Dear Nadine Dorries

inspired by Stavvers:

Dear Nadine Dorries,

Thank you for taking such an interest in my uterus!

Since you are so concerned, I thought I’d tell you a bit about it.

Once upon a time I was a pro-life pro-choicer. I believed in choice before conception, and although I would defend anyone’s right to a clean, safe, legal abortion if they felt it was right for them (and it was within the timeframes described in the law) I certainly would never have one myself. I knew this. I knew I would never have an abortion, because I wanted to be a parent.

My steadfast knowledge that I would never have an abortion led me, during my recent pregnancy, to refuse all the tests for Downs Syndrome. If the result of a test isn’t going to affect what you do, there is no point in having the test. If I couldn’t bring myself to abort a foetus with Downs Syndrome I’d rather not know, thank you very much.

Since the birth of my daughter in November last year however, my opinion has changed.

During my pregnancy, it was apparent to me that I was holding my baby solely on my left side. While it moved (kicked, wiggled), it was always on the left, or occasionally slightly central. Even early on I remarked that the contents of my belly felt more like a banana than a baby. Being fairly medical and tech savvy, I had a wee chat with Google and found myself considering whether I may have a bicornuate or unicornuate uterus. Towards the end of my pregnancy, my mother (a doctor) also made this suggestion.

Mentioning to midwives that the baby was always on the left, I was told not to be silly, and that it would move. I suspected they hadn’t properly heard what I’d said. I later specifically asked if what I was feeling could suggest I may have a bicornuate uterus or similar, to which I was told that I certainly wouldn’t have got that far in the pregnancy if it were the case.

Anyway, at 36 weeks, my daughter arrived. She flew out in 20 minutes – either she was desperate to meet me or just getting sick of the cramped environment in my uterus. Sadly the placenta didn’t follow, clearly it found my uterus a much more cosy space and was taking advantage of the new space. Unfortunately this meant that I then lost two litres of blood, was rushed into theatre (once an ever expanding throng of medical professionals managed to regain my consciousness), got myself a second tear in the opposite direction, and then spent the next day hooked up to a blood transfusion.

I later saw a gynaecologist who listened to my concerns regarding the shape and position of my uterus. It was lovely to speak to someone who took my experiences and concerns seriously rather than trivialising, normalising, dismissing them. He confirmed. My uterus is a unicorn.

A unicornuate uterus is basically half a womb. Imagine a normal uterus, but with a divide down the middle, turning it into a deep heart or u-shape. Then remove the right half, and you’ll have a good idea of what my uterus looks like.

Much of the drama is by-the-by – my daughter was (and is) fine. She’s lucky though. She may have been short on space in there, but what if the embryo had implanted in the undeveloped half of my uterus? I’m pretty sure that pregnancy wouldn’t have lasted the 36 weeks that my daughter managed to stick it out for.

Thus, my opinion has changed. If I found a pregnancy in the “wrong” side of my uterus, it would not last. My body would abort it – and like an ectopic pregnancy this process would not be without risk to me either. In that case, I may have to make the decision I’ve always “known” that I wouldn’t.

Because it’s never quite that simple, is it?

I hope you enjoyed finding out about my uterus. Perhaps you can tell me about yours some time? Except… it’s none of my business, is it?

Yours sincerely,


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5 Responses to Dear Nadine Dorries

  1. Pingback: Letters to Nadine Dorries masterlist: what our wombs are up to « Another angry woman

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