From my first meeting with the new doctor, we discussed the possibility that I had been misdiagnosed with bicornuate uterus, and that the doctor suspected it may really be a septum, or septate uterus. The major differences were that Septate is reparable, and can cause miscarriage and other complications, while bicornuate is irreparable, and only causes preterm labor. On my first visit with the new doctor, she recommended an investigative ultrasound to see if she could identify which condition I had.
Within 30 seconds of the start of the ultrasound, she told me that she was positive that it was indeed not bicornuate. It was actually a complete septum that split my uterus into two halves. This should be good news, right? It was a reparable issue. A reparable problem that causes miscarriage, preterm labor, and can contribute to pre-eclampsia...
Miscarriage - check
Preterm labor - check
pre-eclampsia - check
So basically, I had been misdiagnosed years ago, long before I started trying to have babies. It took me a couple of days to realize that if I had been correctly diagnosed from the start, my uterus could have been repaired, and I may not have lost Angel. I may not have had Abigail at 33 weeks, and we may not have had to spend 37 days in the NICU. I was beyond livid. I mean, I know doctors make mistakes too, but this one affected 4 lives, my entire family. And I had insisted multiple times that they double check to see if there was any possibility that I really had a septate uterus rather than bicornuate.
I remember exactly where Angel had implanted in my uterus, and it was right on the septum. The difference between a septum and the lowered fundus of a bicornuate uterus is that in the bicornuate uterus, there is blood flow. So, even though we saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks with Angel, my poor baby hadn't received the appropriate level of blood flow to stay alive in my uterus.
Besides anger, there were a lot of other feelings I had:
- Regret - I should have gotten a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th opinion when I was originally diagnosed. I should have been more vigilant until I felt confident in the diagnosis myself. Maybe Angel would have survived.
- Guilt - My body was deformed in a way that killed my child. My baby didn't survive because he or she didn't get enough bloodflow to support life. And I had even more guilt that Abi had to struggle so much early on, also probably because of my deformed uterus.
- Frustration - Now I would have to have surgery ...Yet another delay. I knew God had a plan, but it was so far from my plan! Sometimes I think God allowed these delays just to show us how much better His plan is.
- Gratefulness - This is what I felt with the greatest intensity. Once I saw how little space there was in my uterus, I was again reminded of what a miracle Abigail is. We were so fortunate that she made it until 33 weeks gestation. It was a miracle any baby could have survived my uterus. But God knows the plans He has laid out for Abigail, and He brought her into this world miraculously. Since that realization, I have had several doctors remind me just how much of a miracle she is when they see my HSG from December 2010 and realize that she was born BEFORE my uterus was fixed.
I can rest in the knowledge that God has big plans for my little girl. She is special, and she will always be a beautiful reminder that God can still do miracles in our lives today.