Imagine discovering that your reproductive anatomy consisted of two of everything: two wombs, two cervixes and two vaginas.
But instead of being twice as fertile, this rare congenital abnormality actually meant that 36-year-old Eleanor Rowe, from Nottingham in the UK, had a reduced chance of bearing children.
It had been Rowe's desire to ensure motherhood which led her to discover her unique anatomy when she underwent oocyte cryopreservation in 2013, the fertility treatment more commonly known as Egg freezing.
Mistaking Rowe for an IVF candidate, fertility clinic specialists were left baffled after completing a sonograph of Rowe's womb.
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How could she not know?
"I thought it was a bit odd when [the sonographer] left to get another member of staff. They came in and told me I might have two wombs, and referred me to hospital," Rowe told Unilad, adding that up to that point, she had no idea that her body "had a duplication of everything" because the additonal organs were all internal.
"I thought, how could I have gone through life and not know?... Externally everything seemed normal, with one vagina leading to one cervix leading to one of the wombs. But inside I had a duplication of everything."
The scan confirmed that Rowe had been born with uterus didelphys, one of seven types of documented uterine anomalies diagnosed in only 2% -3% of women.
Deciding to undergo corrective surgery in 2015, Rowe was warned that she had a 90% chance of miscarriage.
"When I was having surgery, the doctors said the walls of my wombs were so thick I would be unlikely to carry children. They said getting a baby to full termination would be a process and that every time I would get pregnant, it would help to stretch out the womb... [but] there was a 90 per cent chance I would miscarry. That was horrific to hear."
"It had really hit home"
The medical prediction eventually became a reality when in 2018, Rowe had miscarried her first child with new husband, Chris.
"Even though I had been warned about the difficulties I would face, it was still devastating. But this was the first time it had really hit home," she recalled.
But the couple's sadness was soon replaced with joy as the two learned of their second pregnancy.
"I just want to give other women a bit of hope"
"The timing was quite weird. I was [still] mourning the loss of my first baby... It was like we had been given a gift. We said goodbye to one baby, and another one came to us."
But the journey was not an easy one and Rowe's second pregnancy was immediately regarded as high risk, one that included an obstetric cholestasis diagnosis - a condition that if not carefully monitored could've resulted in the death of her unborn baby.
Despite the potential danger, and an early C-section delivery at 35 weeks, the determined Rowe gave birth to a healthy baby girl she named Imogen Rose.
The happy mom is now using her story to inspire others to keep believing even under the most unlikely of circumstances.
"Any fertility issue is an extraordinarily hard thing to go through, but even with my condition, there was a happy ending. I just want to give other women a bit of hope."
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