Thursday, April 19, 2012

just thinking

Molar pregnancies are already rare...highly unlikely you could say. But even within a molar pregnancy, there are "normal" molar pregnancies and "rare" things that can happen in a molar pregnancy. Of course I had the rarest situation in an already rare type of pregnancy. I don't dwell on it anymore, but sometimes my mind goes back to it and it just frustrates me. I'm also forced to think about it again as we consider the possibility of another baby. Maybe, maybe not. I'm trying not to make decisions out of fear. The odds of it happening again are "rare" but I don't exactly feel comfortable with statistics anymore. If anything, it scares me even more because if I can fall into the >1% of molar pregnancies (having the rarest version at that) I can easily fall into the "10-20%" of normal miscarriages right? I'm sure it doesn't make sense to most people for me to think that way, but after going through something like this, that is where my mind goes. This is what I'm talking about...

What is a molar pregnancy?
A molar pregnancy is an abnormality of the placenta, caused by a problem when the egg and sperm join together at fertilization. Molar pregnancies are rare, occurring in 1 out of every 1,000 pregnancies.
A molar pregnancy is the result of a genetic error during the fertilization process that leads to growth of abnormal tissue within the uterus. Molar pregnancies rarely involve a developing embryo (mine did), and the growth of this material is rapid compared to normal fetal growth. It has the appearance of a large and random collection of grape-like cell clusters. There are two types of molar pregnancies, “complete,” and “partial”, with the partial being more rare. (That would be me-partial molar pregnancy).
What is a partial molar pregnancy?
  • Partial Mole occurs when the mass contains both the abnormal cells and an embryo that has severe defects. In this case the fetus will be overcome by the growing abnormal mass rather quickly. (this is the "normal" kind)
  • An extremely rare version of a partial mole (me again) is when twins are conceived but one embryo begins to develop normally while the other is a mole. In these cases, the healthy embryo will very quickly be consumed by the abnormal growth. (this one would be me. a completely healthy baby and a twin that did not form correctly producing a molar mass that took over the placenta of the healthy baby cutting off it's lifeline at 11ish weeks).

Who is at risk for a molar pregnancy?

  • In the US, approximately 1 out of 1,000 pregnancies is a molar pregnancy (that's not very many especially when you consider the factors below) 
  • Mexico, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines have higher rates than the US for molar pregnancies in women (not me)
  • White women in the US are at higher risk than black women (pretty much the only thing that classifies me in this pregnancy)
  • Women over the age of 40 (not me)
  • Women who have had a prior molar pregnancy (not me)
  • Women with a history of miscarriage (not me)

What are the symptoms of a molar pregnancy?

  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding (didn't happen)
  • Nausea and vomiting (oh heck yes...just like both prior pregnancies...typical)
  • Develop rare complications like thyroid disease (nope)
  • Early preeclampsia (high blood pressure) (nope)
  • Increased hCG levels (not until we found out...blood work all normal at first)
  • No fetal movement or heart tone detected (baby was strong, healthy, heartbeat and all)
I just don't understand it! Dr. Wells saw from my labs and sonos after we found out we lost the baby that this is what it was. But he wouldn't confirm it until after the D&C so he could send it to the lab to make sure. I'm pretty sure it's because it didn't make sense to him either! The only thing I can say is I've been sick with every pregnancy, but this one was a little worse. And my uterus measured large...but I also had just had a baby 9 months previous. Nothing too crazy was going on--we were just blindsided. So. That's that. I really am ok now and I'm not still dwelling on it or living it it. Sometimes I think back to it all (usually thinking about our blessings and how far we've come) and when I really let myself thing about it all it just bugs me. It will always hurt some. I'm just blogging from a pure medical frustration about what should be and what wasn't.  
Of course I still think about our baby boy who would now be a couple of months old. And I want him so badly. The type A personality in me wants it all to have been perfect and normal "according to plan" (even though he was unplanned haha). I want to know him (the him here on this earth) know what kind of baby he would be, what he'd look like and how he would have fit with Ella and Luca and to raise him as my child. But I am growing into a different perception of it now. While I'll always want those things, I can say now I feel like I do know him. I feel like I know him and a very complete and special the most important way...for the way he's changed me and his purpose in our lives and I really do know him as my child and I know I'll see him again and fully know him. I can't really describe it and maybe I shouldn't try. All of that to say I think about it differently-I want him and I want to take all of this back and make it different, but I also have peace about it (most of the time) knowing God is in complete control and I've seen His hand all over this. I know as time goes on I'll continue to see our baby's purpose and impact in our lives. I'll never understand the molar pregnancy factor, but I can understand that God had a perfect plan for him and even though it's not what we would have chosen, it can still bring so many blessings.

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