After her coworkers kept commenting on her “baby bump,” Kirsty Butler, 22, took a home pregnancy test last year and received some exciting news. She and her boyfriend were officially expecting, and they couldn’t wait to welcome a little one into their home in Swansea, Wales.
Butler’s growing stomach led doctors to believe she was already eight months along, but an ultrasound proved otherwise. She was actually only six weeks pregnant — and most of her “bump” was a 12-inch-long ovarian cyst crushing her womb.
“When we were sent for a scan, our nightmare began,” she told the Caters News. “My pregnancy bump was actually a huge mass. My unborn baby was tiny, far too small to even create a bump.”
The enormous cyst threatened to crush Butler’s organs, and doctors needed to remove the lump before it caused any more damage. However, the pregnancy put them in a difficult position, as both lives hung in the balance.
Butler ultimately decided to postpone the operation five weeks until her baby grew a little bigger. But just days before the surgery, she received even more heartbreaking news. Despite doctors’ best efforts, Butler suffered a miscarriage at 11 weeks.
“When I had a scan the week before, I was told there was no heartbeat,” she remembered. “My baby had been overcome by the huge cyst. I was heartbroken.”
Surgeons went on to remove the tumor as planned days later, but the sheer size of the cyst irreparably damaged one ovary. Now a year after her operation, Butler is speaking out about the dangerous condition that caused her so much pain.
“It was so traumatic losing my baby, then my ovary and recovering from surgery last year,” she said. “I hope my story raises awareness for cysts and how dangerous they can be. I wasn’t taking much notice of my body but now I’m always vigilant in case it comes back.”
While the experience caused a lot of heartache in short succession, Butler did recently receive some good news. Her and her boyfriend hope to have children in the future, and a recent fertility test revealed that they can still start a family together.
[h/t Daily Mail]