At the age of 39, Jane Woodhead found out she had a condition called uterus didelphys, more commonly known as double uterus. She was born with two wombs and two cervices. Jane was not only surprised; she was distraught because doctors told her it was unlikely she would ever be able to conceive without in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Jane shared her story with Wales Online, “When I was told about the uterus didelphys it was a huge surprise as I’d been having routine smears for years and no-one had picked it up. They said that it was possible alternate ones had been checked and it was obviously a bit of a shock. To think it’s something I was born with, but never knew, was bizarre.
But what worried me the most was that I wondered if I’d ever be able to become a mum as they told me my chances of getting pregnant would be slim. I certainly didn’t think it would be possible naturally.”
However, just before she put her name on the waiting list for IVF she found out she was pregnant. Jane and her partner, Paul, couldn’t believe it. Jane said, “It was unbelievable. I had been feeling unwell for a few weeks so I went to the doctor and she said she would test my urine. I told her there was absolutely no need as I couldn’t possibly be pregnant and then she came back and told me it was positive. It felt unreal and I was over the moon.
I had to wait four days before having a scan, which I needed for reassurance that everything was okay. They needed to check it wasn’t ectopic and, sure enough, there was a baby in my left womb and I was very much pregnant. They did check the other womb and there was a chance I had been carrying another baby as they could see was something there but there was definitely no heartbeat. It took a long time to sink in.”
From that point on, Jane ate healthy, took prenatal vitamins and exercised. She wanted to give her baby the best chance possible. On July 18th, Jane delivered a healthy baby girl who she named Grace Violet Herridge.
Jane concluded, ““She was born 11 days after my 40th birthday and was the best 40th birthday present I could ever have asked for or dreamed of. She’s my little miracle. I still stare at her for hours even now 12 weeks after she was born and can’t believe she is really mine.
She’s doing so well and is such a lovely little thing even though she likes to sleep a lot during the day and wake up every two hours at night. She’s gaining weight and has grown from her birth weight of just 6lb to 11lb and we feel very, very blessed to have her.
I’m so lucky to have had such fantastic antenatal care from both the University Hospital of Wales and Bryan Beattie and I still can’t quite believe that we were a week away from starting the long journey of IVF. She really is my amazing Grace.”