When Faye Wilkins was 14-years-old, she began to experience severe pain during puberty. Her mother took her to a doctor when the symptoms only seemed to get worse. After extensive testing, doctors dropped the bombshell on Wilkins and her family: she was born with two sets of reproductive organs – two vaginas, two cervixes, and two uteruses. There was very little chance she would ever be able to have a baby. Wilkins was shocked, she said, because nothing appeared amiss externally, according to Fox News.
“At the age of 14, I couldn’t believe it when doctors told me I was born with two vaginas, two cervixes and two wombs. I was in complete shock as I’d never noticed the condition before as the difference were only internal. All of my friends had started their periods but I was only suffering from stomach cramps but nothing else. As the pain got worse, my mom Polly took me to the doctors thinking I had an ovarian cyst because a lump had formed, but no one would scan me.”
When they finally did, they were shocked at what they found. Just eight months after diagnosis, one of Wilkins’ uteruses ruptured.
“I heard a huge pop and knew something inside me had exploded. I was in agony, there was so much blood and I rushed to the hospital where doctors examined me and finally diagnoses me with UD. The condition had caused a blockage and my menstrual blood to build up, which had reached 12 centimeters (4¾ inches) in size.”
Wilkins’ doctors decided the best course of action was to perform a surgical procedure that would combine her two vaginas into one. While the operation was successful, she was told there was almost no chance that she would ever be able to conceive a baby, leaving Wilkins stunned.
“I was warned after my diagnosis that it would be difficult to conceive due to reproductive organs being half the size they should be, making implantation harder.”
As doctors predicted, once Wilkins tried to have children, she was met with loss after loss. She had a total of six miscarriages, presumably due to the lack of adequate room and implantation in the womb. But after those miscarriages, she successfully gave birth to Molly, age 7, and George, who is now 2. The babies grew in separate wombs. After passing the 12-week milestone with her first child, she chose to have a surgical procedure called a cerclage – a procedure that stitches the uterus closed, making premature birth less likely.
“With Molly, I had a cervical stitch to stop her being born too prematurely as my womb is split in half, it’s half the size, meaning it’s much weaker. Thankfully, she was a little fighter and she held on as long as she could before being delivered by C-section seven weeks and two days early.”
The baby was healthy, but once again Wilkins was told it would likely be her only child. She and Molly’s father separated shortly after, so she didn’t think much of it for a couple years. When she found and fell in love with her partner, Lee Welch, she soon discovered she was pregnant again – and this time, the baby was growing in her left womb. Molly had grown in her right womb. The pregnancy was difficult because she was worried she would lose the baby.
“Doctors had warned me it would be difficult to conceive and after the first miscarriage, I didn’t allow myself to get excited. Unlike most moms, falling pregnant was actually a difficult time for me.”
Doctors also gave her steroids to help with the baby’s lung development, in case he was born early. George was born seven weeks early but is now healthy.
Wilkins says she is like any other woman, and she’s always been upfront with those close to her about her condition. She also has only one kidney, which is part of the syndrome, but so far has not caused any problems.
[Photo by Vincent Oliver/The Image Bank/Getty Images]