I had a complete hydatiform mole. Every doctor I have encountered seemed relieved that I had a complete hydatiform mole. I didn't know exactly what this meant until I met with my gynocological oncologist, or vagina cancer doctor as I like to call her, this week.
The more I learn about pregnancy, the more surprised I am that humans have been able to reproduce and evolve for thousands of years. There are so many different ways it can all go wrong! Molar pregnancies, are similar to ectopic pregnancies in that they are both umbrella terms for a number of different specific conditions. In my particular case, a complete hydatiform mole means there was never any fetus. On some days, this understanding is comforting, on others I get angry that we made an aggregating mass that would have killed me without medical intervention.
There are a few different ways to cause molar pregnancy, our complete mole was caused when a sperm fertilized an egg without DNA, this set off a series of triggers to indicate I was pregnant. And man oh man, did I feel pregnant! Nausea, fatigue and all day morning sickness were my constant companions. I hadn't had such severe morning sickness with our first pregnancy. I was told every pregnancy feels different. I consulted with good friends, and we talked about being grateful for the intensity because it confirmed that everything was going well within the first trimester. I practiced saying "thank you" every time I threw up in gratitude to the universe and a feeble attempt to see the positive in how miserable I felt. I figured out a few yoga poses that alleviated nausea, watched movies, ate ginger candies, drank peppermint tea and practically huffed lemons.
It was December and we had a glorious, beautiful dump of snow during one of those first weeks. It was 3:14p when I tried to get out of the house and go for a walk in a light snow shower when the bleeding started. My husband found me crying on the floor of our living room when he returned from skiing, he held me as a cried myself to sleep on our living room floor in front of the fire place. Grief shattered my heart shattered and splintered me into tiny pieces. Then, the next morning I felt fine-- food aversions, nausea, fatigue were strong. I was momentarily relieved.
We had a few days of calm as I waited. The symptoms of my molar pregnancy were similar to those of being pregnant with twins-- super high hormone levels, and my uterus was the size of a 14 week pregnancy at 8 weeks. I was having a lot of trouble fitting in pants and already switching into maternity clothes. We wouldn't know much until a doctor appointment, so I decided to take life one day at time and not worry.
That first doctors appointment was supposed to be an Initial Pregnancy Confirmation with a nurse practitioner midwife, so we could meet her and check out the facility for delivery. That first ultrasound confirmed it was not a viable pregnancy and more tests were ordered. My nurse practitioner looked me in the eye and said emphatically, "You need to know you didn't do anything wrong."
I wish every women could have the emotional and medical support that I have had. I am still grieving, recovering and the journey of loss, instead of pregnancy, has continued to be rockier than I ever imagined.
In other news, my husband-who-would-never-own-a-dog and I... adopted a dog! She is wonderful and we are walking/snuggling/frolicking everyday. I had fostered her a couple days before the diagnosis/chemotherapy began and she recently went up for adoption. He couldn't say no in the face of things and I am elated.