I Am 1 in 1,000. I Am Strong
I am writing this from the Florida sunshine, enjoying some rest, relaxation and fun in the sun with my girls, at my Mom's place in Clearwater. It was not a planned vacation, I just booked it on a whim after our miscarriage and my first D&C. I deserved a little getaway and goodness, we just lost a baby and fuck, life is short. (To those reading this: You probably deserve a vacation as well! Take one!)
If you are reading this, you have likely already read my past two blogs about us losing our baby and how we were coping with this sad loss. I have mentioned in the previous blogs that there were some frightening pathology results that came back from my initial D&C. A friend had told me that she went back to work the day after she had hers and I was really shocked when she told me this because I still wasn't feeling myself for nearly a week following mine. I was still very exhausted and a bit sore and crampy. My colouring was off and I just felt like a sick person. I wasn't bouncing back the way I was expecting to. Now, just a disclaimer to those reading...this could get a little graphic...I won't get too descriptive because I know it isn't pleasant, but to be honest, I feel as though sharing this could save someone's life, it easily could have gone the other way for me, and I want women (and their partners) that are reading this to take it seriously and seek immediate medical attention if you find yourself in a similar situation.
I am not a doctor and this post is based purely on my experience! Please do not take my writing as any kind of medical advice to you.
I was told by my surgeon that after a D&C there should be a little bit of bleeding and some spotting but nothing major. Six days after my procedure, I had a fairly serious hemorrhaging incident where I lost a lot of blood over a couple hours. I felt weak and helpless but I didn't go to the hospital. I SHOULD HAVE. Instead, I put a towel down on my bed and went to sleep. I was so tired, I just couldn't make myself go to the hospital. My cousin, who works as a charge nurse in the post partum department of a big hospital heard about this and her and all of her nurse friends said I was extremely lucky to have woken up the next day. I phoned my doctor and let her know what happened and because the blood loss had stopped, it was hopefully over and perhaps I had some retained tissue that was released the night before. I was instructed to go to the hospital if it happened again. I knew that if either of my girls was bleeding the way I was, I would have rushed them to the hospital without a second thought, but because it was me, I didn't want to be a bother or make a bigger deal out of something that may not have been a big deal. Moms....make yourself a priority. Please. We are everything to our family. Remember that!!
While my doctor had me on the phone, she said that the pathology results came back from my tissue samples and that my pregnancy was something called a Partial Molar Pregnancy. I had never heard of it before, but I went to trusty old Google and did a ton of research. What I found out was that this is a pretty rare condition, it affects about 1 in 1000 pregnancies (or 0.1 percent!) With a Partial Molar Pregnancy, there’s an embryo and some placental tissue. The embryo may start to grow, but it can’t survive. This condition happens when the embryo has two sets of chromosomes from the father and one from the mother, so it has 69 chromosomes instead of 46. This can happen when the sperm splits into two or when two sperm fertilize one egg at the same time. It basically becomes a genetic mess that is doomed from the start. The fetus cannot grow and instead it develops into a mass of cysts that resemble a small bunch of grapes and the baby is not supplied with food and oxygen like it is in a healthy pregnancy. A molar pregnancy can be very dangerous to the woman if not treated properly and it can cause a rare form of cancer with small tumors growing in the uterus.
All of this information made for some very unsettling research. I was confused. I just lost my baby....or did I? Scientifically my baby had been gone for a few weeks and was never actually going to form into a baby. I was mourning the loss of what...a bunch of cells that looked like grapes? I went through absolute heartache with each and every article I read. I joined a couple of Facebook groups for women who had been diagnosed with Molar Pregnancies. I found out that I would need to go for weekly blood tests to monitor my HCG levels to keep an eye on them to find out if I was one of the lucky 20% of women who would require chemotherapy. It sounded like I was going to go on with life as normal, with the exception of the weekly blood tests.
I carried on being Mom to my girls, getting them up and ready for school. I went back to work. I went to a concert with my honey, one that we had been waiting to see for months. Blue Rodeo was playing in London and we made plans to have a sweet, romantic evening at the concert and even booked a hotel room so we could make it a one night little getaway. We enjoyed the music of the opening act and while walking to the lobby in between that and the main act, I began to feel extremely nauseous. I felt flushed and hot and lightheaded. I grabbed my sweet man's arm and whispered to him that I didn't feel good. He took one look at me and said I was so white and pale, with rosy cheeks. Within seconds I felt the gushing from between my legs. I am so sorry for the graphic nature of this, but it is really all I can do to explain it. I was hemorrhaging again. At the most unfortunate time ever! I looked behind me and saw a trail of red. To the long ass ladies room line-up I went to clean myself up and get a closer look at what was going on. I was no longer bleeding, but I was a mess. Hours and hours in a London hospital was not on my list of things I wanted to do that night and I wanted to see Blue Rodeo perform. I begged Will to let us stay at the show and I promised that if the bleeding started again, we would leave and go to the hospital. Luckily, it didn't and we got to snuggle to my favourite Blue Rodeo song "Bad Timing". No frigging kidding this was bad timing! We stayed for the concert and then immediately went back to the hotel for a warm bath and a good night sleep in the comfy hotel bed. Will kept waking up to make sure I was ok, but I slept like a baby!
I phoned my doctor on Monday morning and she asked me to go to the hospital's emergency room to get examined. Something was not right. Back to Emerg I went and an ultrasound showed that there was still some tissue and matter in my uterus, likely due to the molar pregnancy. From Hanover, I was sent to Owen Sound to see a specialist and I was swiftly seen by the doctor who performed a second D&C that evening. By 11pm, I was home in my own bed praying that this could all finally be put behind us. We were once again treated wonderfully by the hospital staff. Once we got to Owen Sound, we registered and waited less than five minutes in the main waiting room and then were escorted to a private waiting room, just for us, with a couch and comfortable chairs. It was in this room that all my pre-op interview with the specialist and blood work were done. I was taken by wheel chair up to the operating room from here and I was just amazed at the fact that from registration to discharge took just five hours.
The recovery from my second D&C has been much better. I feel more myself than I have felt in weeks and my HCG levels have significantly reduced and I am hopeful and optimistic that I will not be one of the 20% that require chemotherapy. I will continue to get my weekly blood draws for as long as my doctor requires and then it will go down to two a month and then likely once a month for up to six months. I am finding a lot of support from my fellow molar pregnancy survivors that I have met on Facebook. I do know one thing. My baby was my baby whether it was deemed a genetic anomaly or not. I am not at the point of saying that this has made me stronger. I am not looking back and thankful for this journey because it has made me a better person. I am just happy to be Mom to my girls and partner to my main man. I am just happy to be here!
Life sure is a rollercoaster isn’t it.
-- Lisa Glasbergen
-- Kristina Bosley
-- William Taylor
Classed under Mom Hips-Parenting & Family Life
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