As some of you may know, my miscarriage was complicated.
After I saw the little one with no heartbeat by ultrasound on December 10th, I waited to pass the baby naturally at home (as I had miscarried my first little one that I lost). Christmas came and went, New Year’s came and went…. And still, though light bleeding continued, I did not pass the baby. I felt more and more pregnant (read: incredibly nauseous, tired, and light-headed) and my tummy continued to grow….
Gradually, my husband and I began to think, is it possible? Is it possible that there was a ‘vanishing twin’ but another baby was ‘in there’?
I knew that ultimately I would need the ‘dreaded D&C’ if the baby didn’t pass. And my wonderful OB was on standby at any time I was ready for the D&C. But I was afraid…. what if there was life, and I got the D&C, and I ended the life of another child? I hesitated, until it was January 13th and I could stand it no more. I had to see what was ‘going on in there.’ The thought of carrying around a dead baby, or an unknown live one… It was too much. So I made my appointment for the next day.
What I saw on the ultrasound screen was like nothing I had ever seen in all my previous ultrasounds…. My uterus was filled with a huge (grapefruit sized) tumor. While the baby had died, the placental tissue developed a ‘life of its own’ and continued to release hCG (pregnancy hormone) at a rapidly growing rate, and was continuing to grow. This is known as a ‘partial molar pregnancy’, and can develop into a condition where benign placental tissue begins to spread throughout the body (cancer-like), most especially targeting the lungs, or even worse, it could develop into a cancerous condition. At that point, my doctor warned that if I were to miscarry this tumor, it would be life threatening, because it had attached itself to my whole uterus, and would cause a rather instant deadly hemorrhage.
He made an urgent appointment the next morning, January 15th, where I underwent a general anesthesia D&C. It went well, and while I needed a few days to recover, it was successful. However, I still needed to return weekly for blood tests to monitor my hCG levels to make sure they dropped eventually to zero. It could take anywhere from a couple months to six months to determine if the molar pregnancy would return….
And so I went in for all the blood tests, and gradually, the hCG declined, and my health improved. During this time, I could not conceive so that we could be sure that we could properly monitor the condition. To be honest, I wasn’t interested at all in conceiving, much as I adore babies and children, as I wasn’t sure I could undergo all of that again….
In the month of March, my levels had returned to low hCG, a healthy level, and I felt relieved, though still hoped and prayed that this condition would not return. Toward the end of April, I had my final check-up with my OB/GYN to do a final ultrasound and make sure that my uterus was clear of all suspicious tissue. I was very nervous for this appointment, because the last few ultrasounds I had had were daunting and not so ‘fun and exciting’ as baby ones can be…. He was pleased with how everything looked, although there was a cyst growing in my uterus that he “wasn’t too concerned about,” but that we would monitor.
(This is a picture of the cyst.)
Whew! I had held my breath throughout the ultrasound, hoping there wouldn’t be another tumor…
We were grateful and thought we were done with this appointment…
And then my doctor moved the ultrasound probe to a different angle…
…and said, “why look! There’s a little baby in there!”
I literally sat up (which is tough to do with one of those internal ultrasounds.
“WHAT?!?! Nuh uh. That’s impossible! WHAT?!?!”
He said, “Nope! There’s a nice strong heartbeat! Congratulations!”
My husband and I were in shock. For real. I was five or six weeks, but who knew because I had zero cycle and zero fertile signs… and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
We went back May 15th, exactly 5 months from my D&C… I tried to guard my heart. I didn’t know what I would see (even though I have been deathly nauseous… but I had all that before with a tumor…)
And we saw this:
Baby had grown well, and was nearly 11 weeks….
And so, my friends, SURPRISE!!!!! (For us, too!) Please pray for us, as I am still very nervous, although I feel rotten as ever (yay!) and I can’t suck in my tummy anymore at Sunday Liturgy and around my friends.
Love to you… And thank you for all those prayers… Please keep ’em coming!!!