Unicorns of Fertility – Meet the Texas Unicorn
Thanks for joining the community here at Bumps to Baby to celebrate the brave women who share their journeys to baby.
Today I’m so excited to introduce to you our real life unicorn — the adorable Stephanie Barns!
Stephanie reached out to me over on Instagram and boy am I glad she did. She’s an inspiring woman and someone I admire so much in the short time I’ve gotten to know her.
I hope you’ll join Stephanie as she shares her real life, The Texas Unicorn, journey below!
My husband and I got married March 2012 and we both knew we were ready for children so we had the “when it happens it happens” plan, which was fun since we were newlyweds. We soon found out we were pregnant in May 2012. I had a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy other than our son being breech and having a c-section at 39 weeks.
Fast forward to June 2014 we decided to start trying for baby 2. We found out we were pregnant in December 2014. Immediately from the get go I knew something wasn’t right. I wasn’t having many symptoms, my pregnancy tests never really got dark like they did with my son, and overall I just felt like something was off. I tried to ignore it but at my first appointment (around 7 weeks) we didn’t see anything on the ultrasound. My doctor just told me I was probably earlier than I thought so again I tried to ignore my gut.
Around a week after that appointment I herniated one of my lumbar discs and had to be taken to the emergency room. I was of course very worried about the baby so they did an ultrasound and all they saw was an empty sac. I knew for a fact at that point we should have seen something. I was supposed to be around 9 weeks so there was no way my dates were that far off to where we would have seen only an empty sac.
I went to see my obgyn a week after that where they took my HCG levels and did another ultrasound and my fears were confirmed. I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum and had to have a d&c a few days after that because my body would not miscarry naturally. If you don’t know what a blighted ovum is, basically a baby is never formed in the sac. There is never an embryo and it is because something is seriously wrong with the chromosomes.
We finally got the all clear to start trying again in April 2015 and with every negative pregnancy test we got I started to get that feeling in my gut again that something was wrong. When September rolled around I decided I was sick and tired of trying so we went to a fertility doctor to get checked out. My husband checked out perfectly fine and a HSG test and MRI soon revealed I was the issue.
I was diagnosed with a Unicornuate Uterus. Apparently unicorns are real and I am living proof. To break it down I have two ovaries and two tubes but I only have half a uterus or one horn (see…told you Unicorns are real). This makes it trickier to get pregnant. I only can get pregnant if I ovulate out of my right ovary because that is where my uterus is located. Other complications include a higher chance for miscarriage, pre term labor, and breech babies (that would be my son). My fertility doctor told me at that point either I get pregnant on my own or I have to do IVF because I can’t risk the chance of having multiples because I just don’t have the room to carry more than one baby. I would also be forced to have another c-section because it was simply too risky for me to try to deliver vaginally.
We decided we could not afford IVF at the time so we would continue trying and keep praying for another baby. In December of 2015, 18 months after we started trying for baby 2, we found out we were pregnant and delivered a healthy baby girl in September of 2016.
Fertility Diagnosis: Unicornuate Uterus
Married March 2012, Pregnant May 2012, Baby 1 delivered 1/22/13; TTC Baby 2 June 2014, Pregnant December 2014, Blighted Ovum and D&C January 2015; TTC Baby 2 April 2015, Fertility tests September 2015, Diagnosis October 2015, Pregnant December 2015, Baby 2 delivered 9/3/2016.
How has infertility changed me:
It has me more appreciative of the gift of life. I think we often forget what a miracle it is to be able to add another human to this planet. It is truly an honor and one I do not take for granted.
Advice to women with infertility:
Do not lose hope (and I know that is easier said than done). It is so easy to get caught up in the what ifs (what if I never have a child, what if I miscarry, what if something is wrong with the baby, etc.) Just rejoice in the now and take each day as it comes. Stay busy and do things that make you happy.
Favorite bible verse that lifts me up: Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Favorite warrior song:
Beatles “Let it Be” and Journeys “Don’t Stop Believing”.
Favorite healthy recipe:
Thanks so much Stephanie for being so brave! Please feel free to join Stephanie over on her T-Shirt shop, “The Texas Unicorn” (because she is from Texas and truly is a Unicorn). She makes her own shirts for ETSY as well as does custom orders. Feel free to say hello over on Facebook or Instagram too!
Interested in sharing your story here on Bumps to Baby? Please feel free to email me at shawsimpleswaps at gmail dot com!