Not every woman’s birth story is the same. We log onto social media and the internet and see these perfect pregnancy journeys, when in reality, this may not be our story. My name is Christina Wilds, and this is my not-so-perfect but blessing of a pregnancy journey.

At 19 years old, I was told that I had a bicornuate uterus. According to Healthline, about 3% of women are born with some sort of defect of the uterus.

For those of you who are unaware of what this is, it means I was born with a split uterus (heart shaped). It doesn’t mean I can’t conceive, but it does mean I could have a high-risk pregnancy. Women with bicornuate uteruses usually have to have c-sections, and are at risk for second trimester miscarriages or going into preterm labor.

Fast forward to when I turned 26, and I had to have an ovarian cyst removed. Right before the surgery, the doctor told me that there was a 1% chance they would have to remove my left ovary if it had ruptured. An hour after my surgery, I was told it was removed. I was now even more discouraged in my future, as I wanted to become a mother eventually and this procedure made it that much harder.

Eventually, I had a miscarriage. When I learned I was pregnant again two months later, I hadn’t yet dealt with the minor depression that came with losing a child, plus my anxiety was still pretty high. Nonetheless, I was grateful and ready to embark on the next 9/10 months. Was my pregnancy hard physically? No. However, mentally, it was a challenge.

With access to unlimited information on the internet, it’s pretty hard not to go down a rabbit hole when researching certain pregnancy topics. Being fully aware of my conditions, I found myself on the internet everyday looking up the worst that could happen. Mothers, soon to be mothers: this is not healthy. It was almost a form of torture reading the unfortunate stories of other women that shared my condition. I had to find a way to stop doing this to myself.

On the eve of entering my second trimester, I had a huge scare. I was in a lot of pain, and I believe it was a sign from my darling daughter to relax and get out of my head. I was still working freelance in the event industry, and had averaged 20,000 steps a day for a period of four days. That fourth day, my daughter made the executive decision that I couldn’t complete the job I was on. It was from then on that I decided not only to stop overworking, but to stop feeding my spirit and mind with unhealthy media consumption. Moving forward I would only look up successful pregnancy stories from women with a bicornuate uterus.

I refused to let my disorder get me down or deter me from enjoying my pregnancy. I recognized that focusing on the negative had an affect on my mental health. Not only that, but I thought about how the negative energy could affect my baby, and I wanted her to experience nothing but joy.

There were so many stories that gave me hope, and also gave me advice on how to maneuver through the rest of my journey. For one, I decided to schedule a c-section early. Despite knowing she might decide to come early, I still planned as if I would have a full-term pregnancy. Also knowing that she may be breech, scheduling a c-section ahead of time was the best decision.

In each doctor’s appointment I would ask if my baby had enough room. The reason most women go into preterm labor is because having a split uterus means the baby potentially won’t have enough room to grow full term or turn properly for a natural birth. My girl remained in the breech position until her scheduled date to be born. Having the support of my doctors throughout this entire process made things a lot easier. They knew my concerns, monitored my baby closely and answered every single question I had. I highly recommend asking questions, especially if you have a special condition like myself.

It was delivery day, and I was super nervous. With the support of my husband, mother and mother-in-law, it was the most beautiful day. My daughter never turned, but the surgery went well and she was healthy. After giving birth, my doctor told me I now have a better chance of giving birth naturally the next time since my uterus was stretched during this pregnancy.

If you don’t gain anything from this article, my prayer is that you now have hope. Hope that you’ll have a successful pregnancy regardless of the odds against you. I am happy to announce that I avoided a high-risk pregnancy and went full term despite my condition. While It wasn’t a physical battle, it was a mental battle. Moving forward, I will focus on all the good versus what could be, and I hope you do too.