A “birth” story
I was shocked to find myself pregnant with a partner of less than a year!
I was shocked and I was also pleased!
He was downright terrified and freaked out.
It all turned out okay for him though, the baby didn’t develop, phew for him.. and…
Me? I felt quietly relieved – but also sad, sad to have lost a chance at mothering.
You see, my ova (egg) had been empty of genetic material and his sperm had been keen as beans to make a baby.
But the only thing a sperm is capable of growing genetically without input from the ova – is placenta.
So placenta, that little sperm grew!
And grow it, and grow it, and grow it.
I ended up at 12 weeks “pregnant” with a strange sideways bump of a uterus and no heartbeat.
Yep, all I had was a placenta ‘baby’!
My midwife was great. She was so caring and respectful when I told her I doubted there would be a heartbeat. My body had already begun expelling the wayward materials of conception, I had begun blood spotting (first brown and then reddish), and loss of little bursts of clear fluid from the unique tissue.
My midwife stayed with us and supported me through ultrasounds and obstetrician consultations and more ultrasounds.
It was all confirmed “molar“. And of course a few students and medicos gawked at me and prodded at me (let them learn I thought, its rare, about one in 800).
I was kind of enjoying the attention until a registrar told me ‘You have cancer or ‘could’ have cancer, this is an emergency and you need an immediate D&C’
That’s when it all went pear shaped.
Nothing like a bit of “medical anxiety” to throw off course a nice, natural process.
I researched the condition later and there’s even a medical research paper telling doctors NOT to use the word cancer.
‘Cancer’ does not apply to placental cells growing within the uterus. Placental cells know their place.
Choriocarcinoma can happen (in less than 4% of cases), its when cells that were part of a normal pregnancy or a molar pregnancy become cancerous.
Then it is allowed to be called cancer.
Next thing I know I am being told I have to have a d&C to remove the tissue. No other options given.
But I am looking at my midwife (the midwife I chose because she is a natural supporting midwife) and I am saying to her, “I feel like I want to go home and let my body naturally clear itself out. It has begun the process already. I am sure it can continue”.
She said ‘do what the doctors suggest’.
I remember thinking, ‘this doesn’t make sense, isn’t the woman standing in front of me supposed to be supporting natural processes?’
But I trust her (rather than my gut instinct) and I think ‘I must need this, if she says to do it’.
After that she leaves. My ‘birth’ (my file) has been handed over.
I accept the D&C.
Sadly the intervention, it led to mistakes, errors, ongoing body problems and more interventions.
I won’t bore you with the details.
But I still regret that choice to this day.
It’s a moment in time I can’t get back.
And I like to learn from mistakes and usually think of the past as a great learning experience.
But I have to say – when it goes on to affect your body – it doesn’t feel like a good learning experience – it feels like a big mistake that can’t be reversed.
I did learn one thing.
No matter how good, wonderful, expert, respected and reputable your midwife/birth carer – listen to your gut instinct while making decisions and don’t agree to something if there is time to research yourself and make an informed decision.
After much research I now know that there was no harm or risk to go home and naturally allow clearing of my uterus.
I know the chances for natural clearing are better than D&C.
I know that the uterus lining can be damaged during D&C and cause placental to grow deeper in tissue than it ought to.
I know that chemo is then needed to eradicate the tissue.
I know that D&C can cause ongoing issues for further pregnancies.
I also know that at the natural birth farm in America run by the famous midwife Ina May Gaskin, she has observed that molar pregnancies naturally right themselves by 6 months.
I could have just said “No thanks, I’d like more time”
I don’t know how well my natural miscarriage would have cleared my uterus.
I know uterus’s are designed to clear themselves.
I know I could have asked for medical assistance if I needed it.
That’s the beauty of the medical system, they are there when we need them and we are lucky for that option.