Guest Writer Wednesday: Lindsey's Unicornuate Uterus Story
Guest writer, Lindsey, shares her experience with multiple diagnostic tests, her unicornuate uterus (unicorn sister!), and six unsuccessful IUIs. She openly shares how her unique journey led her and her husband, Rick, to the Foster to Adopt program! They will become parents, one way or another. Please join me in welcoming sweet Lindsey to the Unicorn Mission as she shares what it is like for infertility treatments to be unsuccessful. Cover photo credit: https://weheartit.com/entry/198537478
First comes love, then comes marriage, then a baby in a baby carriage…right?
That’s what we are raised to expect to happen. But what happens when wrenches get thrown into the fairy tale? For me, the wrench got thrown in trying to achieve the baby in the baby carriage. Let me tell you a story.
My fairy tale started back in 2009 when I met my husband. I knew he was my Prince Charming a month in. He was kind, caring, a family man! We were married in 2015 and a year later decided that we were going to try and start our family. A few months of fun passed and each month the monthly visitor would arrive and it was no big deal. Six months in, I had my regular gynecologist appointment. I decided to bring it up. She told me that with my age, my husband’s age and for how long we’ve been trying, her answer was to have fun. To relax and if in six months we still weren’t pregnant that I should reach out again and she would refer us then to a specialist. As I left I told myself that it would all be okay. That I had six months to fix this. Six more months to get to that end goal.
A month would pass and I would hold on to so much hope that my monthly “friend” would not make her grand entrance. And then another and another and it was like a bomb was waiting to go off. Finally the sixth month came and I cried. Sobbing, hard cry. But again, I told myself that this could be fixed. I would email my doctor, we would get this fixed in no time. An email went out, a phone call was made and we had an appointment a month later. We met with the Head of Infertility and he sent us downstairs for a ton of tests. He would call us with results. My husband went off to give a sample while I went downstairs to give a blood sample. Okay, it was actually 17 vials of blood because they went to one hand vein first and that blew, causing the first three vials to be not viable. Ugh. My hands were not happy with me for days. We went to lunch and waited for the call that could come that day, the next day or the end of the week. Only our medical app tells you your results as they come in so we were peeking and Googling as the bings of results kept coming in.
Each Google result revealed that we were good! In my head I kept wishing that it was something as simple as his sperm couldn’t swim the right way or there wasn’t enough of them. But my heart was telling me I was the problem. That I knew we couldn’t conceive yet because of me. The next bing was his about sperm sample. Drum roll please…Google says his sperm results are great and my heart takes a dive. It’s me. It must be me! I couldn’t finish my lunch at that point. By the end of day all my results were in and according to Google, all were good. So the mystery of why was more prominent then ever.
The doctor calls and orders a HSG test for the next week. All our results are normal so maybe it’s just a blocked tube or two. Okay…nerves are settled for a little longer but the heavy heart still lingers. In the end it could still be my fault that something is wrong. I have never been through a more painful experience.
The cold, empty room, mixed with nerves and anxiety of the test, the catheter and the dye.. I had tears running down my face as the dye lite up my uterus and left tube to ovary. But where was the right? Push of more dye and the nurse whispering to the other doing the procedure. More tears and more dye in hopes of clearing the blocked tube. Nothing. She started talking to me and after hearing “Possible Unicornuate Uterus” I’m pretty sure nothing else mattered. I stopped listening.
What the hell was an unicornuate uterus (UU) and why was it so bad? After Googling all those tests results I decided Google was a safe bet. Ladies, don’t ever Google UU. Google is not your friend. The entire car ride home I was distraught. The miscarriage rates, the low birth rate, everything coming up was so negative. I would never be able to be pregnant. I would never be able to feel a child grow inside of me. All these sites were telling me it wasn’t possible. The doctor called and he wants to do another HSG to confirm the UU. It’s rare but possible. I cry harder because son of a gun that HSG was the last thing I want to do again. But I do it. We confirm it. I am a Unicorn.
My husband always told me I was special, but this is not what I was hoping for. I wanted a full uterus in order to successfully hold a baby. In sex education you are told here is the penis and here is the uterus. You’re not told that your uterus can be binary or single horn. I was not prepared for this!
We decide with our doctor that doing an IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a safe bet to start. We couldn’t afford IVF, and my insurance covered IUIs. Six IUIs to be exact, but my doctor doesn’t think it will take that long for us to get pregnant. We did a low dose of Clomid the first time. And the second time. Then it was injections of Femara for one cycle. And Menopur the next three as my body responded so much better to that. The mood swings weren’t so bad. The injections slightly tingled but weren’t so bad. The last time I had my feet in the stirrups waiting for my fifteen minutes-of-legs-up-in-the-air to be over, my husband and I cried. I cried tears of sorrow over how sorry I was that this was our reality. Our last hope for a biological child. He cried telling me that it was never my fault. And we cried because we knew this was it. All our eggs were in one basket. Except it was only two eggs because the risk of having more than two at once in my type of uterus is just too much. And we waited. The two week waits were the most excruciating part. Time literally slows down. You try not to lift or roll over to hard because you might squish the little bean trying to grow inside of you. The waiting of the blood tests were just as bad. I stopped peeing on a stick the second time. It was just too much.
Six rounds of IUIs later, we weren’t successful in getting pregnant.
At that point it was June and summer and we decided to take a break. We needed it. Physically and emotionally we were spent. I wanted one month of not having to worry about medicine, doctor appointments running late and honestly, sex. I wanted to have fun spontaneous sex, not sex on demand. We took the summer off and scheduled an appointment with a new doctor at the end of August. She confirmed my UU, the path for IUIs were correct but she felt as though there was something else. She explained at that point that we probably had unexplained infertility as well and without more testing there’s a 2% chance we will get pregnant on our own.
As I write all of this down, or more so type all of this down, I am so thankful for this journey. I’m not saying this because my journey was easy. Hell no it wasn’t! There were tears, so so many tears, friends who just didn’t understand and plenty of people who would innocently ask, “So when are you two going to have some babies?” There were hormonal changes to my body, there were nights I’d get mad at my husband changing the channel on the television and nights I pleaded with God to just let me be pregnant. But, there’s a light at the end of this rainbow. My husband and I are closer than ever. I have met extraordinary ladies that I have leaned on for crazy questions like, “Does Clomid make you want to kill everyone in sight?”
I know how strong I am now, and I also know how much this hasn’t changed me wanting to become a mother. This journey has shaped me to know that I don’t have to carry a baby, I don’t have to feel it living and breathing inside of me, in order to feel like a mother.
We are currently in our final stages of becoming foster parents and our hope is to one day adopt. There is a rainbow at the end of every storm, and I continue to fight for that rainbow every day.
Bio: Lindsey is a Before and After School Site Director, married to her wonderful husband, Rick, and a fur mama to her two dogs. When not at work you can find her at Disneyland or sewing for their small business, Happily Ever Krafters. Lindsey and Rick are currently working on becoming Foster to Adopt parents.
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