Author: Lauren Cotter
When my obstetrician did a very early scan at 6 weeks and announced, ‘it may be twins,ʼ all my husband Ben and I could do was laugh. Of course it was twins, you see our pregnancy was very unplanned, we already had two beautiful healthy kids aged 3 and 18 months and decided to leave it there for a while. Or so we thought.
Our emotions quickly shifted from comical disbelief to fear as the reality dawned on us as I was born with a rare condition called uterus didelphys.
Uterus didelphys and twins
Uterus didelphys means I have two uteruses and two cervixes. I had had two vaginas which I had surgically fixed at 16.
With this pregnancy, both of my babies were in the same uterus, the right hand side one. My son had been in the left one, which was smaller. Due to the smaller size of the uterus my baby boy had run out of space and made an early entrance at 33+6 weeks. How could I possibly carry two babies in a space which wasn’t even roomy enough for one?
My obstetrician couldn’t give me many answers, my condition is very rare and cases of twin pregnancies even rarer. I fired off all the questions. Can I even carry twins? I don’t know. Is it likely they will be premature? Yes, highly. Is it likely they will be born very early? Yes. What can we do to help them survive? Rest, rest and more rest.
20 weeks pregnant with uterus didelphys and twins
So the rest began. At just over 20 weeks I succumbed to rest at home after having some cramping. We hired a nanny to help with the other two kids and I quickly adapted to a life of Netflix and crosswords. Each week that went by was an achievement, and the weeks just kept going. Until to our disbelief, even the disbelief of my obstetrician who at 33 weeks was adamant labour was imminent, we made it to our scheduled caesarean at 37 weeks on the knocker. I would be having twins at 37 weeks.
For the first time throughout the entire pregnancy, I relaxed.
Uterus didelphys and twins born at 37 weeks
By chance one of my dear friends, a midwife, had been working in theatre the days both of my older children were delivered via emergency caesarean section. It seemed fitting she was at this birth also. It was great for Ben and I to have her there for support, particularly because she is also a twin mum.
The caesarean went smoothly like the other two, although I did have a moment of feeling a little pain, which was quickly followed up by the anaesthetist administering something which made me feel very nice. Twin 1, Maya Catherine, came out crying and healthy, followed shortly by twin 2, Evie Glenda in similar fashion. The paediatrician came over to inform me that both girls looked great, but they were going to take Evie to special care just to warm her up a bit for a few hours. He assured me we would have her back that night.
After my time in recovery which I spent feeding Maya (I was relieved that I had expressed some colostrum while pregnant, this could be used for Evie), I was wheeled into the Special Care nursery to see our Evie girl.
Unfortunately she was requiring some oxygen
I was wheeled back to my room where we had cuddles and bonded with Maya while calling our families to tell them the exciting news. Ben split his time between the room and the special care nursery visiting Evie. Unfortunately this is where our journey turned into a fight.
One of our twins was
diagnoised with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)
I will never forget the moment when Ben walked into the room. Tears streaming down his face, unable to compose himself and talk to me. Evie had been diagnosed with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). Her bowel was up in her chest cavity due to a hole in her diaphragm. I later learnt from the paediatrician this is one of the most dangerous conditions a baby can be born with, I was thankful I didn’t know this at the time. Evie was blessed to have some amazing doctors who quickly intubated her and saved her life.
You can read all about little Evie’s journey in part two of Lauren’s story. Which can be found