Katie and Jamie

I and my now husband Jamie met when we were 17. I was young and in love, but with him everything was different. It’s true what they say—when you know you’re in love you really know, and with Jamie I knew. We talked about everything, our lives, our fears, and our futures together. We discovered that both of us wanted a family, and we wanted to be young parents. We’d both worked since we were 16 years old and we were financially secure, so at 18 I came off the pill. We had an “If it happens, great, but let’s not stress” attitude; we carried on enjoying our lives together, and it just kind of stayed at the back of our minds.

As we approached our 21st birthdays (We share the same birthday, March 31), we found out we were pregnant. Despite our carefree attitude we were still a bit scared, but only for a day; after talking to our parents and talking with each other properly the excitement kicked in, and it sank in that we were going to be parents and amazing ones at that.

March 28, 2011, I went on my lunch break from work and had a funny feeling. It wasn’t pain, just a strange feeling. I got to my mum’s house and went to the toilet, where a gush of blood came from me, with big clots. It made me shake and feel sick. I felt empty and terrified. Strangely enough my mother, my stepmum, and my mother-in-law were all at my mum’s house arranging our birthday party. I called up to them, and we all went to the emergency department, where I spent the next 4 hours feeling sick and shaking and numb. I was told I’d have an emergency scan on the 30th and to rest until then.

Easier said than done.

On March 30th Jamie and I went to the early pregnancy assessment unit (EPAU), where they scanned my tummy and told me I had lost my baby. I can’t explain the emotions that hit you at that time. I felt numbness, guilt, sadness, and anger all at once. All I could do was say “sorry” to Jamie over and over again, something he hated to hear. I was put in a separate room to wait for the doctor, who came and recommended I have a D&C to remove anything left from the pregnancy rather go home and let things happen naturally. I had the D&C that afternoon. As I drifted off to sleep under the anesthetic the anesthetist asked me if I had plans for the weekend. I told her my boyfriend and I were turning 21 tomorrow, and then I fell asleep crying. I was released from the hospital that evening.

Happy to be home, we figured it was time to try move on and celebrate our birthday. The next morning Jamie proposed, and I of course said yes. This was something he had already planned, and he’d decided to go ahead with in spite of what we’d been through. Losing our baby made us want one more than ever, so we asked for help from our doctors, answers or anything, but unfortunately they don’t usually offer help or testing until you’ve had “multiple miscarriages”—three or more. So we carried on trying on our own, with months of frustrations and hope being taken away, until January 18, 2014, when I got a positive pregnancy test. Jamie and I were over the moon, so happy, none of that scared feeling we had had before. It was all just excitement and, in a way, relief. On the January 24th, I started spotting. Again I had no pain and no symptoms; I Googled and everything said this was common but that if you were worried to call your doctor, which I did. I got an appointment for January 27th, at which he told me the same, that it was normal and that I had nothing to worry about. I didn’t like the way he was, but I put it down to worry.

My spotting carried on, and after 1 week I called and asked him to refer me to the EPAU to rest my mind, at least. After arguing and him trying to make me calm down and just carry on, he finally referred me for an emergency scan on the morning of February 6th. Again Jamie and I sat in the same waiting room holding hands, terrified. Everything from the miscarriage came flooding back to us. I don’t think we spoke much; we just held hands and looked at each other every now and then with a worried smile, scared for each other and for ourselves. We were called through, and she scanned my tummy again. I couldn’t look at the screen on the wall; I just closed my eyes until we heard “I’m sorry.” I wanted to scream and run out of there. I remember Jamie’s head burrowing in my shoulder while I cried and pretty much wailed. We were ushered into the same room to wait for a doctor to come in and speak to us. We called our families and bosses to let them know what was going on, and then I was advised to have the D&C surgery again. Numb, I listened to all the side effects and plans and just nodded, I’d been through this before. Before I knew it I was on that bed again, drifting off to sleep, crying.

I managed to get released again that same evening, so I went home to rest with Jamie, my now fiancé, and get over it all over again. We were parents to two angel babies now. Another “due date” birthday that we would spend together. Trying to put a positive turn on it we went to dinner and talked our lives over. In time this would become a little tradition to keep out minds elsewhere. After 2 or 3 weeks I received a phone call from the hospital. They’d sent my failed pregnancy away for testing, something I didn’t know they were doing, but not really something you think about. The lady on the phone told me this was a partial molar pregnancy. I asked what that meant; this was something I had never heard of before, and to be honest she wasn’t too much help. She told me to download the molar pregnancy leaflet from the miscarriage association website, so I did and I read it over and over until it made sense. I searched but not much else came up on Google; I found a couple of stories but that was about it. I wondered what was happening to me—I read words like cancer, mole, and chemotherapy over and over again. I couldn’t believe something like this could happen within our bodies; to be honest, to this day I don’t 100% understand it all. I had to go back on the pill and do urine tests every month for 6 months once my HCG levels had gone down to normal. I was lucky in this respect; my levels went straight down and stayed down. A lot of people have it worse, and their levels stay high. This is an indication that the tumor hasn’t left completely and medication/mild chemotherapy is needed.

Once my 6 months were up I came straight off the pill and asked once again for some tests to be done to explain why this was happening to us. It took a long time to get some help, because they used the fact I hadn’t “actively” been trying for 1 year as an excuse for why it wasn’t happening. I had had to go back on the pill for my safety, because falling pregnant with high levels is dangerous to you and your baby.

We decided to set a date for our wedding to have something to look forward to and to keep our minds elsewhere while we waited for our tests. Jamie was tested, and he seemed fine. My ovaries were tested and also seemed fine, but I had monthly blood tests that showed I didn’t ovulate regularly even though my test at home said I did a couple of months in a row. Our wedding was set, and we married on May 1, 2015. It was the most amazing and happiest day of my life. We’d been through so much together, and he was what had gotten me through, his strength had rubbed off on me. He knew how to make me smile even when smiling felt impossible.

We got into married life and had a blissful few months and that bliss was made even better when I got a positive pregnancy test on Saturday, March 5th, the evening before Mother’s Day. We were so happy we cried. We’d just been accepted by the fertility clinic for more help, but realizing this was happening made us elated. We decided not to tell anybody and keep it between the two of us only, mainly because my now husband was a little superstitious about the previous problems we’d had and because we’d told our family and friends so early on the last two times. We had a happy couple of weeks, until March 18. I met my friend with our dogs and went on a long dog walk. We were having a lovely day when I felt like I was bleeding. I had no pain or anything, I just felt the blood. We were near the end of our walk so I didn’t say anything, I went to the toilet back at the park’s entrance and saw blood. There was a lot of it but nowhere near as heavy as the first time and there were no clots this time. I got in the car and rang Jamie, who had everything ready when I got home to go straight back out and to the hospital. I was around 30 minutes’ drive from home and could barely see through my tears. I’m still not quite sure how I made it home safe that day. We went to the hospital but we were too late to be scanned, so I had an internal exam. The nurse told me my cervix was still closed, which was a good sign, but couldn’t tell us much until I was scanned. They booked me in for Tuesday March 22nd, so we waited the weekend. My bleeding turned to light spotting, which helped settle our minds.

We returned on March 22nd and sat in that waiting room for the third time. We agreed it was our worst place, we hated it there. Again we held hands and I’m pretty sure that even though we’re not religious people, we were both saying prayers in our minds. We went through to the scan room and got into the same position we’d been in before. For most mothers this is supposed to be a happy moment, a moment where you hear and see your baby. For us it was the chair of dread, the cold room where we would hear those same words. This time she asked me if I was sure about our dates, and I was 100% sure. They told me my blood levels were high enough that they should see something, yet once again…nothing there. Our hearts had broken all over again, I broke down again, barely controlling my breathing. Jamie just stared, numb. Unfortunately it felt like this was something we were getting used to, something that just happens in our lives. One nurse said my blood levels showed high like another molar pregnancy, but on the screen it showed nothing like it should. If it were a molar pregnancy you would see a “snow storm” on the screen. Here…nothing at all.

Once again we found ourselves in the same room waiting for the doctor. We told our parents and our bosses once again like the times before and were asked to come back the next day for a final scan to double check before the D&C. So we returned the following morning and again they told us there was nothing there, so it was a missed miscarriage, but my hormone levels had tripled overnight, so it was possibly a molar pregnancy again. I went down for my D&C once again, the all-too-familiar feeling, with the doctors telling me what was going to happen and all I could keep saying was “Unfortunately, I know.” I wasn’t very well coming around this time, I was very sick and very sleepy and in a lot of pain, so I stayed in recovery for what felt like hours and had to stay in the hospital overnight, my first overnight stay ever in my life. When I was sent home I was told my results should be back in a couple of weeks.

I called after 2 1/2 half weeks, and unfortunately they weren’t back. After 4 agonizing weeks I was told that this time I had had a complete molar pregnancy. This meant there was never a baby, just a load of cysts in its place. After feeling like I had started moving on from this miscarriage this news hit me like a ton of bricks and I started struggling. I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to move; I felt numb and guilty every day and I couldn’t shake it. I ended up signed off work for 1 week and just wanted to stay in my bed, Fortunately my dog wouldn’t let that happen and made me get up every day. Jamie was my strength again, and things got easier. I’ve now just got back from a girls’ holiday for my friend’s hen do (bachelorette party) which is what I needed, I’ve come back feeling strong and knowing I’ll get through this again like last time and I won’t give up.

I’ve come to realize it’s not my fault, I have nothing to feel guilty about. This is something Jamie has always told me, but something you can’t help but feel deep down. I have three angel babies who will never leave my heart. I’ve shared my story in the hope that people will help me raise awareness to molar pregnancies. I’m not really sure where to start with this but it’s something I want to do and if it helps just one person when they look on Google like I did then I’ll be happy.

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9 thoughts on “Katie and Jamie

  1. Wow, I have never been so heartbroken to someone else. Keep trying, you’ll get there one day. Your relationship sounds so strong and you are so blessed to have such a wonderful husband. You both sound amazing. Keep strong ❤

  2. Hi Katie

    My name is Kirsten. I have no children and have had three miscarriages. I too was so excited when I first fell pregnant, even the second. My husband (Jono) even got a tree planted to mark the occasion the first time around.

    The third miscarriage was the worst. We even saw the fetus on the scan. Except there was no heart beat although my gynae didn’t seem too concerned and told me to come back on Monday. It was a Friday, but I bled so much that week end that I didn’t bother and started to make inquiries to find another gynae.

    Then a complete Molar. I had found a new gynae and contacted his rooms. He saw me the very next day and I had a DD&C by that afternoon.
    My HCG level was over 170 000 and he said he took two and a half litres of placenta out. I keep imagining two coca cola bottles and then another half of one cause that would be 2 and a half litres! Apparently my womb was stretched to 10 weeks. I searched and searched for someone who had the same experience as me. You are the closest I’ve found! six months later my levels eventually went down to normal but then rose again in a couple months. I received a mild dose of chemo through injections every 2 weeks. But that didn’t work. The level initially drops, then stagnated and then started climbing again. Then I was put on slight higher doses of chemo intravenously….but that didn’t work either! I’ve recently come off the aggressive type of chemo, lost my hair but still in hope of having my own child one day, just one child no more. I’m 40 years old.

    • Hi Kirsten, First of all I’m sorry it took me so long to see these comments, Honestly I didnt realise there was a comment section! Secondly I am so sorry for your losses, It’s heartbreaking!
      People keep telling me I’m lucky I’m still young, I can see why they say this but I promise it doesnt help.. I am however lucky in the fact my hgc levels shot down and stayed down last time, I can only hope it does the same this time round.. I don’t know how you’ve been through chemo as well as the molar pregnancy etc itself.
      I am always here if anybody needs anything, I’m trying my best to raise as much awareness as i can, Starting in June when I do the Pretty Muddy event for cancer research, On my back will read “For myself and all other molar pregnancy survivors” I mean you too.. Please never feel alone

      xx

  3. For my complete molar – I bled for almost 17 days before I had it removed. Before I even knew I had it. The fact I was pregnant never entered my mind as I was bleeding. A visit to my GP told me the bleeding was probably due to stress. When I returned to the GP a week later still bleeding and in considerable pain, it was then that I was sent to have the all revealing scan at the hospital. The oncologist that I now see, refers to me as her “unique case” but I don’t want to be a flippin unique case! The prognosis is that I have ‘Gastational trophoblastic disease’ that could metastasize into a cancerous tumor anywhere in my body and chemo is the only way to kill it. Seeing that no previous mild dose of chemo “killed” it, as it has for the 99.9 women who get this rare thing, I was put on aggressive multi chemo doses intravenously. I was even rarer for the chemo not to have worked in the first place – in fact 0.00001% rarer. The only sign of this disease is found in my HCG levels in my blood. At the moment the level has dropped to -1 but as it’s normal to have the level between 1 and 5, I still feel quite abnormal 😦 but the oncologist says I mustn’t worry.

    • It’s painful to go through anything like a molar pregnancy alone let alone all the chemo too, I’m very lucky that my levels dropped last time and praying that it does the same this time round, I can only hope we will all “get there” in the end. Keep strong Xx

      • Thanks Katie and hoping all remains well for you too. The one good thing since being on chemo ….can you believe I’ve found a good thing!…. is that I have become so positive. I’ve noticed that with other chemo patients I’ve met having chemo for cancer – must be something in the drugs hahaha but seriously that’s probably all you have control of and a survival thing. I’m so happy I met you and am available absolutely anytime for a chat or a simple hello to remind you that you are not alone. Please can we be part of each others your support system and keep me up to date. We can beat this!!

  4. I’ve had two complete molar pregnancies, which have been 3 years apart. Doctors say I’m lucky that my numbers have dropped to zero both times without complications, but all I think about is the possibility of even having a healthy baby. I wonder if something is wrong with me. I can’t find answers anywhere or any stories of people having two molar pregnancies and then having successful pregnancies afterwards. Regardless, I still have hope that one day I’ll hold a baby I can call my own..

    • Hi Joceline, I know and understand exactly how you feel! After my 3 losses I’m scared to try again but on the other hand a healthy baby is all I want! All we can do is hope that one day our time will come x

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