Uᴛᴇʀɪɴᴇ Dɪᴅᴇʟᴘʜʏs is ᴄᴀᴜsᴇᴅ because when a ғᴇᴍᴀʟᴇ ғᴏᴇᴛᴜs is growing, the ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜsstarts out as two small ᴛᴜʙᴇs called Mᴜ̈ʟʟᴇʀɪᴀɴ ᴅᴜᴄᴛs. These will eventually fuse together to form the ʀᴇᴘʀᴏᴅᴜᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ sʏsᴛᴇᴍ in a process called ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏɢᴇɴᴇsɪs. Women with Uᴛᴇʀɪɴᴇ Dɪᴅᴇʟᴘʜʏs do not ᴜɴᴅᴇʀɢᴏ full ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏɢᴇɴᴇsɪs, and can be born with two full ʀᴇᴘʀᴏᴅᴜᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ sʏsᴛᴇᴍs Caroline was 18 when she had her first appointment with the ɢʏɴᴀᴇᴄᴏʟᴏɢɪsᴛ who, after completing the exam, told her that she had two ᴄᴇʀᴠɪxᴇs.
Caroline Wortman, 30, from Woodstock, Georgia, was told that she may be ɪɴғᴇʀᴛɪʟᴇ after being ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ with Uᴛᴇʀɪɴᴇ Dɪᴅᴇʟᴘʜʏs – meaning she was born with two ʀᴇᴘʀᴏᴅᴜᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ sʏsᴛᴇᴍs. But she has revealed her surprise after giving birth to two babies in one year – after they each grew in her two different ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜsᴇs. She said: “I honestly shrugged it off because I didn’t really realize what the implications could be. I did ask the ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀ what having two ᴄᴇʀᴠɪxᴇs meant and remember her telling me that I may be ɪɴғᴇʀᴛɪʟᴇ and if I did become ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ, it would likely be complicated and high ʀɪsᴋ. I think this took years and meeting my husband to really sink in, but it was always in the back of my mind. I always knew I wanted to be a mum, I just wasn’t sure that I would be able to without ᴀᴅᴏᴘᴛɪᴏɴ, sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴄʏ or some other ɪɴᴛᴇʀᴠᴇɴᴛɪᴏɴ”.
As she grew up, her diagnosis did not affect her life, but things changed when she met her now-husband Nate Daniel Wortman, 35, when she was 23. They were introduced by a mutual friend while Nate was serving in the Army and was stationed near Caroline in Savannah, Georgia. Eventually she opened up to him about her Uᴛᴇʀɪɴᴇ didelphys. Caroline said: ” I was nervous. I knew when we started dating that he wanted children and I didn’t know if it was something I could give him. But he was very reassuring and didn’t really seem to be bothered by the fact that we may need to seek other options for having children. He always just said it would work out how it was supposed to work out.” The couple were married in September 2019 and very quickly started trying for a family.
On April 25 2020, Caroline went out for a job but had to stop as she started to feel strange and out of ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜ. It then hit her that her ᴘᴇʀɪᴏᴅ was a few days late, and she took a ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ ᴛᴇsᴛ that she had bought months prior. She said: ” While I was waiting for the ᴛᴇsᴛ ʀᴇsᴜʟᴛs, I put the stick in a drawer so I couldn’t stare at it while I was waiting. I felt like I was about to ᴘᴀss ᴏᴜᴛ from ɴᴇʀᴠᴇs, I hadn’t even told Nate that I was going to take the test. Once it came back positive I had ideas in my head all these cute ways I wanted to tell him the news, but ғʀᴇᴀᴋᴇᴅout in the moment and just ʀᴜsʜᴇᴅ ᴅᴏᴡɴsᴛᴀɪʀs and showed him the test.” The happy couple went to the doctors and found out she was seven weeks along, and continued to have monthly appointments and internal ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅs to check she was progressing smoothly. Her ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs that was not carrying her baby was simply pushed aside as it grew, and little Josie Magnolia Wortman was born on January 2 2021 at a healthy six pounds.
The family-of-three spent a happy six months as just that, before Caroline started feeling nauseous while out at lunch with her parents the following June. She said: “I thought it was my dad’s driving, but that second all the ᴡᴇɪʀᴅ sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍs clicked in my head and I took the test that next morning before work. When I came downstairs from taking the test Nate asked ‘are we in the clear?’ and I held up the test and smiled and said ‘nope!'” .The couple had not been trying for a second baby, but at her next appointment Caroline discovered she was already almost ten weeks along – and the baby was growing in her other uterus. Caroline said: ‘The baby was small enough each time to see the other ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜsand confirm which side the baby was in – Josie was in the right, Brooks was in the left. While her ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ was normal, she went into labour at 33 weeks and five days, and was completely dilated by the time she reached the ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ.
Brooks Daniel Hayes Wortman was born on Boxing Day 2021 weighing just 5lbs 5oz, and remained in the ⓃⒾⒸⓊ for nine days. Caroline believes his ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀɪᴛʏ was likely due to her ᴄᴇʀᴠɪx ᴅɪʟᴀᴛɪɴɢ ᴇᴀʀʟʏ, which is a common ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ with Uᴛᴇʀɪɴᴇ didelphys. She shared her unique ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ story on TikTok, which now has over 930,000 views and nearly 39,000 likes, in order to raise awareness of ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇs. She said: “Being ɪɴғᴇʀᴛɪʟᴇ and thinking you will be ɪɴғᴇʀᴛɪʟᴇ are two drastically different things, but I would just encourage women to not give up if they want to become mothers, and to not take a ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀ’s words as the be all and end all. I don’t remember really coming across any relatable stories with my specific diagnosis during my ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ, so I hope this can be that to at least one woman.”