On February 9, 2002 I had the feeling that my body was changing. My husband and I went grocery shopping and as he was picking up the last few items, I sneaked off to the pharmacy section and picked up a home pregnancy test. I was only a few days late, but had been feeling a little strange and suspected pregnancy.
When we got home, I rushed upstairs and took the test. To my shock, it turned positive within seconds. We had decided to abandon birth control the month before and let things happen naturally. I never imagined that it would happen so fast! I told my husband the news and together we absorbed the shock. We were totally astonished, but happy as can be.
I went to my doctor 2 days later and she confirmed my pregnancy. I was almost 6 weeks along. I was completely thrilled, but nervous just the same. This being the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My husband and I went out for a nice Valentine’s Day supper a few days later. We walked to the restaurant and when we got home, I noticed some spotting. I was concerned and called the doctor the next morning. She told me that it was a common symptom for many women in early pregnancy.
The spotting came and went over the next several days. I finally called the doctor the following week and she suggested I come to see her for an examination. I went, and after she examined me she said that the spotting was coming from my cervix and that there was nothing to be concerned about because this was normal for many women. I felt reassured but at the same time had a nagging feeling in the back of my head that something was very wrong. I kept telling my husband that it didn’t “feel right.”
On February 25, I experienced excessive spotting. I called my doctor in hysterics and begged her to give me an ultrasound. She called the hospital and set up an appointment for the next morning. When my husband drove me to the hospital the next day, I actually hyperventilated as we approached the hospital. I just knew that it was going to be a horrible experience. When they performed the ultrasound, the technician didn’t say anything. I asked her if she could see the baby and she said she had to go get the doctor on call. The two of them examined me for another 15 minutes and still nothing; 20 minutes later they informed us that they couldn’t find the fetus in utero, but noticed a bump on my fallopian tube and suspected I was having an ectopic pregnancy.
I was then rushed to the operating room for the first surgery of my life. I was so scared and so crushed that my baby was not to be. I woke up to my doctor telling me that it had in fact not been an ectopic, but just a cyst in my tube and that they had to review my ultrasound results again to determine exactly what was going on. I went home with the hope that my baby was still in there somewhere and they had just made a mistake.
The next afternoon, the doctor called and told me that the reports showed I had had an incomplete miscarriage and I needed a D&C immediately. I was devastated. All that hope was now gone. I went in the next day for the D&C and couldn’t wait for the nightmare to be over. When I woke up, they told me it looked like a typical miscarriage, but they needed to receive the pathology report before they could give me a definite answer. Two weeks later I was informed that what I had had was a partial molar pregnancy. I was devastated.
I started my weekly testing and went from 85,000 hcg down to less than 2 in about 9 weeks. Under 5 is considered the “zero zone” by my hospital. After 3 weekly tests rating at less than 5, I am now starting monthly testing. My first monthly test is the last week of May 2002. My doctor said that if my levels remain below 5 for the next three monthly tests, I can go off birth control and it would be okay to conceive again. I am trying to have a positive outlook, but it gets to me sometimes. I have read some very uplifting stories on the internet and some very heartbreaking ones as well. I am just trying to take it day by day and keep the faith that all will be okay.
My heart goes out to all women who have experienced this trauma. I know how it feels and what it can do to you emotionally. Seeing babies and pregnant women can be so difficult. The important thing is to not give up hope. I keep hearing the Celine Dion song “A New Day Has Come” (the one about her son) in my head and it gives me strength. I pray that one day in the future, as I watch my children, I will be able to look back on all of this as a learning experience that was meant to teach me patience and help me understand that the best things in life are worth fighting for.
At the end of July 2002, 5 months after my molar pregnancy was diagnosed, we were given the all clear to try and conceive again. After going through the worry of many weekly and then monthly tests it was a welcome relief to know that everything was okay. On October 31, 2002, I found out I was pregnant. We were thrilled, but a little nervous having been through such trauma only months before.
My doctor sent me for an ultrasound at 7 weeks, and there I saw my baby with a beating heart—the most magical thing I’d ever seen! Five weeks later we got to hear the heartbeat, and I went on to have a wonderful healthy pregnancy. On July 4, 2003, our beautiful healthy son was born. He is my special gift from God and I cherish him with all that I am.
The molar pregnancy was so devastating. While recovering from it I tried to keep a positive outlook, although it was very difficult at the time; some days I thought I’d never feel whole again. I will never forget that first pregnancy or the due date when our baby would have been born. My focus is now on my son—I look at my new little boy and feel so blessed to have him, he just fills my heart with such joy. He is so worth all the hardship and waiting we had to experience before we were blessed with him.
I just wanted to let people know that we did have a happy ending to our story and I want to encourage people experiencing the aftermath of a molar pregnancy to keep going, you’ll have good days and bad days, but it will get a little easier as time passes, you’ll never forget, but you will be able to cope. And when you finally do get the all clear to try again, keep the faith and a positive outlook. My heart goes out to each of you.
I also wanted to say a big “Thank You” to my husband and family who were such a great support. I know I couldn’t have made it through without your love and encouragement.