Before the D&C (and Molar Pregnancy Info)

I was in for a shock yesterday when I got the news that there is tissue (possibly growing) in my uterus and producing hCG, but it’s not a baby. My obstetrician gave me a fair amount of information, both on my condition/diagnoses as well as on the procedure (d&c) I have to have done tomorrow.

Here’s what I found out about molar pregnancies from her:

Sometimes, a pregnancy that ends in miscarriage leaves behind some placental tissue in the uterus and, for unknown reasons, the cells continue to multiply even though there is no fetus. Other times, some fetal tissue remains as well but it is not viable. If the hCG shows a continual (even gradual) decline, it is probably not a molar. If, however, the numbers rise (even after initially dropping, as was the case with me), then a molar is possible, though not a guarantee.

A molar can also be caused by abnormal cell growth that never even contained a fetus. I know little about this kind because it is suspected that I did have a miscarriage.

There are a few options in regards to treatment of a molar pregnancy. The first, we already did, and that’s to give it time to hopefully pass on its own. Monitoring hCG levels (seeing them decline) and blood (and tissue) loss are good indicators of it passing. The second option is taking a medication to force bleeding in hopes that it will pass. My doctor, midwife and I do not think this is worth trying because I already bled SOOOO much that if it didn’t pass then, why would it pass now just through blood flow? The third option is having a d&c so they can remove all of it; this also allows my doctor to send it pathology to have it tested for abnormal (cancerous) cells. If there is growth following the d&c (which does sometimes happen and it’s called a recurrent molar), they have to be more aggressive; sometimes they can use a chemotherapy drug to kill the cells and in severe cases, a hysterectomy may be necessary. But the recovery rate after treatment is near 100% after a molar and most cases respond well to “just” having a d&c.

Starting next week, I will need to have a weekly hCG blood test until the numbers get back down to zero. Then, continue to have weekly tests to make sure the number stays at zero. So, basically for the next six to eight weeks I will have to get stabbed every seven days. :( Did I mention I have a phobia of needles? :'(

Now about having the d&c:

  • I can’t have any food or drink (even water!) from midnight tonight until after the procedure tomorrow. My pre-op is at 11:30 and the surgery will start no later than 1:30. I actually just called and spoke with my doctor’s medical secretary because I was extremely nervous about fasting. Baby Elizabeth nurses a few times at night and also in the morning – How can I not have anything until after 2pm?! I’ll be sick/faint for sure! Well, she made me feel much better after telling me that they will start fluids in the IV as soon as get back there for pre-op so at least I won’t be dehydrated.
  • I will be given a drug through the IV to knock me out for the procedure. This doesn’t exactly make me happy but it’s far better than being awake and thinking about what’s happening! I have had an endoscopy before so I know how my body reacts to that drug and I’m not worried about it. :)
  • I will need to nurse Elizabeth right before the d&c and then “pump and dump” for the first feed afterward. The knockout drug (lol) won’t hurt her but it can have the effect of sedation on her so it’s best to skip that first feed. I’ve already pumped this morning and I will pump more today so Maggie and Stephen can still give her milk as I recover.
  • I will have cramping and period-like bleeding afterward. Joy. :P

And I guess that’s it. Please, please pray one more time for me tomorrow. For my doctor’s steady hand and for my peace (as I am quite nervous). Thank you, ladies. ♥

A note about molar pregnancies and hCG levels:

Just because a woman’s hCG blood work shows high numbers doesn’t mean she will have symptoms or “feel” pregnant. My numbers began dropping two weeks ago and the pregnancy symptoms I’d had went away entirely during that time. When I found out that they were soaring again (19,000+), I was completely stunned because I’d had no symptoms and I was, in fact, feeling MUCH better both physically and emotionally. It was explained to me that hCG isn’t the only thing at play when it comes to pregnancy symptoms; progesterone, among other things make a big difference on how the woman feels. – Just thought that was interesting!

*Update: Click here to see how the D&C went.*

*Update: Test Results (how it all ended)*

40 thoughts on “Before the D&C (and Molar Pregnancy Info)

  1. I always have to lie down to get my blood drawn, otherwise, I faint within a minute of standing up. Interesting facts. I’d never even heard of a molar pregnancy before yesterday. 1:30? Wow that’s a long time to be without food and water! I’ll be sending you some strength from up here. T&P for the procedure to go through without a hitch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never had a physical problem with getting my blood drawn, thankfully (since it’s about to be so regular) but I’m sorry you have. :/
      I had a sketchy idea of what a molar pregnancy was before but now I’m becoming (unfortunately) quite knowledgeable. :P
      Thank you, Sophie! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Best wishes and prayers as you go through this tomorrow. I also had a molar pregnancy and it was my first pregnancy. Did D&C and weekly blood levels like you describe. I had never heard of this before it happened to me. Afterwards I never had any problems and had 3 normal, healthy pregnancies. Thanks for writing this because many people don’t know about it and I am sure you are helping someone by sharing. Hope all goes well!!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, goodness I’m sorry that your first experience with pregnancy was going through all this craziness! :(
      Thank you for the prayers. 💕
      I’m hoping that my story (as long and drawn out as it has been!) may help give someone understanding in the future. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I will be praying for you.

    I’ve heard of molar pregnancy, but never really looked into it until yesterday.
    I’m sorry you have to go through all this.
    I have had soooo much blood work done over the years. I always request a butterfly needle, but they don’t always trust me.😒

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so sorry to hear you are dealing with this. My mother had a molar pregnancy in the 70’s and had a D&C. I had a miscarriage in October (at 10 weeks) and also had a D&C. I chose to do it in the OBs office rather than sedation. It was not pleasant but it was effective in clearing the uterus. I wish you the best and hope there are no complications. It’s difficult when so much is out of our control.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry for your loss. And your mother’s. :(
      Hmm, I wasn’t offered the option of having the d&c in office. I don’t know if that’s because of my situation specifically or if my OB just always does it at the hospital. At any rate, it’s all planned now. I’ll be glad when it’s over!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excuse my language but you scared the shit out of me when I read “cancer” in the tags!! I’m so sorry you have to deal with this but I’m absolutely sure that you will be fine after this procedure. I’ll keep you in my prayers and you’ll be thinking of you and your family. But you will be fine, dear Valerie. I just these past few weeks hadn’t been so hard on you. Sending you a lot of strength and a big hug!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m sorry you’ve have to go through all of this, dear friend. My prayers continue to be with you. I will specifically pray for peace, for a smooth procedure tomorrow, for quick healing of your body, and for comfort for your whole family. The Lord will be there with you tomorrow. {{hugs}}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your prayers so much! 💕 And thank you for saying that He’ll be with me tomorrow…I “know” this but you know, sometimes we need reminding. ;)

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  7. I am keeping you in my thoughts and praying for your 100% recovery and a successful procedure. Thank you for taking the time to share what you’re going through and what you’ve learned. I know it will help others. My levels are down over 50% since my last draw, so I appear to be in the clear. I’m so sorry you are having to deal with this. Hang in there, and we’ll be rooting for you tomorrow.

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  8. Holy cow – first I’d heard of molar pregnancies as well. I’m sure it’s more common than we all know of, too. I’m sorry you have to deal with this craziness on top of everyday life, but at least it seems your doctors have a firm grip on what this means and how to safely handle this. You are in good hands with them and the Lord.
    I hope you can sleep well tonight, nurse Elizabeth well til the surgery, and get through it without issue! We’ll all be thinking of you tomorrow….

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