked. "Two uteruses."
She proceeded to follow that statement up with, "We study about people like you in med school." "WTF do you mean two uteruses? How is that even possible? Are you trying to tell me I'm a Grey's Anatomy episode right now?" "You need to go back and talk to the doctor."
Immediately, my OB referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist specialist person type doctor. While I was waiting for that appointment, I put my medical research skillz to use and researched the crap out of "two uteruses." Unfortunately, that didn't get me very far because I quickly found out there can be several different uterine abnormalities (anomalies) under that umbrella and it would take further investigation/testing to determine what exactly I had. But even if you add up ALL the women underneath the umbrella with ALL the different uterine abnormalities, you would still get about 2% of the total population.
Let me demonstrate with a visual aid.
FIRST REPRODUCTIVE "SPECIALIST" MEETING
In April 2014, I saw the reproductive "specialist." Well, there isn't much to say here. He didn't know what the heck he was talking about nor had he dealt with anyone like me before. So that was encouraging. His office screwed up some test results, they were all extremely rude, and long story short I was done with him before he could do his own ultrasound.
He did, however, suggest that I get a kidney ultrasound as well to make sure I wasn't missing a kidney. Apparently, it's common in people who have a double organ to be shorted one elsewhere.
I did the kidney ultrasound and I have two. YAY. There was a mysterious blockage in one, however. The following month, May 2014, I was headed to Mayo Clinic (to deal with the other slew of problems) and figured while I was up there I'd talk to someone. Unfortunately, I ran out of time for that appointment, but they did manage to do a 3D ultrasound of my uterus to try to get a better picture of the abnormality.
Again, a quick recap of this section for my visual learners.
THings the first specialist screwed up:
From June - Dec 2014, everything pretty much was at a standstill with the uterus anomaly. I didn't know exactly what the problem was or who could help me figure it out. The one thing I DID know was that it was serious. Either way you looked at it, I shouldn't be trying to get pregnant and so I didn't. And as you'll soon find out, it's a really good thing I did all that research.
NEW YEAR, NEW DOCTOR
January 2015, I started with a completely over with a new doctor. When I met with my new PCP, she suggested I get an MRI on my uterus so that when I saw the new reproductive specialist, he would have a better picture of what was going on. Good idea for once.
When I called to schedule the MRI, and interesting thing happened. Remind me to tell you about it in the follow post about my thoughts regarding all of this.
GERMAN GUY FIGURES IT OUT
In June 2015, a day after spending the night in LAX airport after missing a flight home from California, I finally saw the new reproductive specialist. I immediately liked him and he has actually dealt with uterine anomalies before, so, bonus points.
Doctor: So you need surgery.
Me: I'm sorry, what?
Doctor: You have two completely separate uteruses. They are, however, joined by a connective tissue. One uterus is entirely too small to ever carry a baby. The other, could possibly carry a baby, but we won't know til we get in there. If you get pregnant in the smaller one, or if you get pregnant in the larger one and it travels to the smaller one via the connective tissue, your uterus bursts and you die.
Me: Ok, so I need surgery.
Doctor: Soon. I need to remove the smaller uterus and clamp off the tissue.
Let me sum this up: If I get pregnant, there's a likely chance I'll die. I might remind you that I saw a specialist a year and a half prior to this appointment (the one who screwed up everything) and he never uttered a word about dying as a possibility. So yea, besides the fact that I should maybe sue him, this is daunting news.
Remember when I said all my research was a good thing and not, in fact, an unnecessary act of paranoia? Well, considering I could have died in the year it took me to see a doctor who knew what the crap he was talking about, I guess it was.
Remember when all my friends were saying this whole "uterine anomaly thing" wasn't a big deal because they did two minutes of googling and became instant experts? Oh, wait. I guess I didn't talk about that yet. But it's also a good thing I didn't listen to any of them.
So what are my thoughts? Do I want kids? What happens after the surgery? Check out my follow up posts:
Wondering who's the mysterious wordy genius behind these posts? Follow this little rabbit trail to read more About Me! The use of the term genius is open to interpretation.