From the first time parents get to see their baby during an ultrasound, to the first time an expecting mom feels her little one kick, the 9 months of pregnancy are filled with exciting milestones.
After one Scottish 27-year-old discovered she was pregnant with her second child, she was thrilled about all the milestones she would get to experience for the second time. However, when she went in for her first ultrasound, doctors were shocked by what they found in her womb…
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When a 27-year-old Scottish mother suspected she was pregnant with her second child, she immediately went out to the store to pick up a pregnancy test. When it came back positive, she was thrilled about the news and scheduled an appointment with her doctor to confirm the results.
Lauren Knowles got a blood test to know for sure if she was pregnant, and when that came back positive, she finally allowed herself to get excited. As the weeks passed, the pregnancy seemed to be going well and Lauren couldn’t wait to see her baby when she was scheduled to have her first sonogram…
First Sign Of Trouble
For the first few weeks, the pregnancy seemed to be going incredibly well and Lauren was feeling great. However, the first sign that something was very wrong happened a few weeks later when Lauren discovered some heavy spotting.
Nothing To Worry About
Yet spotting is fairly common for many women during pregnancy and Lauren wasn’t extremely concerned about it since she also experienced heavy spotting during her first pregnancy with her now 5-year-old son, Charlie…
Better Safe Than Sorry
When Lauren told doctors about the spotting, they also assured her it was probably nothing. However, Lauren’s doctors decided to send her to get a scan at around 7.5 weeks along just to make sure nothing serious was wrong.
The Truth Is Revealed
At 7.5 weeks pregnant, Lauren went in for a scan to see how her baby was doing and was more excited than she was nervous about it since she would be able to see her baby for the first time. But she was shocked when doctors showed her what was really in her womb…
Lauren was heartbroken and terrified when doctors explained that the scan showed there wasn’t a baby in her womb. What had really been growing in her uterus the entire time was a tumor, which more testing confirmed was cancerous.
“The tumor grew in my womb the same way a baby would, the same hormones were produced and my pregnancy tests always came back positive,” Lauren said. “There was no way I thought it was cancer, but after I started bleeding, I had further tests when I was seven weeks pregnant.”
The doctors diagnosed Lauren with a form of a molar pregnancy called gestational trophoblastic disease. Gestational trophoblastic disease is a rare form of cancer in women where cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed following conception.
“I didn’t even know what that was, so they gave me a fact sheet — as I was reading it, my heart just started to sink,” Lauren said. Because the tumor was cancerous, doctors started Lauren on a low-dose chemotherapy treatment to shrink the tumor…
However, the tumor wasn’t responding to the chemotherapy and kept growing. And while pushing her son on the swings at the park one afternoon, Lauren realized something was very wrong. “I looked down and saw there was blood everywhere,” Lauren said.
An ambulance rushed to the park and drove Lauren straight to the hospital, where doctors started the 27-year-old on six rounds of an intense, high-dose chemotherapy treatment. Within a single week, all of Lauren’s hair fell out…
In addition to the intense rounds of chemotherapy, Lauren was brought in for surgery so surgeons could remove most of the tumor. The team of doctors working on Lauren hoped that the two aggressive treatments would finally be enough to stop the tumor.
Not Strong Enough
Despite everything doctors did, the tumor returned and continued to grow at a frightening rate. And after 5 grueling months of treatment in 2015, Lauren’s condition only got worse until one day when she started feeling intense cramping…
Time To Push
“I had a very strong pain in my stomach, so I got up and took my hospital drip to the toilet,” Lauren said. “When I was sitting on the toilet, I felt myself having to push and it was very painful.” Lauren had no idea what was happening but started to push.
Lauren felt like she was in labor, and after a few minutes of pushing, she gave birth to the tumor, which was the size of a pear, into the toilet. “After the pain, I stood up and looked down the toilet and saw a massive dark mass in the pan,” Lauren added…
“It was the same size as a baby at 17 weeks, so it was a big tumor to push out with no assistance,” Lauren explained. While the birth had been painful, Lauren couldn’t help but feel an intense amount of relief now that the tumor was out of her.
Treatment Comes To An End
“I was so relieved when I saw the tumor down the toilet as I knew my ordeal was finally over,” Lauren said. “I felt so thankful that the tumor was finally out of me.” Thankfully, doctors confirmed the tumor was gone and Lauren was allowed to stop the intense chemo…
Lauren was thrilled but the doctors warned her that the tumor might have damaged her womb and that it might be difficult to have any more children. A year later, however, the now 29-year-old found out she was pregnant. This time, Lauren was terrified the cancer had come back.
But at the first scan, Lauren burst into tears when she heard the sound of her daughter’s heartbeat. Baby Indi was born 5 weeks early but was otherwise perfect. “After all my treatment, the light at the end of the tunnel was falling pregnant with Indi,” Lauren said. “I want to give people hope that even in the worst scenarios, what seems impossible is still possible while raising more awareness to molar pregnancy.”