A young woman has shared her devastating experience of molar pregnancy in order to help others who might be going through something similar.
29-year-old Lauren Knowles, who was born in Scotland but now lives in Australia was delighted when she found out she was pregnant.
Lauren already has a five-year-old son named Charlie and was delighted at the prospect of having a new baby.
However, at just seven weeks pregnant, Lauren noticed some spotting which concerned her.
When she visited the doctor, the young woman was given some very bad news.
Doctors told Lauren that she had a molar pregnancy which is a rare condition where the tissue that normally becomes a foetus turns into a growth of abnormal cells or clusters of water-filled sacs inside the womb.
This condition is also known as gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD).
Lauren was stunned by the news. She told Daily Mail Australia she was confused by the shock diagnosis. “How could there be no baby? It was a very bizarre and devastating thing to be told,” she explained.
Lauren went home and Googled molar pregnancy but found very little information on the condition which affects about one in 1500 pregnancies.
The lack of information added to her worries. “I was an emotional wreck, my anxiety started spiralling out of my control, I knew it was in my head but I just couldn't rein it back in, that in itself was so frustrating and upsetting to myself and those around me”, the young mum explained.
Unfortunately, after having the mass removed via a dilation and curettage (D&C), the tumour grew back again. Lauren then went through the agony of “giving birth” to the mass at home.
“I started cramping and I thought, ‘I've felt this before’ ”, she said. “And I went to the toilet and it... just came out. I passed the whole mass. That was just horrifying”.
The young woman then underwent chemotherapy and had to cut off her long blonde hair.
“It went from pregnancy to cancer in an instant... from joy to dread,” Lauren said.
“I'll never forget the moment I had to re-label my pregnancy file to my cancer file”.
Three years on and after a relapse, Lauren is finally free of cancer. Her baby dream also finally came true when she gave to her daughter Indi, eight months ago.
“I was absolutely climbing the walls with anxiety when I found out I was pregnant again.
"I was so scared it would be another molar pregnancy because once you have it you are statistically more at risk to have it again,” she said.