I was 7 weeks pregnant and feeling fine when I had a scan to see if I was having twins. I was quite big by then. The scan was bad news. They said maybe I had gotten my dates wrong, but there was no way. They then checked my hcg, and it came back at 12,000, which was OK. They did another scan a week later, and there seemed be some growth. My next hcg came back at 150,000, however, which was too high. Another week passed, and then I started to bleed. At this point, the scan showed no heartbeat, and I was bleeding a lot. They sent me in for a D&C, during which I lost a lot of blood and was very ill. They sent the tissue out for laboratory testing, but it came back as negative for a molar pregnancy, which surprised the doctor. I ended up with an infection and ill for 3 weeks, with bleeding on and off.
The doctor had me come in every week to check my hcg, and it was going down wonderfully—12,000, then 2,100, then 400. I wondered why they were still checking my hcg if I hadn’t had a molar pregnancy, and they told me they just wanted to be sure everything was OK because my levels had been so high at the time of the D&C. I then asked when could we have another go at trying for a baby. They told me to wait 2–3 months, which sounded OK to me. My husband and I went on holiday shortly after, however, and although we did make love, we didn’t go all the way. I was too scared!
I returned to the hospital for my next hcg test after we returned. My level had gone up to 1,200, and panic set in. They began to suspect my doctor had been right, and that it had been a molar pregnancy, but the lab results had been negative. I was so scared. They took another test 48 hours later, and my level had gone up to 1,600. They then asked me if I had had sex, to which I said yes, but not all the way. They did scans but could not see anything. Another week went by, and the scan showed my womb had thickened like the start of a new pregnancy, and my hormone level was going up, but it was not doubling as it would if I were pregnant. I was scheduled for a scan and blood test on Tuesday, November 5th, and another D&C on Thursday, November 7th.
The scan showed a sack of 5 weeks’ gestation, which matched the time when I was on holiday. The D&C was cancelled. A week later, I started to bleed heavily. After 3 days they did a scan. The egg had gone, and they could not be sure if it was a real pregnancy or if it was actually a growth from the previous miscarriage. A week later I had another scan, which looked clear, but I was told to have a chest x-ray to check for malignant tissue. That was followed by yet another scan and more blood tests and still they were not sure whether it was molar. A lab test on the tissue from the second miscarriage was requested, but as far as I know nothing has been found. I carried on with the blood tests for 2 weeks, and my levels went down well. I was told to try and forget it, but every week up to Christmas I did a pregnancy test stick, and there still was a very faint line. This worried me, but I was told not to worry too much. In late January, the hospital in Sheffield asked my doctors for a blood test and a urine test over 12 hours. It took my doctors 18 days to get the results back. Someone phoned to say it was OK, but no letter was sent. Every day I was left just wondering.
I recently received another letter from my hospital asking me to go to my doctor for another blood test. I panicked immediately and phoned them, and I was told it was just a check-up for their records after 3 months. I asked again whether it had been a molar pregnancy, but they are just not sure. I had all the symptoms, but other things say no. They just want to keep an eye on me, that’s all. Unfortunately this does not help me. I am back to the “what if’s” again. Do I dare try for another baby? They have not said anything about this to me. I still do occasional home pregnancy tests, and the results are still negative; I suppose this is my way of checking things—a very expensive way, but it does the trick. Most people want that line to be there, and most think they’re pregnant. Not me. My chemist thought I was a bit funny, going in all the time to buy pregnancy tests, so now I change around. If only they and others knew the heartache and fear a molar pregnancy can do to someone! From my experience, I think a suspected molar may be even worse, because I will never really know one way or the other.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 6, 2003
In March this year we decided to start trying for a baby. In the same month, I received a letter to see the doctor at the hospital, which I thought must be a routine check up. I arrived at the doctor’s to be told that when they had checked my labs again, it come up that it was a molar pregnancy. I just sat there in complete shock. it was now March and it had all started months ago in September; they should have gotten back to me by December with the second result! I started to shake and cry. The doctor said they would have to do some blood tests since I had been left so long. I tried to ask why I had not been told, but they just skirted around it. I was also 4 days late and had not done a pregnancy test because I wanted to wait, but as soon as I told the doctor, there was panic: was I pregnant or was it the mole growing back? He told me it would be dangerous to continue a pregnancy. They quickly took blood and arranged a scan for the next day. How could they have not gotten back to me? What if it had turned to cancer?
I got to my car and could not stop crying. None of my family could understand it, and my husband just lost it, screaming and shouting that I had told him it would be OK to try again. The ultrasound machine arrived, and the technician knew me well. I explained what had happened, and she was upset for me because she knew I had been through so much before. The scan took 20 minutes. Normally the technicians do not say anything, but she knew I was on edge. Luckily, all was clear and I was not pregnant; she said she thought that my period would arrive sometime today or tomorrow. Sure enough, it arrived that night. Two days later they told me that my blood had 0 hcg and that my scan was fine. Again I asked to see the doctor; I wanted to know why this was not sorted out before. Two weeks later I received a letter saying that the doctor thought there was no need to see me at the present time and that Sheffield would deal with my case.
I phoned Sheffield and asked them the same things, and they indicated that it was my hospital’s fault for not getting back to me. They informed me that the second test at the lab came up positive for molar pregnancy and that a letter had been sent to my hospital on December 1st. They did not hear anything from him so asked my doctor to do a blood test, as I mentioned in my story, but they did not inform him why they wanted it. My doctor was told by the hospital that everything was OK, but Sheffield sent a letter to my doctor at the hospital saying it was not OK and that I should have been called back. Again this was not done, and so I didn’t find out until March. I was lucky that it had not developed into cancer, but it has made me more aware to check things.
I now STILL have to send water samples every week, and it is now September 2003. I recently contacted Sheffield to remind them that it is now coming up on a year since this began and to ask whether they still want weekly samples. On September 5th they contacted me and reduced the sample frequency to every 2 weeks. If everything had been done right, I would now be on monthly tests until December, but as it stands I have to keep being tested despite being clear for 7 months. This means that I cannot try for another baby until later next year, which seems so unfair.
UPDATE: February 2006