From the Mommy Files…

Hey! Who’s Messing With My Cape?

Posted on: November 7, 2010

All right! Who’s messing with my cape?

I’m a super hero you know, with a big M on my chest.

The M is for Maria, Mom, and Molar Pregnancy.

I’m the Caped Crusader, for all the women who’ve suffered through a molar pregnancy and its aftermath.

I’ve had a few bumps in my road to recovery.

So I’m going to ask again.

Who snagged my cape?

We were moving right along nicely. Or as nice as possible.

After my surgery, I’d gotten a call from the doctor saying that the preliminary lab reports indicated that mine was a partial molar as opposed to a complete molar pregnancy, contrary to their initial thoughts. She explained that the chance of complication was only 4-5% – insignificant, in my mind at least. We were still waiting for one more test though, but she was happy with these findings. We’d proceed on the same course, to watch my HCG levels and hopefully they’d drop to ZERO soon.

I was happy.

I thought, wow, maybe this will be over quick and I can go back to my life, and maybe even consider trying to have another baby.

I went for my follow up two weeks post-surgery.

Who stepped on my cape? I just fell down. I scraped my knee for crying out loud!

There was good news and not so good news.

The good news: I had a really nice drop in HCG. I went from 176, 844 to 7,981.

The not so good news: the test we were waiting for had very confusing results. It said I have a complete molar with features of a partial. WHAT?

So they did another test and confirmed it was indeed a Complete Molar.

The difference?

The treatment plan stays the same. However, this means there is now a  12-17% chance of complications. That hit me. That is significant.

The chance of this happening again was now 1% as opposed to .5%.

The doctor kept reminding me that that meant there was a 99% chance everything would go fine.

That’s higher than the effectiveness of the birth control pill.

The doctor said if my HCG continues to drop as it is, she’d feel comfortable having a discussion in 6 months about getting pregnant again. I can’t get my head around that topic now. Too much.

But it still took the wind out of me. Who’s tugging at my cape?

Two days later, we were out with the girls at a church event.

We were sitting down watching a talent show. I started to feel something funny.

I actually thought I was peeing my pants.

I went to the bathroom and more blood than I have ever seen came out of me.

It was all I could do to not freak out.

I told my husband we had a problem. We were packing up to go home anyway.

The cramping started on the way home. It took everything I had to keep it together.

I passed the time oo-ing and ah-ing over the airplanes with the girls.

We got them ready for bed, and then I noticed blood was seeping out of my clothes.

I called the on-call doctor.

Questions.

Did I have chest pains? Actually yes. That started the day before.

Was I feeling lightheaded? Yes.

He said the words I hoped not to hear: Go To the ER NOW.

Off we went.

4 hours later, 3 vials of blood, 2 internal exams, an EKG and an ultrasound and it was time to go home.

They determined that my uterus was not staying clamped down, so blood was pooling and now was trying to get out. EKG was clear. Ultrasound showed no damage, tearing and no products of pregnancy.

Can I just say, residents should not be allowed to do internals? OK, correct that. They should be able to, but if the patient is in apparent distress, the attending must take over. It doesn’t hurt when the doctors do it. I swear she was trying to torture me. I thought that darned speculum was going to come out my stomach, or even worse, out my mouth. It was the worst experience ever. And there’s no reason to put someone through that.

I was put back on Methargine – a drug used to help your uterus contract after a pregnancy.

I took a stronger dose and more often. It made me sick.

Thank goodness it was only for 3 days.

By the end of the week I stood for too long, preparing things for my daughter’s school party.

Gravity got the best of me.

Not as bad as the previous weekend, but heavy.

I probably should have gone to the ER.

After that experience, I wasn’t going back.

So I put my feet up and went to bed early. I was much better in the morning.

Back to the doctor a few days later.

A resident came in to discuss how things were going and what happened in the ER.

She mentioned that my HCG levels went up in the ER.

WTF?

All right! Who’s the wise guy that put a hole in my cape?

No one ever told me that.

They went up to 9,981.

Now when the levels plateau or go up, you have to have chemo.

Tears came to my eyes.

What was happening?

Was I now going to need chemo?

She said, not necessarily. She said we had to wait until we got that day’s numbers.

I told her they told me at the ER that there was no damage, tearing, and no evidence of products from the pregnancy. So why in the world would the numbers go up?

She said there is a possibility that some tissues unrelated to the pregnancy were affected prior to the D&C and that could cause a problem.

We waited for the doctor.

She had the day’s lab report. My HCG level went to 3,027. How does that happen when they went up?

She said that this is why they don’t check the levels that often because there are sometimes natural fluctuations and you don’t want to change a treatment plan on a fluke.

The only explanation I have is God.

The week before, we went to church – first time since this all happened.

My priest did a special blessing for me for healing. Then he administered Holy Unction, anointing me with oil and praying for health, well-being and healing. It’s these prayers that made that number go down again. There’s no doubt in my mind.

She was very pleased with the drop and we’ll anxiously await the next check.

Now, why am I still bleeding?

We’re trying to get that under control.

We have to stop it, so I can heal.

The doctor also ordered another ultrasound,to see what’s going on in there.

A few days later I was back for the ultrasound. In and out in 15 minutes. I wish all appointments went that fast!

I got the results that night.

Why do they post them when it’s nearly impossible to interpret them?

I reviewed the report and began to Google things.

Much of it is consistent with pregnancy.

Obviously my body still thinks it’s pregnant.

So then I get to the last part of the report.

“Cannot exclude the presence of products of conception.”

Excuse me?

I thought it was all gone. The ultrasound at the ER was long and pretty thorough. A resident and an attending from OB/GYN department did the test.

Come on now!

Whoever else tugs, steps on, or tries to rip my cape is getting a karate chop!

Enough!

I want my life back!

Well, the oncologist has me scheduled for visits until April. I hope we “break up” sooner.

What’s next?

Back on Monday to have my blood drawn.

Tuesday I have another visit and exam by the doctor.

Who knows what twist and turn this saga will take at that time.

Only God knows.

Now I will repeat. Stay the heck off my cape! I’m a super hero, you know.

I need to get better for my family, and so I can help other women who unfortunately have to go through this.

Do I need to be stronger in my language?

Get the F off my cape!

(Now if you know me, you know I don’t swear, so you know I’m revved up!)

I hope whatever it is listens now.

I’ve got some cape crusading to do.

So I am going to go repair my cape and I’ll be off.

M!

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4 Responses to "Hey! Who’s Messing With My Cape?"

Maria- I love your writing. I am so sorry for all of this! I hope IT does get off your cape and you can restore yourself to Superhero Status!

Thanks Kristin. It is definitely an ongoing saga. I am heartened by the many women – some I know and never knew this – who had a miscarriage, or 2 or 3. There’s still a stigma and people feel they can’t discuss these things. If I am the voice of these women, awesome! Then there is my purpose in all of this. Each message really makes me feel like a super hero!

What a nightmare…definitely the Holy Unction and your faith helped those numbers go down. Hang in there and I’m sure all will be well very soon! Siderenia!

Sas efharistoume poli! Thanks for stopping by and reading my story. This happens about 1 in 1500 pregnancies and there is so little info out there on the subject. If by sharing my story, I’ve provided support to one person having to go through this, that it was all worth it. Na se kala!

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