Just Like Anne Boleyn.
When I was little, I always used to tell my Mum and Dad that I wanted to have five children when I grew up (If you could say I’ve even grown up now!) Five boys I wanted, can you only imagine? They would all have dark hair, wear leather jackets and we would live like they did on Happy Days. Friday after school television certainly had a lot to answer for.
After I had my first daughter, people would say that having two children was not much different to having one. What an utterly bonkers thing to say I thought. In reality though, it is true. Second time, you have the benefit of experience , you’re far less nervous and quite honestly, you have so little time that you couldn’t give a monkies anymore about the beautiful blonde on the front of Child and Parenting magazine who has seven children. No doubt she also just took her final exam to become a civil rights lawyer (whilst I may add, maintaining perfect blonde roots and not one hint of grey). These days I celebrate with a fist pump if I have managed to shave my legs more than once in a week and have caught up with all the weeks episodes of The Real Housewives. I don’t mind which but, obviously Beverley Hills is the best!
Sadly instead of taking fifteen hours to just leave the house to pop to the shops, it now takes thirty ( I would like to point out that obviously this is a slight exaggeration, but only slight) I am lucky enough to have two girls who can never be bothered to put their own shoes on and whose favourite saying is, ‘eughhhhh do I have to?’ and ‘why cant you find it’. With your first child, you delicately hand mash a ramekin of pumpkin and butternut squash to ensure your little one has a much varied diet and you label your breast milk chronologically and in order of nipple. Second time around, you’re lucky if you remember what your original nipples looked like.
I remember how I felt on the way to our 12 week scan for my second pregnancy. Actually I didn’t feel anything. I had lost count of the amount of people who had asked me if I was very excited and you know what, I wasn’t. I don’t know why, I just wasn’t. In hind sight, it was probably because I already knew that my baby was dead. I say baby and even though they later referred to my baby in the hospital as ‘product’, it always was and always is a baby to me.
She had such a lovely face the Sonographer, I think that is what they are called. I can still see her face now. All she said to me was ‘Are you sure about your dates?’ and really I knew what that meant. It (the baby) had been gone for about four weeks apparently. I remembering hearing a high pitched squeak like a Velociraptor and wondering what it was. I realised that actually it was me.
I am going to get on my high horse now but, why on earth can the NHS not comprehend the very lay out of their prenatal screening facilities!!? I had to leave that room, still sounding a little like a Velocirapter and no doubt with an abundant amount of snot and walk past the very same bevy of pregnant ladies that were sat with me in the waiting room just minutes earlier. I felt bad for them . It must have been utterly terrifying and no doubt, all of them remember it still. I hope all of their scans were trouble free.
Warning! This bit is scientific and a little bit boring: I was diagnosed with a partial Hydatidiform Mole or Partial Molar pregnancy. Apparently this happens when two sperm are able to fertilise one embryo at the same time and this results in an imbalance or extra amount of genetic information. This embryo can therefore never develop into a normal baby but often forms a very proliferative type of afterbirth tissue. I believe the Hydatidiform Mole part is the Greek name for a bunch of grapes and this is how this type of tissue portrays itself. Nothing to do with an actual mole, Adrian or fury. (I know what you were thinking).
Because mine was partial, it looked like a normal baby on the screen at my scan. If it had been complete, it would have the appearance of a bunch of grapes and been diagnosed straight away. All good fun but bloody and utterly frustrating as the condition is rare and in my case it was hard to get the immediate answers I needed. Particularly as my consultants explanation letter was delayed because his secretary was on holiday and the first correspondence I had was a big brown envelope marked ‘Oncology’ from Charing Cross. As you know, Oncology was not a stranger to me. A Molar Pregnancy can also result in Trophoblastic Cancer…lucky me. Why couldn’t I just win the bloody lottery!
Warning! Still scientific. Still a bit boring. With Molar pregnancies, the afterbirth can continue to grow in an uncontrolled way which produces lots of pregnancy hormones (as if there was any need for more of them) and that’s the tissue that needs addressing before it can become something much more nasty. Life is strange eh, something that protects a growing baby and gives life inside you can also manifest to something that can actually be the end of you. Perhaps its like eating a blow fish if you’re really hungry. One false move and its curtains! Apparently this is what happened to Anne Boleyn (not the blow fish). Once you have one Molar, your odds are increased to have another and I think it was documented that she had many. I also think one of my past lives was in Henry VII’s reign..probably a greyhound knowing me!
All joking aside though, I know miscarriage is really common and I am sure every woman affected is left wanting answers. I actually felt incredibly lucky to have been diagnosed with a Molar and although it could have been nasty and I have to face monitoring for any subsequent (cross fingers) pregnancies I may have, I had something most women don’t: an answer. It was much easier to deal with that way. I was lucky enough not to need any treatment but, that isn’t the result for some women. The best treatment is Chemotherapy as the next place Trophoblastic Cancer travels is usually to the lungs. Chemo again! Luminous green wee and a free NHS roast. My Daddy raved about those roasts. I’m happy to merely take his word for that.Although, I do particularly love Airplane food. Is that the same?
Over and out!!