About Uterus Unique
When I was 25 years old, my uterus was removed because of cancer. I thought I’d die. Not because of the cancer but of the pain that I would never become a mother. To carry and give birth to my own biological child.
One springday seven years later I sat in Professor Mats Brännström’s office at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The research that Mats had conducted for almost 10 years was groundbreaking and in many ways questioned – to transplant a uterus from one woman to another to make her pregnant. An attempt had been made earlier in the world – which failed. At that time the uterus was taken from a dead donor. Mats Brännström’s research was instead concentrated on living donors, where the uterus could be donated from a mother or sister.
Ten women were approved for the study – I was one of four who was ready to go. Mats asked if I would consider being the first one to be transplanted. Courage had nothing to do with it. The night before the surgery, when I frenetically scrubbed with disinfectant, I cried hysterically. Of sheer fear. This was unbroken ground. Like an astronaut who was put on the moon, I did not know what was waiting for me. To say no, however, was never an option. I was never gonna get this chance again.
On September 15, 2012 we were operated. Me and my mother. “Thank you for doing this, I´ll see you later” I whispered to her before she was rolled away. What I really thought was ”please, don´t let anything happen to her”. The operations took 15 hours. When I woke up, my mother’s womb was inside of me, as certain as my own had once been. The uterus I myself had layed in and been delivered from would now hopefully be the home to my child.
From years of involuntary childlessness, I was once again like other women – I had the opportunity to get pregnant. Like other transplanted patients, I received medications that regulated the immune system so that the body would not reject the new organ. The difference, however, was that this would not be a lifelong state. After a year of regular controls, attempts with insertion of frozen embryos began. Three attempts – nothing. On the fourth he was suddenly there, a little dot on the ultrasound. Our wonderful boy.
In 2017 we also got a daughter, as sweet as her brother. Two children. Two incredible happiness. The dream came true. I became a mom. At the same time as my daugther´s birth, the womb was removed again. No more medicines. No more controls. Just an ordinary family.
Some day I will tell my children. The story of how they came to and how wished-for they were. About everyone who worked untiringly for their mother to become a parent. About the unique operation that made everything possible and a uterus that tied three generations together – Uterus Unique.