Being Pregnant

31 Weeks Pregnant but Her Uterus Was Empty: Mum’s Rare ‘Unicorn’ Pregnancy

UK mum Tamara McPhedran was 17 years old when she fell pregnant with her first child. At 31 weeks pregnant, she delivered her baby via emergency c-section.

She had experienced a few complications during her pregnancy, including low amniotic fluid and minimal fetal movements. She was also diagnosed with placenta previa and placed on bed rest.

My uterus was empty

At 31 weeks her baby’s heart rate began to drop so doctors rushed the mum into surgery. It was there that doctors discovered an empty uterus.

It made no sense. She was 100% pregnant. There was a heartbeat on the ultrasound. There was amniotic fluid in the uterus. Tamara had felt movement.

Where was her baby?

‘You better find it’ 

Tamara outlines the incredible story – which has a happy ending, don’t worry – in a recent TikTok video. It has garnished millions of views and questions, and we can see why – it’s quite amazing!

@mlouloucrawford Replying to @QuiJax2022 part one I will follow up with a part 2 right after #fyp #tiktok #birthstory #storytime #abnormal #pregnancy ♬ original sound – Tamara Mcphedran

As Tamara explains she felt something was a bit amiss with her pregnancy from 14 weeks. She experienced some pain and bleeding at 20 weeks. However, she was a teen mum-to-be and found that her concerns were mostly dismissed.

As the pregnancy progressed, Tamara was told she had placenta previa, where her placenta is covering her cervix. Thus, they couldn’t get a clear view of her infant.

Bed rest on the cards

They also explained that she had very low amniotic fluid as well as a smaller-than-average baby bump. She was monitored, placed on bed rest, and then, at 31 weeks, told she would be delivering her baby.

“When they decided they were going to deliver me, they opened up…and it’s an empty uterus with a bag of amniotic fluid inside. All this fluid I should have had with this baby was in this uterus but there was no baby,” Tamara explains.

“The surgeon at this point pops his head over the little drapes that they have and looks at me and my partner and goes: ‘Where’s the baby?’ I’m looking at him like: ‘I don’t know you better find it!'”

I was very much still pregnant, just not in the place it should have been.” 

Doctors ended up cutting Tamara open from hip to hip to figure out what was happening.

“They found that I had this extra little cavity on it’s own. It didn’t have a cervix but it did have an ovary and a fallopian tube and it was not communicating to my actual uterus,” she said.

“That had my placenta and my baby in.”

Baby delivered safely 

Tamara’s baby – a little boy – was healthy and delivered safely that same day. Tamara was also diagnosed with a unicornate uterus, a super rare condition that causes a person to have only half a uterus.

This condition makes it very hard to have children but, thankfully, Tamara has been able to add three more babies to her tribe – twins born at 28 weeks and another child born at 33 weeks. She is also pregnant again.

We’ve shared a lot of crazy birth stories on Mum Central but this one is quite the unicorn! Tamara also shares some important words of wisdom for expecting mothers:

“The one thing I will stress is if you ever do have any signs of things not being normal in your pregnancy, do follow them up.” 

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar of Beverly

    May be too young for DES/ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS exposure in utero herself. Could have had a mom, grandmother or more exposed…DES has been known to affect DNA.

    Please see What I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve Cohen, both book and play….was told she could not ever get pregnant, since different shaped reproductive organs from being exposed to DES in the womb. She did, in fact, get pregnant and carry to term with her 2nd husband. Interesting story….

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