By Mollie Mansfield
A mum of two was forced to ‘give birth’ to a cancerous mass alone in the toilet after her pregnancy bump was actually cancer.
Lauren Knowles, from Aberdeen, Scotland, was heartbroken when she discovered at seven-weeks ‘pregnant’ that her unborn baby was a deadly disease.
At 27-years-old, Lauren was elated when her pregnancy test read positive, however after she noticed heavy spotting at seven and a half weeks she was sent for a scan.
She was then given the news that she was enduring a molar pregnancy – a cluster of cells known as gestational trophoblastic disease – and Lauren’s mass was cancerous.
However, despite having the cancerous tissue removed and undergoing gruelling chemo, hair loss and relapsing, Lauren’s tumour continued to grow at an alarming rate.
But after agonising stomach cramps, Lauren ‘gave birth’ to the cancerous mass alone in the toilet after she felt the urge to push.
Lauren, now 29, was over the moon once the tumour, which was the size of pear, was out as it meant she was finally cancer free.
And despite doctors warning she’d struggle to conceive in the future, she fell pregnant with Indi, now 10 months, one year later.
Lauren, who now lives in Perth, Australia, said: “The tumour grew in my womb the same way a baby would, the same hormones were produced and my pregnancy tests always came back positive.
“There was no way that I thought it was cancer but after I started bleeding, I had further tests when I was seven weeks pregnant.
“The scan showed that the mass in my womb was cancer and I started chemotherapy straight away.
“I lost all my hair and three months after starting treatment, I gave birth to the mass in the hospital toilets.
“The mass was the same size as a baby at 17 weeks so it was a big tumour to push out with no assistance.
“I was so relieved when I saw the tumour down the toilet as I knew my ordeal was finally over.
“And after all my treatment, the light at the end of the tunnel was falling pregnant with Indi one year later.”
Lauren first decided to go to the doctors after she started heavily spotting, this was seven and a half weeks after her first pregnancy test.
She added: “I wasn’t particularly nervous as I had spotted heavily with my first child, Charlie, five.
“But doctors decided to do a scan just to double check the pregnancy was all running smoothly, and that’s when they told me that it was a molar pregnancy.
“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.
“My tumour was cancerous so I started a low dose chemotherapy treatment, but the tumour kept growing back.
“It was terrifying and one day I took my son to the park and pushed him on the swings, I looked down and saw that there was blood everywhere.
“I had to be rushed to the hospital and that’s when I had six cycles of high toxin chemotherapy, and I lost all my hair in the week.”
After five months of treatment, Lauren’s health continued to deteriorate during April 2015.
But the mum of two had a surprise in store and after severe cramps, she pushed the mass out while on the toilet.
Lauren, a full-time-mum, said: “I had a very strong pain in my stomach, so I got up and took my hospital drip to the toilet.
“When I was sat on the toilet I felt myself having to push, and it was very painful.
“After the pain I stood up and looked down the toilet and saw a massive dark mass in the pan.
“A massive sense of relief came over me and I knew it was the end – I felt so thankful that the tumour was finally out of me.”
The enormous pear-sized tumour had damaged Lauren’s womb and doctors warned she’d struggle to fall pregnant in the future.
But after being told to wait for a year to try for a child, Lauren fell pregnant with her daughter, Indi, now 10-months-old, three months after her year-gap was up.
Lauren added: “My whole pregnancy I was terrified that it would be molar again, so I wasn’t able to enjoy the feeling of carrying a child.
“When we went to our first scan and saw the baby’s heart beat I couldn’t stop crying because I knew it was real.
“Indi was then born five-weeks early as an emergency c-section. She was absolutely perfect and I couldn’t believe I had actually had my dream second child, because I never thought it would happen.
“I want to give people hope that even in the worst scenarios, what seems impossible is still possible, whilst raising more awareness to molar pregnancy.”