Maternity image of Alexis for for Complete Molar Pregnancy Post

In this three part series, I have the honor of sharing my platform with an incredible friend who has overcome a unique (and frankly shocking) experience. She had a hydatidiform molar pregnancy, or complete molar pregnancy. If you found this post by searching for either of those phrases or, “partial molar pregnancy,” then I hope you can take strength from her words today. She expressed her story more eloquently than I can, so I’m honored to share her words here.

From Alexis:

“When something so traumatic, so heartbreaking as losing a pregnancy to a hydatidiform molar, or molar pregnancy, and not knowing exactly what the next several months hold, it’s an uncertainty that the average pregnant couple will never know. Most have no idea what a hydatidiform molar pregnancy is, that’s alright, I had know idea what it could be either, but the ultrasound confirmed that instead of a baby measuring at 11 weeks 6 days, I was carrying what looked like a bundle of grapes.

Ultrasound image of the "bundle of grapes" molar pregnancy

“I had been having a fairly uneventful pregnancy: hardly any morning sickness or nausea, some food/smell aversions, and a growing bump. I was so happy to know that I was pregnant. Everything was going great!

“May 11, 2017 changed my life. What should have been an exciting day, left both my husband Amos and I with so much uncertainty. We were diagnosed, sent for a second opinion and ultimately surgery for what was supposed to be our baby.

Hydatidiform Molar

“What is a Hydatidiform mole? (HM) is a rare mass or growth that forms inside the womb (uterus) at the beginning of a pregnancy. It is a type of gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD).

“That translates simply to ‘I got pregnant with a tumor that may or may not be cancerous.’ Most mamas who join this club are SO sick, that they find out between 4-6 weeks, instead I carried for 13 weeks by the time surgery happened.

Complete Molar Pregnancy

“Weeks following my surgery were filled with every emotion one could imagine. Having battled PPD (postpartum depression) previously, I was prone to this time as well as my HCG levels were lowering. I was angry, I was confused, heartbroken, the list goes on. Weekly blood draws reminded me that I was broken, my body had failed me. They reminded me that this battle was not over and could take a turn at any point. I had 7 weekly blood draws, each visit provided hope as my HCG levels dropped significantly each week, with no rises, no plateaus.

“Soon my negative feelings towards this trial changed. I began feeling hopeful, wanting to share my story as NO one I have known knew this even existed much less knew what it meant.

“By early July I had been cleared! I was free! I could go on to “try again” when I felt ready. Which we did shortly after only to “normally” miscarry in October of 2017…In February of 2018, Amos and I were expecting again! This time I was terrified at the 2 pink lines that so many would do anything for.

“Our beautiful midwife, Laura, at Lakeview OB-GYN quickly got us in, and began the close monitoring to ensure this pregnancy would be healthy. Nearly bi-weekly appointments, ultrasound after ultrasound until 16 weeks. It wasn’t until this point that we contacted Kashele to document this pregnancy through photos.

“We are forever grateful for the way that Kashele photographed our family through what would become a very tender rainbow pregnancy experience.”

Continue reading Alexis’ Birth Story in Part 2 of this series.