#misCOURAGE stories, 13/01/2017, Siobhan McFarlane
My husband and I have a beautiful baby boy, James. He turns 1 this month. We had our 12 week scan to meet baby number 2 on the 26th October 2016. The moment the sonographer looked at me and said "I'm sorry" I burst into tears.
I'd had doubts, call it mothers instinct but I knew something wasn't right from the start, that moment just confirmed my fears.
We'd kept our pregnancy quiet so we could surprise our families on Halloween, I had a whole plan in place, excited at the thought of seeing their faces and celebrating our news.
Getting home and explaining not only that we had miscarried but that I had a suspected molar pregnancy was the toughest thing I've ever gone through.
What do you say to someone who's just lost a baby, even if it was never and could never have been a baby?
Certainly not things like "maybe it was for the best" or "Maybe your not ready for another just yet" We wanted to fall pregnant. We did fall pregnant, I carried for 3 months through hell and back to fight for my bump. We were ready, we were strong but we lost.
We didn't know anything about molar pregnancies, what they were, why they happened, how common where they? My husband didn't like that I was googling it like mad. Reading all the statistics, facts, reading other women's stories. It was scary, I must admit, but I needed to know everything so that nothing could spring up on us.
I had an operation two days after our scan to remove the cysts. I lost two litres of blood during the procedure but turned down a blood transfusion so I could get home to my husband and son sooner. That was the first time in my sons life I'd stayed away from him.
Two days later I was taken by ambulance back to that hospital for an emergency transfusion after waking up to a huge blood loss. That terrified me. I felt like I was living in a never ending nightmare!
I had to wait two weeks for pathology results to confirm my complete molar pregnancy. I found out after asking a doctor to check if there where any results he could give me after I'd been admitted into our local hospital one night for another heavy blood loss.
The doctor gave me a print out of information to read and sat with me to discus the information, but I already knew all that info weeks ago. He couldn't answer my questions either and was confused as to why I was asking about my hormone levels. I was discharged the next day after a suspected heavy period.
I felt angry and frustrated. I knew deep down there was something more to this all but no body could explain it.
I made an appointment at our local GP office to try and get some answers. I met a young doctor and spent almost an hour there trying to explain as best I could what I had gone through and if there was anything he could do to help me.
He took it upon himself to chase up results for me and got in touch with NineWells in Dundee to ask them to speak to me properly as they were our closest Molar support center and I just needed some support and answers.
The following week, I got some information through from Ninewells about molar pregnancies and a kit to start checking my hormone levels.
I found all the information helpful. I felt more at ease speaking to staff on the phone there knowing that they specialised and cared for other women in my situation.
I sent my first test away on a monday. By wednesday, after another heavy bleed which had led me to cancel work and put me on bed to rest, something I'd been reluctant to do but I listened to my body's request that day.
Ninewells contacted me and I was told my hormone levels had jumped from a modest 500 from the time of diagnosis to 56,000. I knew what that meant thanks to my obsessive googling. I told the lady down the phone and she confirmed things. There was re-growth and I needed to get to Londons Charing Cross instantly to begin treatment.
I hung up and cried. I felt sad, but more relieved to know I wasn't going mad and that I was going to get help from the best.
London is pretty much the opposite end of the British Isles from our home in Scotland. It took a long time to get there but we were so grateful all the same. I met so many wonderful doctors, nurses and other women having treatment that I could speak to and listen to.
I've kept in contact with some ladies I met during my time there. "We are like a little family". I know the nurses are at the other end of the phone if I want to speak about my results or if I have any concerns or questions, nothing is an issue anymore.
I'm about to start my fourth cycle of methotrexate injections, a low dose chemotherapy that will help kill off the growing cells in my body. It leaves me tired, sometimes sore and cramping. I've had days I cannot do anything, not even lift or interact with our son. I just don't have the energy or strength.
I now know that a lot of my heavy bleeds in recent months where likely to heavy lifting and straining while working or looking after my son, just doing my usual day to day things. Since coming home from London I've had to take things easy.
It's been hard, I must admit I can't sit still, not when there are things that need doing. I'm a daughter, a mother, a cousin, a sister, an aunt, a wife... We owe our families all so much for all their help during tough times.
I also feel we owe it to others to help raise awareness of molar pregnancies. They are rare, but they are happening and being diagnosed more and more.
I don't want another woman to feel the way I've felt without knowing that everything will be ok, there's help, there's a brighter future, there is support in so many forms and places when you know where to look.
I will always wear an emotional scar for the loss that we never had the chance to love but I look forward to the day that we can try again. That loving desire keeps us going strong.
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