A MUM-of-two was forced to give birth to a huge tumour on the toilet after her "baby" was diagnosed as cancer.
Lauren Knowles was over the moon when her pregnancy test read positive.
But when the then 27-year-old noticed heavy spotting at seven-and-a-half weeks, doctors sent her for a scan.
The mum from Aberdeen, was heartbroken to discover the baby she thought she was carrying was actually a tumour growing in her womb.
She was diagnosed with a molar pregnancy, a cluster of cells known as gestational trophoblastic disease.
And tests revealed Lauren's mass was cancerous.
Despite surgeons removing
most of the tumour, and undergoing gruelling chemo and hair loss,
Lauren's tumour returned and continued to growing at an alarming rate.
Lauren started chemo straight away, in a bid to keep her disease at bay.
But five months later, while she was in hospital and suffering agonising stomach cramps, she got the urge to push.
Moments later she gave birth to her tumour, which was the size of a large pear.
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 I thought it was cancer, but after I started bleeding, I had further tests when I was seven weeks pregnant."
"I lost all my hair and five months after starting treatment, I gave birth to the mass in the toilet," Lauren recalled.
tumour grew in my womb the same way a baby would, the same hormones
were produced and my pregnancy tests always came back positive
"It 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."
Lauren, now 29, was warned by doctors she may struggle to conceive again after the tumour damaged her womb.
But she was delighted when she became pregnant with Indi, now ten months, a year later.
"After all my treatment, the light at the end of the tunnel was falling pregnant with Indi," she said.
first sign something was wrong was heavily spotting, but having had the
same thing when pregnant with her son Charlie, five, Lauren wasn't too
But it came as a huge shock to be told the baby she thought she was expecting, was actually a tumour.
Lauren said she had never heard of a molar pregnancy before her ordeal.
A RARE CANCER THAT DISGUISES ITSELF AS A PREGNANCY
MOLAR pregnancies happens when the tissue that was meant to form the placenta grow abnormally.
They form a tumour, which can grow in the womb and spread beyond to other parts of the body.
In around 80 per cent of cases a molar pregnancy is non-cancerous.
But, in very rare cases the tissues can develop into a cancer called choriocarcinoma.
Experts estimate benign molar pregnancies happen in around one in every 1,250 pregnancies.
While choriocarinoma happen in one in 40,000 pregnancies.
Symptoms of this rare cancer include:
- abdominal swelling
- excessive vomiting
- sudden and severe abdominal pain
- pelivc cramping
- shortness of breath, coughing
"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," she said.
"My tumour was cancerous so I started a low dose chemotherapy treatment, but the tumour kept growing back."
It was while pushing her son Charlie on the swings in the park, that Lauren realised something was wrong.
"I looked down and saw there was blood everywhere," she said.
She was rushed to hospital and had six rounds of very high dose chemo, that caused her to lose her hair in a week.
After five months of treatment, Lauren's health continued to deteriorate during April 2015.
It was then, after suffering severe cramps, that she ended up pushing out the pear-sized mass 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 sitting 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 – I felt so thankful that the tumour was finally out of me."
Scarred by her ordeal, while she was pregnant with Indi, Lauren was "terrified" she would have another molar pregnancy.
"I wasn't able to enjoy the feeling of carrying her," she said.