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  • Saturday, February 28, 2009

    The baseball continued... into the mole

    This is a continuation of my earlier post about the baseball. If you haven't read that one, this one may not make as much sense. Also a warning: this post may be TMI for the squeamish or those who just don't wanna know personal stuff... 'Cuz this is a really personal post.

    Don't say I didn't warn you.

    Anyhoo, when we last left our bruised and battered pin cushion, she had just received a call from the doctor's office (having just left the same doctor's office mere hours earlier...), and they were telling her to come back that afternoon for further tests.

    What I didn't mention in that earlier post was that the woman who called me said that she had some of my test results, and the Beta had come back positive.

    Now, many of you who are reading this may know what that means, but I didn't. So I asked. And she told me it was a positive result for a pregnancy test.

    I was stunned.

    I had been having an irregular period (I'll spare you the gory details), but I had taken a home pregnancy test three times when my period was late. They all came back negative. Then I did eventually get what I thought was my period, just late. So I thought I had just skipped a month. (Turns out that I had been spotting.)

    The tech was all cheery on the phone and said that I should probably start taking vitamins and that I needed to come in for another ultrasound to figure out how far along I was. Then she consulted something and said that I should come back that day. Then the scheduling person got on the phone and said I needed to come back as soon as possible -- could I be in by 2:00? That was a bit alarming. It was about 12:30, so I went and told my boss that I had to go back. And off I went.

    There were a ton of things running through my head. The urgency with which they were demanding that I come back made me think something was amiss. And then there was the "Holy shit" reaction of what it meant to be about two months pregnant. How our lives would change. How would I be able to take the time off of work when I knew I'd probably have to use all my leave for my dad's transplant and the baseball surgery? And how would we get the house ready? And so on...

    All of these things ran through my head. But I'm not the type to panic, just digest -- although, I have to admit that I was pretty freaked out as I went off to the doctor's office. Just silently freaked out.

    At the doctor's office, the tech asked me a bunch of questions about when my last period was to figure out when I may have conceived. I, however, knew exactly when it was and told her. She looked at my Beta hormone levels and said they were a bit high for where I was with this pregnancy. Then she did the ultrasound.

    I mentioned that I had fibroids, and I apparently had a very large one. She said she saw it, that it was bout 8 cm across. I told her that we had nicknamed it "the baseball". She smiled and remarked, "Oh, it's bigger than that." (!) She then turned the monitor and showed me what she was seeing. Now I have no medical background, so I didn't know what we were looking at. But what I saw looked like Swiss cheese. The tech then looked for a fetus among all the globs, but all she found was empty sacs. Several of them. She said she couldn't make a diagnosis, but based on her experience, it looked like a molar pregnancy. Then she got the doctor on the phone, who told me that it was a molar pregnancy, and I needed D&C as soon as possible. This was Tuesday, I think. I had Friday off, so they scheduled it for Friday. Took care of all the scheduling then and there. In three days, I was going to have outpatient surgery (on my first flex day off -- how rotten was that?).

    A molar pregnancy is an abnormal conception that does not result in a fetus. The problem (I later found out) is that the tissue development in the uterus can become cancerous and spread to other organs, like the lungs. If that happens, it's serious shit. The reason they scheduled the D&C so quickly was because my hormone levels were really high, and they were concerned that this molar pregnancy could lead to the more serious consequences. They didn't tell me all those details in the office; I did my own research about it. But they did tell me enough to convey that the molar pregnancy could have some nasty health consequences, and it was better to remove the tissue as soon as possible.

    So in the space of about two hours, I learned that I was pregnant, then that I wasn't actually carrying a baby but needed surgery, which was scheduled for three days later. Talk about a lot to digest. I didn't freak out, but I think it took a while for me to catch up with what I was being told. I had an abnormal pregnancy; my body thought I was pregnant (which explained why I had been feeling like crap for the past month) and was reacting accordingly. In fact, I was exhibiting many of the common symptoms: nausea, bleeding, increased Beta hormone levels, rapidly growing uterus, etc. My understanding is that a molar pregnancy does involve a conception, but it was never viable and no fetus develops. I am fortunate because I never thought I was pregnant, so I did not suffer the emotional distress of "having lost the baby". For me, this did not involve a loss, but was rather a clinical procedure that I needed to address a health issue. Thank goodness I never thought I was "with child". I can't imagine how horrible it would be to be expecting your first child, only to get this news.

    Still, as you can imagine, I was pretty shaken up.

    I decided to take the rest of the day off. My boss wasn't expecting me back (I told him I might be gone the rest of the day), so instead I called SM to see if he had time for coffee. I knew he was really busy at work, so I weighed whether or not I should tell him now or wait until after work. I decided to tell him right away. I thought that I would want to know immediately if my wife were going through something like this.

    I just needed to figure out how to tell him that I was pregnant but not and that I needed immediate surgery but not to worry...

    ... to be continued ...


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