Julie

In March 1993 I became pregnant with our fourth child. We had had three children in just under 4 years with no problems, and I wanted one more baby before calling it a day. This time, however, it took us 17 months to conceive; the previous pregnancy had occurred while I was on the pill, so it was strange to have to try so hard for another.

Eventually, on April 5th, I had a STRONGLY positive pregnancy test. I was thrilled! The baby was due at the beginning of December. Yet my initial elation was short-lived; I began to feel that something was wrong, and I told my husband. He said I was probably just nervous because it had taken so long, and I hadn’t been pregnant for over 3 years. Others to whom I fretted said the same. I went to visit a friend who had just learned I was pregnant, and she congratulated me. I told her that I felt unwell and was worried. I kept getting “pulling” pains in my lower abdomen and just felt odd. I said that I thought something horrible was going to happen. That night, it did. I began bleeding, and I screamed out to my husband. He said he’d never heard such an awful scream before. He was saying, “What should I do? I don’t know what to do.” I told him to get the doctor. The doctor came, examined me, and said he thought it was twins, but that I was miscarrying one or both of them. He said to call him back in the morning or sooner if the bleeding got worse.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I had started cramping, and I was losing lots of blood. By 9am the next day I couldn’t stand anymore, and we called the doctor back out. He sent me to the hospital. That was on Friday. All day Saturday, I just bled and bled. I was told my cervix was still closed, so not to lose hope. I wondered who they were trying to kid—no baby could survive that much blood loss. I was given pethidine for the pain and collapsed. My tummy was growing by the minute; it was now the size of a 20-week pregnancy. A doctor eventually got a portable scanner to see what was happening. I saw a fetus right in the middle of the screen, and it looked about 7 weeks (I was nearly 12 by now) and had no heartbeat. I asked if there was a heartbeat, but the doctor wouldn’t commit herself; she said because it was a portable scanner she couldn’t see clearly enough. She thought I might have fibroids. I was booked for an emergency scan the next day, Sunday.

All the radiographer said was, “Have you been very sick with this pregnancy?” I knew from her face that something was badly wrong, but I’d never have dreamed what it actually was. I was told when I got back to the ward. I just felt numb at first, and then the sobbing started. I wanted to die, I just didn’t want to hear that my baby was gone. The next day, I had to have the pregnancy “removed.” The consultant told me he would do his very best to avoid it but that I might need a hysterectomy because of the size of the uterus and the blood loss (it was now 24–26 week size). I was in surgery for almost 3 hours, and when I woke up I was so relieved to still have a womb. Then I was told about the follow-up I would need, and that I couldn’t try for another baby for 2 years. That was the final nail in the coffin. I was absolutely distraught. They told me it was a “male karyotype.” We named him Adam Joseph.

I went home after 8 days, but I was back in the hospital a few weeks later with heavy bleeding. After 3 days I was sent home with drugs to stop the bleeding, but it didn’t stop; I eventually hemorrhaged and was taken back in again. This time they thought I had an invasive mole, so they did another D&C. Thankfully, it wasn’t a regrowth, just “debris” and blood clots. After that, my recovery was normal, and by 12 months I was in the clear.

Three years and three months later, I gave birth to Ingrid by emergency cesarean. I was terrified the whole time I carried her, but she was worth it, and I’m glad I ignored the people who tried to put me off getting pregnant again. They meant well, I know, but I had to try one last time, and end on a triumphant note. I’m so grateful that I did, and my message to others who’ve had this nightmare is not to lose hope—you CAN have a successful pregnancy after a mole. I’m living proof of that. Also remember that you’re not alone. It’s wonderful that sites like this are available now; when I lost Adam, there was nothing, and I felt so isolated.

God bless and keep you all.

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