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MYTH: You can’t carry to term with an arcuate uterus | National Infertility Awareness Week

Infertility is a topic very near & dear to my heart. We don’t often talk about it. We think it’s our private battle. We tear up every time we hear the words “I’m pregnant” wondering why we aren’t. Why did it happen so easily for her? What is wrong with me? Why is this happening to me? I am the ONLY one who is not a mother. Surely, the only one. The tears fall down our cheeks. and we hope. and pray. and try to keep our marriages together when romance seems to go out the window, because it’s that time of the month to try everything to make it happen. & then it doesn’t. & we’re a mess on the floor. again. and again. and again.

Sound familiar? I hope not. But if it does…I am writing this today to tell you one thing…you are not alone.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Time to reach out to those around us who might be struggling. Providing stories of hope to those who need it. Many of you know my journey & have followed it from the beginning, as this blog existed long before there was ever a baby to talk about. You read my story of infertility round one. Then, infertility round two. How I appreciate motherhood. Followed by my story of loss.  I am one of the lucky ones. & I don’t take that for granted. Not one single day.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is encouraging participation in the BUST AN INFERTILITY MYTH challenge. Since hearing stories of success from women who had the same issues that I did were my one comfort during that dark period of my life, I wanted to be sure to participate. If I can help one person, this is worth it. One success story is all we need to hear. While I have many compounded problems when it comes to getting pregnant, that is not where my struggle ends. It’s actually just the beginning. So here’s my busted myth:

MYTH: You cannot carry a baby to term with an Arcuate Uterus.

BUSTED. I am proof. My daughter is proof. Despite all concerns and statistics…we did it. She made it. 39 +4d. :)

You never really want to hear the words “that’s interesting” when your reproductive endocrinologist has a wand pressing on your uterus. You never want him to turn the screen to you & show you that your uterus looks “like the head of an owl” thanks to two little peaks. Being “medically interesting” is just not that interesting. Promise. But what is interesting is that all the studies and science and statistics that were thrown my way were trumped by my daughter. My baby girl, who arrived at 39 +4 days. My perfect, beautiful baby girl that I longed for all my life. She busted the myth. Little feisty thing was a fighter right from the start. We beat the odds.

& for the details: I have (among other things) a severe arcuate uterus & a suspected septum. An arcuate uterus is not usually the cause of infertility and conflicting & inadequate research leaves question on it’s impact on carrying a baby to term. Women who have a septum have a high risk of recurrent miscarriage (44%), due to inadequate blood flow to the fetus if it implants on the septum. (however, my recent miscarriage was likely not a result of my suspected septum, rather it was ruled chromosomal) If you would like to learn more, this is a great comprehensive article on Uterine Anomalies.

I will never forget what my RE told me when we started talking about baby #2…”no matter what tests we do, what we seek to find, we already have the one test that proves that none of them really matter: your daughter.” :) He is right. & I still have faith that it will happen again for us. & end a little happier than the last time.

Please continue to share your stories of hope. Your impact is immeasurable. You just never know how much the words you say may help someone else.

To understand more about infertility & this great organization, please visit: What is Infertility? and National Infertility Awareness Week.

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  • Bree - That is one gorgeous babe proving to the world that you were meant to be a mother.ReplyCancel

  • Robbin - Shawna, thanks for sharing your busted myth. Praise God for your beautiful Caroline who’s the best mythbuster! I continue to pray for God’s healing on your heart and his grace to give you the desire within it – a second child. Never give up hope. You know my story but I’ll share it hear in brief.

    I was 34 when I got pregnant with my now 5 year old sunshine, Sabrina, on the very first try. A typical pregnancy followed, except for placenta previa in my first trimester that corrected early on, and a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia from the beginning. (for more info, go here: She was delivered via emergency c-section after 17 hours of labor at 38 weeks. She was healthy and perfect.

    Fast forward 2 years. We started trying for #2 and my biological clock seemed to be ticking faster than ever. We struggled with secondary infertility, went on Clomid, got pregnant and subsequently had a miscarriage at 11 weeks. We were told it was chromosomal as well. I waited the recommended time to start trying and after two more rounds of Clomid, I was pregnant. Pre-eclampsia reared its ugly head once again with an added bonus of Gestational Diabetes, but I gave birth at 39 years old on January 12, 2011 to our miracle, Elizabeth, who was 36weeks, 6days, weighing 6#, 10oz. I guess my busted myth is that you can’t get pregnant after 35y/o, which sooooo many people believe. I don’t know why 35 is the magic number but many doctors will warn you of all the problems you will encounter. I was blessed with an amazing physician, who was ruthless in her care of both me and my daughter, made decisions that were not popular (or liked by me) but in the end, saved both our lives. My blood pressure was 200/90 in the OR just before getting my epidural and having another c-section. I am so thankful to God for the blessings of both of my children and a doctor whose hand was guided by God.ReplyCancel

  • Robbin - sorry, that would be “…here in brief.” I had a hard time editing my comment before submission. Oh, btw, LOVE that picture of the two of you. It’s so perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - thank you so much for sharing this. i also struggled with having a baby for several years and i felt there was no one out there to talk to. even at the infertility specialist, there was a waiting room full of people all in the same boat and everyone sat stoically waiting their turn. it’s great that you are getting the word out there!ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - Thank you for sharing this! So many women go into their first pregnancy assuming that everything will be easy. After having had two miscarriages within 6 months I had to readjust my thinking about our cultures and my attitude about fertility, womanhood, and all that went with it. Thank you for being one of the ones advancing other peoples knowledge of what is considered a non topic in some circles.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - strong mamma. you were always meant to be a mamma and you will again cause your not a quitter :) thanks for sharing this info!ReplyCancel

  • KimN - I also have a misshapen uterus and was considered a “highly interesting case” by my RE. Amongst many other issues, I had a septum that ran from the top of my uterus down to my cervix. After having the septum removed surgically in 2003, we stopped trying to conceive and adopted our son. Despite my surgery, my uterus is still a hot mess and considered bicornuate. In 2009, I gave birth to my daughter after 8 years of infertility and three miscarriages. She was a complete surprise and was born at 35 weeks 3 days and early only due to the fact that my placenta previa was hemorraging. After her birth, my husband was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy. We were told that he would most likely be sterile afterwards. Yet, shockingly 7 months after completing his treatment, I got pregnant again and am now nearly 25 weeks along with my uterus holding strong. So I guess you could say we have busted a few myths of our own….and I’m very grateful for it.

    Your daughter is beautiful and I hope you get another chance at motherhood!ReplyCancel

  • Project 52:31 | bumpy » styleberry BLOG - […] have puhhh-lenty of reasons why I should not be pregnant right now. A jacked up uterus. Poorly functioning ovaries. Very few eggs. But…I am pregnant. & I got this way without […]ReplyCancel

  • c - Thank you for posting this and for sharing your story. I had a miscarriage in August. About two months later, I became pregnant again. In an early scan, I was told I have an arcuate uterus. It’s been difficult to find definitive statistics about the risk it carries. I am still pregnant (fingers crossed) and nervous. I’m due to see a specialist within the next few weeks and hoping the doctor will be able to provide some reassurance.ReplyCancel

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