Lifestyle & Human Interest

Report: 'Pregnant' Woman Devastated To Learn Her 'Baby Bump' Is Actually a Cancerous Growth


A young woman who believed she was expecting her first baby received a devastating shock after doctors revealed that she was actually suffering from a form of cancer.

Grace Baker-Padden and Joe Cowling arrived at the hospital for their 12-week scan expecting to see images of a growing baby. The U.K. couple was planning for the arrival of a new little one, getting ready for what they believed would be the newest member of their family.

However, Baker-Padden had been experiencing some troubling symptoms. The “mom-to-be” started vomiting daily and also experienced light bleeding and swelling, the Daily Mirror reported. The vomiting and swelling could easily be explained away as normal signs of pregnancy, but as soon as Baker-Padden noticed blood, she hurried to the doctor, worried she might be experiencing a miscarriage.

That’s when the young woman’s tests revealed the truth.

Doctors told Baker-Padden and Cowling that what had been mistaken for a normal pregnancy was actually a hydatidiform mole or a “molar pregnancy.” According to The Mayo Clinic, “A molar pregnancy is a rare complication of pregnancy characterized by the abnormal growth of trophoblasts, the cells that normally develop into the placenta.”

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The condition “can have serious complications — including a rare form of cancer — and requires early treatment.” The rare condition only affects one in one thousand pregnancies, on average.

“It looked like a bunch of grapes,” Cowling told the Daily Mirror.

“I just wanted the horrible mass out of me immediately,” Baker-Padden added.

Such a mass is caused when an abnormally fertilized egg implants in the uterus. The couple was devastated by the change of their plans — going from joy to fear as they looked forward to a completely different challenge together than the one they had been expecting.

“We were so happy and excited. Our parents couldn’t wait to be first-time grandparents,” Baker-Padden said.

“It was such a shock. From planning this exciting new future as a family to suddenly no baby and my health at risk was awful,” she continued. “We’d gone from expecting a baby to having the C-word thrown about. We were both really upset.”

With their hopes crushed, the couple began focusing on treatment and recovery for Baker-Padden. Doctors performed surgery to remove the mass, after which, tests revealed that it was indeed malignant. The young woman spent the next few months undergoing chemotherapy.

The couple was incredibly thankful for the support they from employees at the hospital.

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“The work that the nurses and doctors do on that ward is nothing less than amazing, “Cowling wrote in a fundraiser description after he decided to raise money for the Teenage Cancer trust. “Every time I have visited with Grace I have been taken aback by everything they do for the brave individuals they are treating.”

“Over the past year I have seen her show real strength as she received rounds of chemotherapy to fight the disease,” he wrote of Baker-Padden. “I am so proud of her.”

Eventually, the young woman was pronounced cancer-free.

“The relief was incredible. We just wanted to be normal again and planned a holiday to celebrate,” she said.

The couple hopes one day to try for another baby, though they plan to wait for the foreseeable future.

“We’re scared to try again after what happened,” she said. “We’ll wait a while.”

Other symptoms of a molar pregnancy include rapid uterine growth, preeclampsia, and anemia, among others. Women who suspect they may test positive for the illness should talk to their doctors about testing for the disease.

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Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Phoenix, AZ