In early October 1999, I took a pregnancy test that came up negative. I waited until my period was late, then took another one. It came up faintly positive. On October 23, 1999, I was in a rear-end hit-and-run collision. I went about a week with what seemed like no ill effects to the baby. After that week was up, I started spotting. I called the doctor and the nurse told me to avoid intercourse and to take it easy. I doubt she even left a note for my doctor.

The spotting and bed rest continued on and off for the next 4 weeks. I went to my first prenatal visit and all was fine, except for what appeared to be a yeast infection. That night, I went to the emergency room because I was bleeding heavily. They did an ultrasound and tested my HCG level. Everything appeared normal. I was sent home on bed rest. I spotted on and off for about 3.5 weeks, then decided it was time to go back to the emergency room. The doctor listened for a heartbeat but couldn’t find one. He didn’t seem all that worried, but had me follow up with my OB/GYN anyway.

I went in for my ultrasound on December 20, 1999. When the doctor turned on the monitor, I thought it was stuck on freeze-frame because the baby wasn’t moving. It turned out that the baby had died about 2 to 3 weeks earlier. I was diagnosed with what they called a molar pregnancy. I was ordered to get a D&C done 2 days later. I had a very difficult time in between, packing up what were supposed to be the baby’s belongings. I took a picture of what I had planned to bring him home in, and I had the ultrasound picture. I saved both of them. The D&C went well. There were no major complications, and I healed well. I was a little sore for a few days, but it was nothing that I couldn’t handle. In that time somewhere, I decided that the baby needed a name. I chose Noah Blaine because together it means little and restful.

I was diagnosed with a partial molar pregnancy. At the time of my D&C, my HCG levels were over 18,000. I was ordered to do weekly blood tests until my level hit 5 or less. I did the weekly tests, and recieved Depo-Provera because I had to wait a year before I tried to conceive again. My levels dropped well. They began to slow down, and at about 9 weeks post-D&C, they were at 125. From there, the level dropped to 63, then 42, then 25, then finally, they reached 6. Once they reached 6, my doctor told me I could come in bi-weekly until my HCG was negative. They considered less than 5 negative. I went for my first bi-weekly test, and I was FINALLY negative. I had to go for one more, just so they could be sure the level had stayed down. If my level had gone up or stayed the same, I would have had to receive chemotherapy. Thank God it didn’t.

After the negative result was determined, I went to monthly tests for 3 months, then went to having it tested every 3 months. In that time, I went to a new doctor and asked if I could be cleared to have another baby. He said no, that it was safer to wait until the year was up. I got off the Depo shot and went on the birth control pill. This was early July. My level stayed at <5 and I went to the doctor again in late November because I wasn’t having my period. He ordered my last blood test and did a pap smear. I was cleared to try to conceive. Two weeks later, I got a phone call at work. My pap smear showed abnormalities. I went in for a biopsy that showed level 3 pre-cervical cancer. In other words, a couple more months, and I would have had cancer. I went back in and had a LEEP procedure done, where they electrically shave off the outer layer of the cervix. This put me back to not being able to try to conceive for 4 to 6 weeks. I was also told that there was a risk of incompetent cervix if I did get pregnant again.

Finally I was able to conceive again and did so in early March. God blessed me with my youngest baby, a girl, on November 11, 2001. I have had no signs of either the molar pregnancy or the cervical cancer returning since this all happened, and I am really doing well.

This story originally appeared on Carla’s own Web site (now defunct). She was kind enough to let me adapt her story for this site.