Our journey to baby #2 (Part Two): Diagnostic surgery...Bicornuate or Septate?

Continued from "Our journey to baby #2 (Part One)"

Yesterday I woke up before the sun to get ready for my hysteroscopy +/- laparoscopy to finally get some answers on my uterus. At this stage I wasn’t feeling nervous, I was even joking with Scott about how this might be the last time he saw me (dramatic much?) My Mum had taken James the night before, and mostly we missed waking up to him. So we stood in the bathroom watching videos of him giggling before Scott went to work. I packed a hospital bag but was adamant I would be breaking out that night. My heart would literally break into pieces if I didn’t see James all day, and then they’d have to do another operation to stick that back together. So yes, I was coming home that day.

My friend Hayleigh picked me up and we drove down the hill to the hospital. She dropped me off and as I walked in I started to get that knot in my tummy. I wasn’t nervous about the anaesthetic, or the pain, or the fact that everyone would be seeing my vageejay. I was mostly anxious about them NOT finding anything, or finding something but not being able to do anything about it. I checked in, super impressed with the service – I even received a text message with a link that family could use to track my progress! This place was a hotel! I then quickly got whisked away by a nurse for the usual admission questions and got dressed into my super sexy gown and slippers. I got asked multiple times if I could tell them in my own words what operation they were performing, and my answer each time was ‘gosh, who even knows?!’ But in short, they were starting with a hysteroscopy (having a look at the inside of my uterus through my cervix) and then if they needed to see the shape of the top of my uterus, they would be performing a laparoscopy. And then if I definitely have a septum, they would be performing a resection of the septum. Oh and don’t forget the tubal check while they’re there! So best case scenario – a quick hysteroscopy, and worst case scenario – all of the above.

I was called into theatre and as usual in these situations, everything happened so quickly from there. I swear a second after I had laid down, I had a needle in my hand, drugs being pushed in and a mask over my face. I remember the awful sensation of feeling as though my throat was closing over just before I drifted off to sleep. And then I was waking up, absolutely freezing and immediately wondering what they had found. I was in a fair bit of pain, probably even more than my c-section, so was already expecting that they had gone to work! I was given a whack of fentanyl, spent some time waking up and then was pushed up to the ward. There was my answer – I wasn’t going home, which meant worst case scenario. When I got to the ward it was confirmed that I had a uterine septum resection. I had a catheter in and a drain from the incision site and would be staying overnight. I called Scott as soon as I could and he filled me in on what Dr S had found (the superstar had called Scott straight away with the outcome).

Dr S did a hysteroscopy and saw a large septum separating my uterus into two halves - I’ve got a cool picture of this below (which looks a lot like my bestie's nostrils). She then performed a laparoscopy to determine whether my uterus was in fact ‘heart shaped’ (or bicornuate) and dipped down at the top like it had repeatedly been diagnosed. It didn’t. The top of my uterus was flat, meaning it was not bicornuate, but septate. Dr S then performed a resection of the septum. Don’t quote me on this, but from what I understand they inserted fluid into my uterus to keep it distended during the surgery in order to see what the hell they were doing! This fluid slowly leaked out meaning they couldn’t entirely resect my septum in the time they had. However, Dr S is confident she was able to cut away about ½ of my septum. She said it was quite ‘impressive’ almost reaching to my cervix. I will need to go back in a month or two for a follow up scan to determine how much of the septum remains and from there we will decide whether we need to resect more or if it will be safe for pregnancy as is.

Uterine Septum
A camera view up my hoo-hoo showing the two halves of my uterus and the septum down the middle

So I hung up from Scott feeling both relieved and annoyed. Relieved that we had answers and it all started to make sense – the pieces of the puzzle were coming together. This is 100% the reason James was born 10 weeks early. Relieved that we now have a game plan and, if all goes well, we should be able to avoid a premature baby in the future. Relieved that we had followed our gut and investigated this futher. But I was also annoyed. Annoyed that we had constantly been told my uterus was bicornuate even prior to getting pregnant with James. Annoyed that we had time and time again been reassured that it would not affect our pregnancy. Annoyed that we were told not to pursue it further and ‘not to let anyone talk you into taking action’. All of these things were said to us byhealth professionals we trusted without the proper facts. And on top of all that, annoyed that WE had to initiate further investigations even after James arrived 10 weeks early and the ‘facts’ didn’t add up. I guess it just once again reiterates the importance of following your gut and getting a second opinion....of doing your research and not backing down.

So there I was back on the ward feeling sore and sorry for myself but happy for it to be over (and happy to have a private room with a view). I was an emotional mess as I wasn’t going to see James (or anyone for that matter!) until the next morning, and then my phone battery went flat. Yes, my life was officially over. I decided to stay awake to watch House Rules, only to get to 730 and realise it wasn’t even bloody on. More tears. And then I eventually fell asleep. I had an awful night, waking constantly with hot and cold sweats and a god awful dripping from down there onto a huge nanna pad that no one seemed willing to change. Then a round of obs confirmed I had a fever. No wonder I felt like shit. The nurses started saying I wouldn’t be going home in the morning with a high temperature, and I started to think I had been cursed by the septum gods. I couldn’t even ring Scott and have a hot-mess breakdown. Thankfully Dr S had started me on prophylactic antibiotics, and with some pain relief, some panadol and a bed reposition, I was able to fall asleep for a few hours.

Post surgery septum resection
Beautiful room, not so beautiful food

Dr S came and visited me in the morning just as Scott and James arrived. It was like Christmas. Dr S was happy with how the surgery went, and that news along with James’ squishy face made me feel much better. She was a little concerned about the temperature and asked me to stay another night. I was also pale and dry. We agreed to meet in the middle and I would stay until that afternoon after some IV antibiotics and some more IV fluids. I had my drain and catheter removed, passed my trial of void and had a shower. By 11am I was feeling much better, my temperature had come down and I was ready to bust the joint! I convinced the nurses to let me go as soon as my drugs arrived from pharmacy. A quick visit to the nursery to drop off some Mother’s Day milestone cards and I was on my way, looking as though I’d had a bird nesting in my hair overnight and a carrot stuck up my bum.

As usual, thanks for letting me vent and for all of your kind words and love last night, it truly did make me less of a flight risk. Stay tuned for details of our follow up appointment in June.

Amy x

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