Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Little Information

That same afternoon and through out the following weeks after leaving the doctors office, through a few phone calls and online research, we learned a little bit more about molar pregnancies and the chance of the relating cancer. These are the basics, short and not so sweet.

A Partial Molar pregnancies is thought to be the result of something going wrong when a set of twins don't split, leaving the extra strand of DNA to develop into a tumor that essentially causes fetal death and if life is prolonged severe mental and physical defects. Notice I wrote thought to be. Upon more recent research, this explanation doesn't quite make much sense. Identical twins are made when ONE egg is fertilized by ONE sperm that in turn separates itself, giving the baby's identical sets of DNA as well as features. Fraternal twins are said to be made by TWO individual eggs being fertilized by TWO individual sperm that implant into the uterine wall at the same time. So, how is a Partial Molar conceived is the twin explanation doesn't fly? By ONE egg being fertilized by TWO sperm or ONE egg being fertilized by ONE sperm with TWO set of DNA. I guess it is possible for a set of twins to be conceived from one egg and two sperm if it does split, and this is what many of the scientists are thinking, I don't know if we'll ever know for sure. But what is does boil down to is that due to an extra set of DNA, a tumor was created that ends up killing the fetus, most often before 7 weeks. There have been cases of a mother needing to deliver in their 17 weeks do to a Partial Mole diagnosis, and it doesn't end well. I'm not sure if the baby ever took her first breath, but it was the affects of the mole lead to her death by way of spinal bifida, kidney failure, and severe mental defects and malformations. All my love and prayers go out to the mothers affected by molar pregnancy, more even more so when they are affected like this.

After learning this, I know it was better for my baby's death to have occurred when it did.

Besides a Partial Mole, there is another molar pregnancy called Complete Mole. In this instance, there are no fetal parts as opposed to the Partial Mole. In a Complete Mole, ONE sperm fertilizes ONE egg, but in this case, there is NO DNA in the egg from the mother. When the sperm fertilizes the empty egg, it duplicates its own DNA in order to compensate. When this happens, a complete tumor is conceived and is diagnosed during the first ultrasound with what appears to be a "snowstorm" like appearance due to the fact that a women's body only recognizes that it's pregnant by the hormone levels in the woman's body. When a women conceives, these levels known as hcG increase dramatically in order to do what nature intended, causing morning sickness, no periods, and breast tenderness, along with increased urination and the other bodily functions that plague a woman with child.

The body itself doesn't exactly recognize the difference between a tumor or a fetus or a live fetus or a dead one to a certain extent where a mole is concerned. This is the reason it is so important that when a miscarriage occurs to monitor the levels of hcG. With a Molar Pregnancy, these levels are extremely high and even though they may fall into a some what more normal range, any increase can indicated that there was tissue left behind from when the removed the Complete or Partial Mole by way of D and C and the abnormal cells in the tumorous tissue have invaded and infected the lining of the woman's uterus, causing the cancer known as Gestational Trophoblastic Disease. This can also be known as an Invasive Mole.

In the U.S. molar pregnancies occur with every 1 in 1200-1500 pregnancies. The chance of getting cancer following a Partial Mole is only 5%. Thats odds of 80 in 1,920,000. For a Complete Mole, the chance increase to 15-20%. Something like 92-96 in 1,920,000 (I think, math's not my strongest subject). Which ever way you look at it, this would only happen if it was in God's plan. Sure it's the devils doing making such innocence into ugliness, but it's God who will give women the strength to overcome the devil and to triumph over such circumstances.