Monday, November 1, 2010

Part 9: Perspective

“Well, at least we know that it wasn’t really a baby,” said the husband.

She wanted to resent him for the comment, but the woman knew that he was only trying to help. Biologically speaking, she knew he was right. The pathology report came back diagnosing them with a complete molar pregnancy, which meant that her egg had no genetic material inside so when it was fertilized, only the DNA from her husband was present. Had it been a partial mole, as the doctors originally suspected, at least they would have both created a little life, abnormal as it may have been.

The woman found herself grieving all over again. First it was the little life that never got to be. Now it was the little life that never was.

“But, it’s kind of like we lost a baby, right? I mean, didn’t you think about what it would be like to be a dad or what you wanted to name it?” she asked.

“Of course,” he said.

“And this whole time we’ve thought it was a baby, so we still lost a baby,” she insisted all the while trying to convince herself.

As she pondered the situation, her mind wandered off to the “what-ifs.” The cells in complete molar pregnancy could become invasive, spreading to other parts of the body, including the brain. They could even develop into choriocarcinoma, the malignant cancerous form of the disease. Twenty percent of women with complete moles experienced a recurrence of cell growth after their D&Cs. She tried to block these thoughts out of her mind, but no matter how many times she swept them away, they always found a way back in.

A few days later, the woman went in for some blood tests. It had been a week since her surgery. Now began the weekly blood draws where the doctor monitored her HCG (pregnancy hormone) levels. If things were progressing as they should, the levels should be dropping. Once the levels hit zero, she would begin the six month long wait to ensure they stayed that way. If they remained at zero, she would then get the clearance from her doctor to begin trying again. She could picture that day in her mind. I hope I get good news today, she thought.

Later that afternoon she received the call from her doctor with the results. Her levels were down to 15,000, a 255,000 point drop from the week before! She could hardly believe it—good news two weeks in a row. The light at the end of the tunnel was a little bit closer and shined a little bit brighter. Things were definitely on the up and up.

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