My husband and I were married in October 2002. We had decided at that time I should stop taking the pill and let nature do what it wanted. For 9 months, nature seemed to think we weren’t ready. But in June 2003 I felt kind of strange, and my period was a week late, so at my cousin’s cajoling, I took a pregnancy test. Almost immediately, the bright pink line showed up. This was the first time that I had ever had a positive result, so we jumped in the car, went to the grocery store, and bought two more tests! Again, two more INSTANT pink lines. I was ecstatic, and so was my husband (albeit, quite shocked!).
I made an appointment that week with my OB/GYN, whom I adore. I told my husband that the first visit is uneventful and that he didn’t need to be there. The doctor did a vaginal ultrasound that revealed a perfect little black spot—our 6-week-old little “Peanut.” We proudly displayed the picture of Peanut on our refrigerator door for weeks. We bought all the books, bought the yoga videos, and started making plans for Peanut’s arrival.
I told my husband that he had to come with me to the 10-week appointment because we would be hearing Peanut’s heartbeat for the first time. I was feeling completely normal, breasts excruciatingly sore, no spotting, no cramping, no nausea, no sign that anything was amiss—until the vaginal ultrasound. My doctor said, “Ohhh, hmmmm. There is something not right here. I’m sorry.” I didn’t cry until she had me get dressed to go to the Women’s Hospital next door to have more detailed ultrasounds done. I cannot tell you how happy I was to have my husband there. He called my office and told them I wouldn’t be coming back that day and made sure my mom and dad knew what was going on. The hospital’s tests showed the same diagnosis: Peanut was gone, and a D&C would need to be performed very soon.
The surgery was relatively uneventful, other than the emotionally painful waiting process (“Just get this over with, PLEASE!”). Oh, and except for the part when I woke up in recovery and the nurse told me, “You gave us quite a scare—your heart rate dropped to 27 during the surgery!” Not quite what you like to hear when you wake up from anesthesia!
The next week, I went in for my follow-up. My doctor jokingly asked me why I couldn’t just be normal? We laughed, and then she got a bit more serious. I knew there was something other than a regular “spontaneous abortion” that she was concerned about. They had found it to be a hydatidiform mole—a partial molar pregnancy. A what-diddy-who? I had never heard of it in my life.
After that, we discussed treatment. She didn’t talk about aspects other than having to have my HCG levels monitored until they were at zero for a couple weeks (I don’t know ANY of my numbers from this incident; I didn’t know it was important!). Then, after my next natural period, we could even start trying again! Wahoo! Within 4 weeks, I was at zero. They were so excited at this point and said that I could start living my life normally. Just wait until after your next natural period to start trying again!
Four weeks after I hit zero, on a Sunday night in September 2003, I started feeling weird and getting the excruciatingly painful breasts again. My husband thought it was my period FINALLY coming, but I thought differently. I made him drive me to a drugstore and buy some tests. Sure enough, the INSTANT bright pink line popped up. We weren’t so excited this time, and had a bad feeling. I went to the doctor the following Tuesday, and sure enough, she saw the clusters. They were so obvious this time, not like before. We went over to the hospital where, again, their more sensitive ultrasound machines were able to differentiate at least five separate moles in my uterus. I had to have surgery at once to remove them. This time the surgery really was uneventful; however, I did remember to tell them of my heart rate issues (no more of that!). My daddy came to visit me that weekend, and we watched football and chatted to keep my mind off of things.
Now, 4 weeks later, I am still awaiting the results to find out if this was a regrowth of the previous mole, or if it is a new pregnancy that was also a molar. My HCG levels have been on the decline: I am at 68 now (I don’t remember my original numbers other than, at one point, I was over 60,000 this time), but I am so nervous that this was a regrowth and that we are going to have to be more aggressive with this disease.
Update: February 13, 2004
After I wrote this story, I went in for a weekly blood test to find that my numbers had increased again. We decided that we should go ahead and nip this in the bud and do a round of chemotherapy. Luckily, the chemo medication they use for this type of ailment is methotrexate, a very light form. The only side effects were a little nausea and I was VERY tired. That seemed to work, as my numbers dropped and for 4 months my HCG has been at zero. We found that the second pmp was a regrowth from the first. Apparently, this makes me quite a rarity, as it is virtually unheard of for blood levels to go to zero and then go back up.