I am 36 years old and am blessed to have whom I consider to be the most beautiful, happy, healthy 10-month-old baby girl I can imagine. Without her I believe that the last few months would have been much more difficult. On May 12th I found out that we were to have our second child in late December, and we were thrilled. The babies would only be 13 months apart but because of my age that was what we wanted. Although I did not expect to be pregnant so soon, I had what seemed to be a normal pregnancy. I was very sick but that was exactly the same as with my first child. I am fortunate enough, as I now know, to have outstanding medical care, thank God. My obstetrician believes that all pregnant women should have ultrasounds early and frequently during the first trimester.
Because my child was so young, and I had had no real period yet, I had ultrasounds at 6 and 7 weeks to determine the due date. We saw but did not hear the heartbeat both times. Luckily my doctor scheduled another ultrasound for 13 weeks to do a nuchal translucency screening. I had none of the symptoms of a molar pregnancy, but you all know what happens: no heartbeat, hysterical sobbing, D&C scheduled. My daughter was with me at the ultrasound, and before it even started she was screaming and continued throughout the entire ordeal. It is an understatement to say how uncommon that is for her.
I found out the following week that it was a partial molar pregnancy. My doctor recognized it during the D&C and so took extra precautions, spent more time than usual, and insisted (to hospital staff) that an ultrasound machine be brought in at the end to make sure that she got everything out. I am so grateful to her. I was 13 weeks at the time and would not have known that anything was wrong if she had not scheduled the ultrasound. The demise of the fetus had happened at 10 weeks.
My hcg levels were over 200,000 one week after the D&C. As my levels were dropping I researched quite a bit to find out how other people’s numbers had dropped. I did not know what was normal. Mine went to 600 in week 2, then weekly, to 200, 100, 50, 26, 16, 8, 6, and then what I never expected but dreaded, my doctor called and left a message for me to call her back. It was not her happy voice on the phone leaving a quick number. I called back and she told me that I had jumped to 9. I was to get in to see a specialist as soon as possible. I would be given a methotrexate shot and then be followed up closely by both her and the specialist. That night I asked my husband what kind of doctor he thought I would be seeing. I had not yet realized that I would be sitting in the office of a gynecologic oncologist the following morning. (Please do not stop reading because it sounds scary, but this is the important part.)
The introduction and examination took a total of 5 minutes. He said “get dressed and come into my office.” I told him that I was expecting to get the chemo shot. He said, “I’ll see you in my office.” He sees these partial and complete molar pregnancies fairly often. He told me that because the jump in my levels was so minute, he believed that my body would go to 0 on its own. When the levels are that low your body is highly sensitive and jump around a bit. I was aware of that because I had spent almost a month below 10 but above 5. Anyway, he was exactly right. The following week’s number was 7 and then below 5, which is considered to be 0 by the medical profession. It is now Sept 24. It took me 9 weeks to get to 0, and I can now get tested only once a month.
I would not have written in if I had gone right to 0 as many people do. But I think it is important in case anyone else has the same experience of their numbers elevating slightly. The night that I received that call was a sleepless one. All I could think was “I can’t believe that I will have some form of chemotherapy tomorrow.” The oncologist told me the next day that I was not to leave his office until I stopped worrying. He said that he was the expert and to trust him. I finally was able to do that and walked out of the office. Of course I am not out of the woods yet.
I feel positive about the next few months and pray not only for myself and my little family but for all of you and yours as well.