Busy being a mother and a wife and taking on the biggest challenge yet, a permanent move across the world. Read here my random thoughts, feelings and stories about my life that is about to be turned upside down (literally).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In the Shape of a Heart

My sister is expecting her first baby so I've been reminiscing to her about the highs and lows I felt whilst pregnant with my first born, it was a smooth pregnancy, not many physical complaints, all the feelings of fear and wonder were normal (I suppose) and when it came time to give birth everything went perfectly (yes I said it, my labour and delivery were perfect)

The difficult part was the road to pregnancy.

My husband and I wanted to have children pretty much right after we married, I stopped taking the pill and we were "unofficially" trying. A year later we decided to try a little harder and still nothing so I saw my doctor who sent me to an Obstetrician/Gynecologist. She immediately put me on fertility drugs (Clomid) and sent me for blood tests and a Hysterosalpingogram, a procedure where they inject a dye into my uterine cavity and it flows through the fallopian tubes while my abdomen is being x-rayed. The results show whether ones fallopian tubes are blocked. The results came back normal, my fallopian tubes were clear, my bloodwork showed that I was ovulating so I was instructed to continue with the Clomid for 6 months.
After 6 months with still no results she referred me to an invitro-fertilization clinic in Toronto. My husband and I panicked a little, invitro meant having to pay for treatments that we could not afford. I was afraid that we may never have a baby.  From our first visit to the obstetrician, until this time it had been over a year of analyzing every change in my body, each month I was convinced I was pregnant and then utterly disappointed with the arrival of my period. It seemed like friends and co-workers were announcing their good news almost every week, it was bittersweet, I was truly happy for them and then went home and cried on my husbands shoulder, sometimes he would cry with me.
The visit to the invitro clinic was exciting, a new phase in our efforts, we decided we would make it work somehow, we'd sell our house and buy a smaller one, we'd borrow money from our parents, anything that would give us our dream of having a family. The doctor went over everything with us and invited us to attend an evening information session with other couples considering invitro. Also on the same day he scheduled another test similar to the Hysterosalpingogram called a sono-hysterosalpingogram or Saline Hysterogram. This time my uterine cavity would be filled with saline solution while an ultrasound was being performed. This would show my full uterine cavity as well as my fallopian tubes. I asked if the results would be any different from the previous test and he informed me that it was a possibility since I had also suffered from Endometriosis, (when the uterine lining or tissue grows outside of the uterus and can cause blocking of the fallopian tubes).  He then told us that if in fact it showed that both my fallopian tubes were blocked then we would be eligible for some financial assistance from the government for the invitro treatments. We arrived for the the tests and information session that day with the unusual hope that in fact both my tubes were be blocked, we really needed the financial help. As I laid in the dark room while the technician performed the ultrasound I remember imagining that I was at a prenatal ultrasound, and that I was growing a baby inside of me. My bubble was burst instantaneously when she commented that both tubes were clear,  I was devastated and I couldn't help but burst into tears.
The wait for the information session was sorrowful, I was sad, so disappointed that we hadn't been able to do this without medical intervention, something I had always dreamed of, bearing a child. Shortly before the session the doctor called us in to go over the results, I didn't expect to hear anything more than what the technician told us. He shut the door and said "I have good news for you", I wondered what good could he have found in those results, "You have a Subseptate Uterus" he said, "your uterus is in the shape of a heart".  I wondered how this was good news. He explained to us that a subseptate uterus is a congenital condition that I was born with, my uterus did not develop properly resulting in a "septum" a mass of tissue on the uterine wall.  Most likely I had been "getting pregnant" meaning my eggs were probably fertilizing and implanting in the uterus but the septum was taking all the blood supply from the eggs. In turn the eggs could not survive and more than likely were dislodging and being expelled during my periods. The good news was that this condition was easily corrected by a simple out patient surgery that was completely covered by OHIP. We couldn't believe it! We were told to skip the invitro information session and left the office giddy like school children with the name of a top Gynaecological surgeon in Toronto.

Image courtesy of gynaecology.spotmysite.com

Fast forward a few months,  I  went in for a Hysteroscopic Laparoscopy where the surgeons made three small incisions in my abdomen, one in my belly button, one on my pelvic line and one near my bikini line. In these small incisions they inserted their surgical instruments and carefully removed the septum. Surgery was a success and I was on my way home that same day.  Six weeks later I had a post-operative appointment and was told that everything healed well and to go home and make babies. So we did. Three months later I was staring at a positive pregnancy test with tears in my eyes, and in August of 2006 my beautiful boy was born, two years later along came beautiful boy number two. We feel so blessed to have two precious children in our life that we are talking about having another, although if you ask my husband he'd say  "then we have to do it more" and that is entirely another blog post in itself.

JWR 2006
HMR 2008


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I've had all of these tests done but with no results to indicate there is a problem with my uterus or tubes. I'm going back to my RE in a couple of weeks to further investigate. Thanks again for sharing. ~ Candidly_Andrea

    1. Hello,
      I am happy for you and your family! I too have a subseptate uterus and pcos. I am now looking for a good doctor. Can you please let me know what your doctors (who performed the surgery)name?
      Thank you