A Circuitous Route to Motherhood

Life before during and after molar pregnancy

Why Blog?

Today, I left the house and car keys in the outside of the front door for nearly two hours. Today, I left the house and car keys in the outside of the front door for nearly two hours because my mind was elsewhere. Where elsewhere? Oscar, that’s where.

Oscar is my 12 week old son and Oscar is a miracle. All babies are miracles so what makes Oscar any different? Ostensibly, nothing. It is what went before that makes him our miracle.

Molar Pregnancy.

If you are randomly reading this blog and don’t know me, then you have probably never heard of Molar Pregnancy. If you dream of becoming, or are already, a Mum, that ignorance makes you lucky. You can trust me on that.

Molar pregnancy is a very rare form of tumour (effectively an abnormality of the placenta) that affects around 1500 women living in the UK annually. It is incredibly cruel and it is why I am sitting at my kitchen table writing. In short, where there should be a baby – and where for a few blissful weeks you believe there to be one – there is instead either a mass of  tumorous blood vessels (a Complete Mole) or an unviable foetus that results in the development of tumorous cells (a Partial Mole). The way I have always described it is that, instead of creating a baby, my husband and I expertly created a tumour. Where there should have been a baby there was potentially cancer.

Statistically, the risk of being diagnosed with a Mole is minimal. So minimal that my boss during the period that I was awaiting diagnosis told me repeatedly that if he were a betting man, he would bet on me. Unfortunately, he would have seen no return on his stake. Whilst awaiting diagnosis we calculated the risk to be roughly as follows (no two sources agree on the figures, so what follows is a very rough guess!): For every 1,500 live births recorded in the UK, one Mole is diagnosed. Roughly 1 in 5 of known pregnancies end in miscarriage and nobody knows how many pregnancies end without the woman knowing that she was ever pregnant. So, let’s say that there is a 0.05% chance of being diagnosed with a Mole. The vast majority of women diagnosed have bodies that helpfully dispose of the disease for them. For around 10% however the disease becomes persistent (then termed Persistent Gestational Trophoblastic Disease). There’s around a 0.005% chance of  requiring chemotherapy courtesy of trying to start a family. Apparently, the World Health Organisation categorise Persistent Gestational Trophoblastic Disease as cancer. So, I thought I was having a baby, instead I had cancer.

Oscar arrived almost exactly 25 months after I was admitted to Charing Cross Hospital, London for chemotherapy. That is what makes him such a miracle to me.

Now to answer the question; Why Blog?

Talking about pregnancy loss remains taboo and because of that many women, including me, feel isolated when it affects them. I thought I was the only person I knew who had the misfortune of experiencing it. I was wrong, but I only  discovered that after I chose to share my story. Whether a pregnancy loss is molar, ectopic or ‘normal'(whatever that may be) miscarriage, it is devastating and if writing this blog can help prevent even one person from feeling the isolation that I felt when it came in to my life, then writing it will have had a purpose. Of course, there is an element of catharsis about it too, but isn’t that kind of the purpose of blogging?

Oh and, by the way, nobody took the keys out of the front door or stole the car, which was lucky. Thankfully, my husband could see the funny side too.

If you are interested in, or have been affected by, Molar Pregnancy and are looking for help or information you may find the following links useful:

http://www.molarpregnancy.co.uk –  a support site (with links to its own forums) created by a GTD patient for GTD patients.

http://www.hmole-chorio.org.uk/ – Charing Cross Hospital’s GTD site.