Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A Quirk of Human Nature

Good Afternoon,

Has it really been this long since my last post? Is it really practically a year since I did the mahoosive JOG to LE cycle trip with the Gold DofE Bunch and Horizon Expeditions? Time sure does fly past if you let it and for me one of my favourite quotes from the movie "Inside I Am Dancing" (starring Mr Hotty Pants James McAvoy) sure does apply here. "Did you see that? That was life passing you by."

A lot has happened since that Bike Trip, to the world, to my friends and to me. And this post is not about an adventure or a sporting event i have done, it is about something very close to me, that a lot of my friends don't know the details about.

A Happy Surprise

About 5/6 months ago, i became pregnant. Being 18 and recovering from Glandular Fever it really was the scariest thing to happen to me. I didnt know what to do, what to say, whether to be happy or whether to curl up in a corner and cry. And without going into details my relationship fell apart and i was told that they hoped i would miscarry so they didnt have to have that "thing" in their life. Nice, huh? But moving on because im not here to go on about my failed engagement or that asshole.

I was perfectly healthy, i was visited by the midwife and all was positive. I was planning my baby names with the support from my family, close friends and extended family. There was no doubt at all that anything would go wrong. So when it came to my first scan, i was already super excited to see my little munchkin and had announced to the world how i couldnt wait to be a mom, and that i was pregnant. So off i went with my Auntie for my dating scan.

And that was the start of the worst couple of days of my life.

Please God No, Not Me

I remember standing on the scales being weighed just before my scan, and my heart pounding as my weight hit 61kg, considering the last time i weighed myself i was 70+kg i figured i had a reason to worry. But everyone said it was normal sometimes, but the doubt was already trickling in. Smiling nervously at the nurse, i lay down and lifted up my tummy. Closing my eyes i begin to pray, and im not religious, but i just had to pray all was well. I wanted it to be perfect, i wanted my Aunt to gasp and laugh, the heartbeat to be heard. But there was nothing, repeatedly i was asked how far gone i believed i was. I didnt have an answer as i hadnt had a period since coming off the pill. Jesus i couldnt even think about anything else. As i sat up and dryed my stomach off i looked at the screen and could only see a small black mass, and i knew that shouldnt be there. That there should be a baby. But the nurse was positive and sent me off to the Womens Hospital to the Early Pregnancy Unit as she thought that i wasn't that far gone or the baby could be lying in an awkward position. Did i believe her? God no.

So then came the long drive to the womens, my three best friends texting me to stay positive and they were here whenever i needed. I couldnt speak, my mouth was dry and i couldnt stop the tears. The nurses smiled as they greeted me, handing me tissues and holding my hand as they gave me words of hope and comfort, and off i was sent for my second scan. I was asked if i was okay, i laughed shaking my head. Lying down once more i lifted up my top and was given an unltrasound scan, the entire time i looked at the scanners face, trying to find a flicker or something in her expression. Nothing. And then she said the words that no woman wants to ever hear, "I am so sorry, but it looks like baby passed away." My heart shattered, my mind exploded and i sobbed my heart out, not wanting to move, praying i would wake up from this nightmare. But i didnt.

A Quirk of Human Nature 

As it turns out, from looking at my scan doctors believed i had something known as a Molar Pregnancy. A rare quirk of human nature that affects 1 in 1200 pregnancies. Not many people know about it, none of my family did and those friends i told didnt either.

A Molar Pregnancy is where the Trophoblast (the part where thge placenta and membranes develop) grows in a disorganised way and basically takes up the space that would have been taken up by an Embryo. As the mass swells and fills up the womb, it is known as a Hydatidiform Mole.
On top of being given this information i was then told about the two types of Molar Pregnancies, one is known as a complete mole where when the sperm and egg join there is no sharing of genetic material (this can be due to the egg not containing any genetic info) normally the egg would die, but rarely it can still implant the womb, when it does instead of an embryo growing and becoming a baby. Only a Trophoblast grows.
Then there is the partial mole, this is where two sperms fertilise the egg (which according to doctors should be impossible) there is too much genetic material, and as a result the pregnancy is abnormal with the placenta actually outgrowing the baby. Sometimes there is a foetus, other times there are not, but if it is there, the baby does not develop. (pretty crappy right?)
I was then told about how a Molar Pregnancy could become Invasive, this is where the complete molar invades deeper into the womb than it should.

Out of the above my panic rose hearing about the Invasive Molar, as it can spread outside of the womb forming Choricarcinicoma. Which is a very rare tumour as the trophoblast cells become completely disorganised, invade and spread widely, and that have become cancerous. While in my head i was screaming "So what i lose a baby and could have cancer now!?" I was comforted (sort of) to know that it is detected very early with an almost 100% cure rate.

What happens now?

So coming off the boring factual part, most of you probably scanned over... On to the quirk of human nature, the nasty side of having a Molar Pregnancy is that your body still releases all the normal hormones of being pregnant, i had the food cravings (Jelly and Sea Weed), i had the morning sickness and the saddest of all, i was starting to get a pretty decent sized bump. However once your between 8 to 16 weeks (we believe i was at the top end but who knows?) you begin to have the symptoms of a miscarriage.

What happened after being told this information wasn't nice, i had no control or say in the matter. It just had to be done. I was admitted into hospital the next day to have the mole (my pregnancy) removed via operation. To do this in a nut shell they use a suction tube and basically vacuum it out of you while you're put under. I was terrified. I'd never had an operation before, i was scared of going to sleep. I didnt want doctors to see me, let alone take my pregnancy from me! I was a state, i didnt want to talk, and i just couldnt stop asking the question, why me?
However the operation while waking up in a hell of a lot of pain (Big thank you to the wonderful nurse who came to check on me in recovery and gave me the hugest hug as i broke down in her arms) it was successful. One solid mass was removed, now all i had left to do was heal. Fun!

Weeks passed, my bump vanished, my boobs went back to normal, it was like i was never pregnant. And thats the strange thing no one understands about Molar Pregnanices, because yeah sure there is no baby, depending on the type you have.. does that mean you shouldnt grieve? Does that mean you should just pretend it never happened? Of course not, it did happen. That stupid quirk of nature happened to you, did it happen for a reason? Maybe. Is it shit? Hell yeah it is! But life goes on.

I named my loss Dalton. Yes I don't know if he was ever there, i never asked what kind of Molar Pregnancy I had, and to be honest I don't want to know.. Would it help knowing that my baby suffered or even that my baby was never there in the first place? Who knows, but I am content knowing that my little one is at peace, and I will do everything I can to make my angel proud...

Some people may not think like that if they go through Molars, some might choose to forget, others may never give a name, while others might react the same as me.. Women all recover and think differently, but for me it helps. It was much easier to tell people i lost my baby boy, than to go into all of the above details and tell them I dont actually know if the baby ever existed and so on.

Don't be Alone

I want to start raising awareness which is why i have come out with my story about my Molar Pregnancy, because i cannot believe the amount of people i have heard of close to my friends or family who have been through the same, and feel like they cant talk about if for lots of reasons, one of them being its not a baby you have lost, or the embarrassment of having this stupid quirk of nature happen.

Teenagers are taught all about STI's, AIDs, Sex, Contraception and babies, but i have never heard of schools teaching Teenagers about other quirks of sexual nature, such as Molar Pregnancies. More people need to be made aware that this can happen to you, no matter how healthy you are, and you might not even have a proper explanation for why it happened to you (there are lots of guesses but no exact answer). Molar Pregnancies are becoming more common, from looking online at multiple forums, i cannot believe the amount of people who have suffered from somthing that is meant to be so rare.

SO this is it. My Molar Pregnancy Story, My Pregnancy, My Miscarriage. All of it, out in the open, and I hope people become more aware of Molar Pregnancies, and for anyone scared of being pregnant, or have been through a miscarriage whether Molar or not, there is always support out there, whether its by leaving a comment for me to respond to, or the websites posted at the end of this post. There is the support, and there will always be someone there to listen to you.

Its a strange world we live in, and when you feel like you're on top of it something new will come and sweep you off your feet.

Thank you for reading, and i hope you "enjoy" (not sure if thats the right word but hey ho!) this post.

Write Soon

Shannon x

Song of the Day: Bells of Freedom by Bon Jovi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JoaJFCb2aM

http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/information/causes-tests-and-treatment/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwxZieBRDegZuj9rzLt_ABEiQASqRd-sW3kRfhL6YzGYxWO2DVcFrHtlmiaR0u3VXVbPo9138aAmZG8P8HAQ#molar - The Miscarriage Association, giving info on Miscarriages including Molar Pregnancies.
http://www.molarpregnancy.co.uk/ - The Molar Pregnancy Support and Info Group (I found lots of support on this website and it was this website that made me realise i really wasnt alone)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/218351778227611/?notif_t=group_r2j_approved - Facebook Support Group

4 comments:

  1. Well done you for being able to write this and share the information. I'm sorry for your loss hun, strongest person I know!:) I will help what ever way I can to help share this information as I didn't know these types of pregnancy existed xxx big hugs

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    1. Thank you muchly, it means the world to me you saying that. And i feel better for getting my story out there, and hopefully helping others!! Big Hugs xxx

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  2. You are an incredibly brave lady. I feel your grief for your loss and understand your fear but with your words you have made things easier for others who experience the loss of a baby and tragic end of a pregnancy. I am very proud of you Shannon xxx

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot to me. And i hope this blog helps people come to terms easier or understand what happened easier. Thank you :) xxx

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