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Molar Pregnancy: Fear and Loss

By Badass Madie

In August 2012, I missed my period and had a positive pregnancy test, baby number two! It was unexpected but fine, I wasn’t upset about it because I believe no child is a “mistake” and everything will work out. I called my doctor to make my first appointment, which given their calculations, I was still only 3 or so weeks. Around 8 weeks I went in to “confirm” and have my first ultrasound. At my 8 week appointment when the ultrasound tech found the baby I instantly knew something was wrong! This was my second baby. I had an idea about the size the baby would be at 8 weeks, like a little peanut, all I saw was a “yolk sac” as the ultrasound tech called it. The ultrasound tech didn’t say a word after that, other than the doctor will be with me very shortly, but I was certain that I already knew.

The doctor came in and told me that I was still only measuring 3-4 weeks, that I could have been wrong about the dates, they could have, and a few other possibilities but my period was like clockwork and I had a positive at home pregnancy test right at 4 weeks ago. My faith was very faint. They wanted to send blood work off, have me come back in two days for more blood work and in a week for another ultrasound IF nothing changes. I got a call the end of the week telling me my HCG levels were very high giving the findings of the ultrasound and needed more bloodwork. I wasn’t told much more than that at this point but I felt a little faith come back in my heart. The following week for my follow up ultrasound, I was looking at the same “yolk sac” and still no peanut. “I was right, something is not right!” I thought to myself and the little bit of faith that I had built up is now a big ball in my throat that I couldn’t swallow. A doctor came in (not my doctor from last week) to tell me that my pregnancy was not normal, deeming it a miscarriage. They said that I should except to start bleeding in the next few days and if it continues heavy for over a week to call back and sure enough the very next day it started. I continued the next two days as normal, trying to keep my mind off what was happening inside my body. But the third day I couldn’t even leave my house for work without changing, something wasn’t right again. I called the doctor to tell them how bad it was so they brought me in for ANOTHER ultrasound and once again I’m staring at this “yolk sac.” My doctor tells me to head to the hospital that I needed surgery and by this time I can no longer keep it together.

Surgery went fine and once I was released from outpatient surgery I went home for the night and for the next few days afterwards retreated out of town to a friend’s house to regroup. My life was slowly getting back to normal; that until I went for my two week follow up. My doctor came in and asked me how I was doing and quick small talk before she told me that they found something when they did a biopsy on the “yolk sac.” I was strangely confused as she explained this thing called “molar pregnancy” to me. It sounded like something from I would see on the show “Diagnosis Me” on the Discovery Health channel, borderline Sy-Fy! A tumor that was created by conception but never was a “pregnancy”? Gave me pregnancy symptoms? Possible cancer? They do not teach you this in sex ed! I found out that there are several types of molar pregnancy and mine was a “partial” molar pregnancy, it explains why I had high HCG levels and only a growing “yolk sac” but no baby. The doctor explained to me that if cells are left behind that abnormal growth could occur and can become cancer in other parts of the body, but reassured me that she was confident that she got all the cells, she was certain that’s what I had before surgery and confirming with biopsy.

The ball in my throat had returned as I tried to make sense of all this new and scary information, first I thought I lost a baby and now I have a chance of cancer? I spent the next several months going to the doctor once a week for routine blood work, making sure my levels returned to normal and stayed. And thank the Lord no more surprises! I know this month is pregnancy and infant loss and maybe medically my “pregnancy” never made an actual baby, instead a tumor, but there was a time when I felt the pain and loss of losing a precious miracle. As we give grievance to ones who have gone through miscarriages and infant loss, let’s remember the women who are molar pregnancy survivors out there! As well as bringing awareness.