My name is Fran. In 1985, after having 4 children, I had a hydatidiform pregnancy. I was 21 weeks and had my first ultrasound. I hadn’t had much trouble with my other pregnancies, and I wasn’t expecting anything wrong. I took my two preschoolers with me. They were in the room with me when the tech blurted out, “Sorry, this baby is dead.” I then had to drive myself home, and somehow I did it. A few days later I went to the hospital. I was told I needed to go through labor to expel the baby. I hemorrhaged so badly that one of the nurses was completely covered with blood. The doctors had everyone come in the room to see and learn about the molar pregnancy. Most of them had never seen one before. I felt like I was the show and tell item of the week. Because I had lost so much blood, I had to have a blood transfusion. I also had a D&C. After a 2-day stay in the hospital, I went home and was told it was OK to try again.

I got pregnant the same time the next year. At 20 weeks I had the dreaded ultrasound. The doctors called this one a missed miscarriage. They said this is where the baby dies but stays in the uterus. Again, I went through labor and then had a D&C and another blood transfusion.

In 1987 I again was pregnant. I switched to a high risk OB/GYN. This time, I was really sick. It was summer, so I was hot, and I couldn’t eat anything but a tiny bit of baby food. My 10-year-old took care of my other children for me, because I couldn’t do much of anything. They lived that summer on pizzas and packaged cookies because that was about all she could fix. Every time I ate or moved I would be sick. When I was 6 weeks I needed maternity clothes. When I was about 10 or 12 weeks the doctor said it looked like twins and that was why I was so sick. At 14 weeks I couldn’t fit into my maternity clothes and had to get bigger sizes. We promised the kids a trip to Disneyland in August for being so helpful. I didn’t feel well, but I wanted to see my family in California before the twins came. I started to dream about double strollers and everything else that goes with twins. I was so excited, because I had wanted twins since I was a little girl. At Disneyland I stayed in a wheelchair the whole day and got a good perspective on how we sometimes treat people in a wheelchair.

We came home from our trip, and the next morning I woke up bleeding. I was 22 weeks. I went into the doctor, and he confirmed hydatidiform again. The problem was that there was one baby still with a heartbeat. He scheduled surgery in about 5 days so we could get everything ready. I am very religious and anti-abortion, and here I was, faced with a must-have abortion. It was a soul wrenching time. I prayed that the baby would die in the next few days so I wouldn’t have to kill him. The doctors were afraid that I would hemorrhage and die during the surgery. I spent those days playing with my children and getting their Christmas ready in case I wasn’t around. When I went in the hospital the baby was still alive. I was started in labor, but complications brought me to an emergency D&C. This was so rushed that I had no pain medication. Then I delivered the baby and had another D&C. They took chest x-rays and monitored my blood for a year.

I was told that if I got pregnant again it was 50/50 chance of a molar and only a 20% chance of a healthy baby. I decided to call it quits and had my tubes tied. I was also told that because I had had so many molars that my children might also have them, if they could even get pregnant. I worried about this for many years, but I am now the proud grandmother of three 2-year-olds.

At the time this happened I wanted a support group but was told I didn’t really lose a baby, they were just miscarriages. I would have loved to bury the last baby, but I was told that wasn’t possible. I’m glad this information is now available.