My name is Charlene Troyer. I currently work as an environmental chemist for Severn Trent Services. I am a graduate of the University of St. Francis (1989) and hold a BS in biology. I have been married to my husband Michael for almost twelve years. We were both born on the 14th of October six years apart and were married on that day. We have two beautiful children Zachary (11/06/91) and Jacob (09/10/95).
In February of 2000, we discovered that I was again, unexpectedly, pregnant with our third child. After our initial shock, we became used to the idea of another baby around. We picked out the names Sheyna Bryn and Luke Andrew.
On March 28 2000, I began to miscarry at work. I hurried home and we called the doctors emergency line due to the heavy bleeding. We were told to report to the ER. We arrived at the ER at 2:30 am on March 29,2000. I was given two ultrasounds and blood tests. I was told by the ER doctor that I had experienced a molar pregnancy. I had read about molar pregnancies before and immediately asked him what my HCG level was. he mumbled a number as he left the room that I did not catch. At 2:30 that day I was finally wheeled in for the D&C to remove any material left in the uterus and help stop the bleeding.
Two days later, the doctor that performed the D&C called to say that the pathology report was done and that the pregnancy was a complete molar pregnancy. I was told to start HCG testing the next day. My numbers dropped dramatically from 133800 to 1423 in the first two weeks. By the third week however, they beagn to rise and I was given one shot of methotrexate. So far the numbers continue to drop and I feel my energy level going up.
During this time I have researched the topic of molar pregnancy as extensively as the internet will allow and have found this wonderful support board. They have helped me deal with the loss of my baby. We decided, since most complete molar pregnancies were female, that the baby should be named Sheyna Bryn. I have added a memorial to the page Kendra developed for her little one for our little girl.
After the first shot of MTX (methotrexate) we all thought I was out of the woods. Unfortunately, three weeks later the HCG levels began to rise again. The doctor seemed confused that his one shot method didn't work and I was plain upset. I was angry at the doctor for not following the protocols I had been reading about and had lost faith in him. I asked to be put on weekly treatment. He consulted with a gyne-oncologist who conferred the need for weekly chemo. Thus began a 9-week treatment period. I went faithfully for my MTX shot and blood work. Mother Nature had another surprise in store for me. By the end of May, we had finally gotten the HCG down to 313. Suddenly, it spiked up to 342. I panicked and was finally referred to a gyne-oncologist at the University of Chicago. I believed I would follow the next step and require the more aggressive Actinomyocin-D chemo. The new doctor didn't believe it was necessary. In his opinion, I should only continue with the chemo if I were truly planning on adding to the family. If not, I should have a hysterectomy. My husband and I had already decided that we truly wanted another child and a hysterectomy would be a last resort. The doctor recommended an increased dose of MTX and scheduled an ultrasound to rule out retained tissue and a CT scan to check for met static disease. I began the new chemo regimen and had the tests done. The ultrasound and CT scan all checked out normal. During this time, I decided to stop taking the prescribed birth control pills and rely on other methods. The UK does not recommend the use of hormonal therapy during treatment and I was willing to try anything. Whether it was the increased dose of chemo or the change in hormones resulting in a heavy period, I don't know, but my levels plummeted within three weeks and I finally hit <5. I was hit with complete relief and grief at the same time. My grief was confusing until I realized that I lost all physical remnants of the child I had lost, even with all the pain that reminder had brought with it. I returned to the gyne-oncologist for follow-up treatment three months later for a new surprise. I had an abnormal pap smear. My year-long wait to ttc (try to conceive) was to be complicated further by repeated pap smears and colposcopys. In August of 2001, I finally had a clear pap and colposcopy and was released to ttc.
Unfortunately, the story does not end there. We conceived in early October. I went to a new OB immediately at five weeks gestation. The first ultrasound only showed a gestational sac. Nothing to worry about, it's early yet. Then came a week of very mild spotting. At eight weeks, I went back for a check-up feeling very positive and confident. My husband was with me. The doctor had exam room ultrasound and was very confident as she began looking for the baby. She found a very normal looking gestational sac and embryo. As she was describing the normal formation, I made one observation: there was no heartbeat. She took a better look and conferred. Our observation was confirmed by a better ultrasound and I had experienced my second loss in two years.
My post-operative exam has revealed another abnormal pap smear. So far, no evidence of trophoblastic disease is present, and HCG levels are low. I try to remain positive as our "bad" luck seems to continue. The molar support board has been instrumental in helping me to return to work quickly and remain positive about the future. I am willing to try again as is my husband. I know we can overcome this and we will have our third child.